Greetings to everyone!

Following the end of our second season, marked by an extraordinary wealth of artistic talent, and on the eve of our new season that promises to be as rich, we wanted to take a moment to express our gratitude to the over 350 donors without whom we could not envisage opening a third season. The future of our project now looks brighter even though we are continuing to seek sources of money to ensure the long-term financial stability of our giant with feet of clay. It’s the fate of every cultural establishment seeking to offer a programme of such quality and scale: functioning without external financial support is impossible. The good news is that a number of public bodies seem ready to step in to support us and that our future would appear to be less fragile. It is thanks to you that we were able to re-open in 2021 and it is thanks to your presence and your enthusiasm that we have the wherewithal and emotional resources to continue the adventure. Thank you!

Before turning to outlining the new season’s programme and special projects that will be on the mythical stage of 28 rue de la Tulipe, there are some new developments and ways to support the club to announce.

First of all, we are launching several different subscription formats for jazz fans that would be attractive gifts and allow us to bolster our finances. These new formats will be available from September – do subscribe to our Newsletter to get the details in advance. Some international artists on tour must be offered accommodation and hotels are not always an option, especially given the way that hotel prices have shot up recently. We are therefore looking for people living not too far away from the club who would be ready to welcome touring musicians into their home in exchange for free entrance to the concert where they were playing. If you’re interested, please e-mail us and we’ll be in touch when we need to find such accommodation. Similarly, please e-mail us if you’d be ready from time to time to pick up musicians from the airport – this would give you an opportunity to meet some of the international stars playing at the club and allow us to save substantial amounts of money. We’d like to remind you that young people under the age of 26 can buy a ticket for just 25 euros valid for 5 concerts (as long as places are available). The membership card will cost €100 this season, giving you a 10% reduction on all concerts, but if you become a member before 9 September it will cost you just €60 if you quote the promotional code “EARLYMEMBER”.

Ask for the programme!

The opening of the new season will be marked with two party evenings on 8 and 9 September, with a concert followed by a jam session on both days, accompanied by a cocktail menu that is continuously improving and more surprising, tasty Bavik and Zinnebir on tap and dozens of bottled beers, natural wines and high quality, locally-sourced tapas.

The season will be opened by Jean-Paul Estiévenart, undoubtedly one of the most talented European trumpetists, joining forces with a member of French jazz “royalty” namely pianist Baptiste Trotignon. The following evening pianist Margaux Vranken will be returning from Los Angeles for a concert in the company of the cream of the Belgian jazz scene playing a pure Hard-Bop repertoire that will bring a smile to your face.

The following week sees the return of the Wednesday Sounds Good Session for jamming and meet-ups that proves that jazz is party music in fine fettle. Come along with your friends on Thursday 14 September to see young Anglo-Italian pianist Joseph Nowell and his trio. The following evening sees the return of our monthly gypsy jazz evening (exceptionally on a Friday). We’ll finish the week with Spanish talent Furmi Gomez and his new band. 

We’ll be moving into Autumn with a week of concerts that could not be more eclectic. Following Wednesday’s jam, opened by the superb pianist Pascal Mohy, we’ll be welcoming English pianist Dom Pipkin, a regular at London’s prestigious Ronnie Scott’s club, for a show in the purest New Orleans party style!! Friday 22 September sees joyful Parisian be-boppers Thomas Gomez et Clément Trimouille and their quartet, playing with soul and impeccable technique, that will take us back to the Minton Playhouse of the 1940s. We’ll finish the week with an extraordinary concert by legendary Japanese trumpetist Toku playing in a duo with the new rising star of the French jazz scene, pianist Marc Priore, followed by the usual Saturday post-concert late jam session opened on this occasion by Igor Gehenot, who needs no presentation.

The last week of September sees the return of the Sounds Swing Machine, our houseband ready to get you dancing every last Thursday of the month for the last two years. The Apollo Swing dance school will be there as usual to teach you the essentials of Lindy Hop dance moves. We then have two alto saxophonists to brighten up your weekend. First, the young, highly talented Yonatan Hes and his trio on Friday 29 September, followed by the extraordinary Dmitry Baevsky playing on Saturday 30 with a heavy hitting quartet. Dmitry featured in the last group of Cedar Walton, as well as playing with the likes of Jimmy Cobb, Peter Bernstein, Benny Green and Jeremy Pelt to name just a few of the legends he has accompanied.

