After one and a half years of waiting, finally a somewhat normal edition of Jazz Middelheim took place. Over a period of four days (August 13 to 16) the organisation welcomed 13.500 jazz lovers in Park Den Brandt in Antwerp.
Festival organizer Bertrand Flamang looks back at a legendary edition of Jazz Middelheim. “We succeeded in making Jazz Middelheim a festival of liberation, taking place in a safe and responsible way.”
The Antwerp jazz festival brought a balanced mix of Belgian and international artists, once again showing how much homegrown top talent we have here. Among the highlights were MiXMONK and STUFF. The young Belgians – with Samuel Ber in the lead – but also Lara Rosseel and ECHT! turned out to be fully-fledged headliners. It shows that our own scene has an incredible wealth at its disposal.
The revelation of the festival was the voice artist Youn Sun Nah. The audience of Jazz Middelheim discovered and embraced the Korean artist with great eagerness. The Frenchman Michel Portal also showed us that despite his 85 years he did not have much trouble convincing us that world class has no age limit! But the performance by the Joe Lovano Trio was the absolute jewel of this festival. “This was the 40th edition of Jazz Middelheim summed up in 75 minutes”, says Flamang. “One of the best concerts in many years of Jazz Middelheim. Many decades of jazz history bundled into one amazing concert. Unbelievable to witness this today.”
Marc Weyts, producer Klara: “We were glad tob e here again. And to be able to make live radio with so many beautiful people, both the team of Klara and all the musicians. As presenter Lies Steppe told me: ‘It was great to be here again, and to feel the enthusiasm of musicians and the audience’. And that audience at the appointment. A full house from day one, with Dans Dans in optima forma and an unleashed Stuff. I was also very impressed by MixMonk and the world jazz of Toine Thys ‘Overseas’. The good-humoured Italian Stefano di Battista charmed everyone with his ‘Morricone Stories’. Michel Portal proved that 85 is just a number. And Philip Catherine was a smash hit too.
Klara broadcasted live almost all concerts on the Main Stage. There were also interviews with artists by hosts Bart Vanhoudt, Karel Van Keymeulen and Lies Steppe.
On klara.be/jazzmiddelheim and the Klara Facebook page, jazz lovers can find videos, interviews and sneak peeks from backstage. This fall you can enjoy this Back To Live edition of Jazz Middelheim in our jazz programmes.”
The dates for next year’s Jazz Middelheim are also known. Jazz Middelheim 2022 takes place from Friday 12 till Monday 15 August 2022.