October opens with the club’s artistic director on piano for the regular Wednesday jam, followed by the return of the unique voice of Laurent Henderson, highly acclaimed throughout New York, and then by the new project of the young Q-Some Big-Band – it’s always an experience to see no less than 17 musicians on our small stage!

Wajdi Riahi will be opening the 11 October jam session before a rendez-vous on Thursday with one of the pillars of Belgian jazz, Manu Hermia. Manu’s Freetet features the cream of Belgium’s free jazz exponents for an evening of “collective improvisation” to quote Ornette Coleman. The first big name of the season hits the stage on 13 October when virtuoso tenor saxophonist Tivon Pennicott comes to Sounds. Tivon (aged 27) won second place in the 2013 Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz Competition, the most prestigious jazz competition in the world, has played on 3 Grammy-winning albums (with Gregory Porter and Esperanza Spalding), has been a member of the famous RH Factors, playing notably in the groups of Kenny Burrell and Jon Batiste. After touring full time with Gregory Porter since 2016, Tivon has revived his quartet for a European tour that includes Sounds! Saturday 14 October sees the return of the Brussels Rhythm and Blues Club that has been promoting live music with soul once per month since 2002, with the newly re-named BRBC houseband Midnight Mary opening the evening, followed by US-born singer and drummer Freddy Starks (played with inter alia Johnny Guitar Watson, Ike Turner,  Rufus Thomas and Fred Wesley) and his Cosy Band and the usual late hang blues jam led by Roman.

Sounds will unusually be open on Tuesday 17 October for a totally exceptional concert that we don’t normally see in such small club venues as ours. Amazingly, Gerald Clayton will be gracing our stage! The pianist blew everyone’s mind when he played with the groups of Roy Hargrove and Charles Lloyd and then released the critically-acclaimed debut album Two Shade that earned a 2010 Grammy nomination for Best Improvised Jazz Solo for his incredible arrangement of Cole Porter’s “All of You”, placing him firmly amongst the best jazz pianists in the world. Gerald will be playing with an outstanding rhythm section comprising his long-standing bassist Joe Sanders, a point of reference for bass players, and the exceptional Jeff Ballard on drums. Jeff is one of the most admired drummers of his generation, starting his career with Ray Charles, before being spotted by Pat Metheny and becoming a member of Chick Corea’s New trio. Jeff then linked up with Brad Mehldau to form one of the most important jazz groups of the last 20 years. Don’t hold back – book your tickets now before they sell out for this truly amazing concert!

After the traditional Wednesday jam, 19 October will be the first of three concerts (once per month) by the new project of iconoclast Fabian Fiorini who has put together a new trio with exceptional musicians and legends of Belgian jazz Dré Pallemaerts on drums and Nicolas Thys on bass. On Friday 20th, the inspired and highly lyrical Italian bassist Daniele Cappucci will be playing at Sounds with his quartet, including among others Nicolas Kummert. Good news never comes in ones and on 21 October Sounds hosts Brazilian drum genius Edu Ribeiro hitting the skins of our kit. Winner of two Grammy awards, the masterful Edu will be playing at Sounds with his trio.

The month of October will draw to a close, after the usual rendezvous with the Sounds Good Session and the Swing Machine, with the Roaring Cats from the Netherlands, expert proponents of hot jazz and tremendous showmen, and the Latin quintet of tenor saxophonist Jeanne Michard, rising star of French jazz and recently named as “French revelation of the year” at the 2023 Victoires du Jazz.

There it is for the first two months of the season but please note that in November the first Wednesday jam session will be postponed to around 11pm so as to welcome the new Blue Note sensation James Francies and his trio in concert. And major artists will once again feature on the concert agenda in November that will notably include jazz vocalist revelations such as Pamina Beroff and Sacha Mazakowski and stars including Camille Bertault, Sachal Vasandani and Sinne Eeg!

Thank you once again for your presence at our concerts because live jazz is essential for jazz to survive, and live jazz only exists because of clubs such as ours and live audiences such as you!

See you soon in Sounds Jazz Club!