B-Jazz International Contest 2017


With almost 130 visitors on the first evening of the finals and another 150 on the second, we look back at a successful 38th edition of this international contest.


the jury and some of the finalists

During three days 22 young jazz musicians from Spain, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Italy and Belgium stayed in Leuven (Belgium).
Three days in which they had the chance to explore the city and enjoy the sun, but most of all in which they met, got to know each other and played music together (during the Late Night Jam even together with Philip Catherine, the godfather of B-Jazz). On top of all the plans that were made to do some more things together, the finalists went home with a great experience and full of enthousiasm.


For those who couldn’t make it to Leuven and couldn’t watch the live stream: here are the concerts of the six finalists of B-Jazz International Contest 2017.


No contests without prizes…

These are the winners that received a prize during the award ceremony presented by Mark Lefever.

Nic Thys and Filip Verneert (photo: Hugo Lefèvre)

winner Jazzmozaïek Award 2017: Nic Thys
Every year the editors of Jazzmozaïek magazine choose a Belgian musician that stands out on the fields of renewal, rejuvenation and broadening of the genre.
This year they chose bass player Nic Thys. He also took home a portrait of himself painted by Chris Joris.

winner B-Jazz Composition Contest 2017: ‘Vertigo of the Fish’ (Antoine Pierre)
Sabam for Culture and Muziekmozaïek are searching for new Belgian jazzthemes. Out of the applications ‘Vertigo of the Fish’ by Antoine Pierre was chosen as the winning composition.
Comments of the jury: ‘Vertigo of the Fish’ is a composition with a wide varierty and a lot of energy. It’s an advanced composition, with a good chord progression, melody and metre.

winner Sabam for Culture Prize: Daahoud Salim Quintet
The best live interpretation of ‘Vertigo of the Fish’ is rewarded too and this prize goes to the Daahoud Salim Quintet from Spain.
The members of the jury were impressed by the classy level of the arrangement. The result was a beautiful piece that sounds great, exciting and easy. It even sounded like the musicians have been playing it all their life.

winner Prize for Best Bass Player: Dario Piccioni (Vittorio Solimene Trio)
This Italian bass player is standing out because he is so expressive, with a good sound.
He really lives each note, lives the music and makes strong statements.
Dario plays with passion and the audience can almost feel what he is doing.
He is 100% in the music.

winner ‘Grand Prix Albert Michiels’: Daahoud Salim Quintet
The presentation of the band and their music is different and special in a good way.
They handle the band in a nice way: by standing at the side of the stage when not playing, they give each other room to play and explore. It’s lovely to see mature musicians with a message, a smile and good interplay.
The band has good music with excellent arrangements and besides good musical technique they express emotions in a beautiful way.
The Daahoud Salim Quintet is really a joy to listen to and they made the members of the jury and the audience very happy.

Daahoud Salim Quintet with on the left Mia Michiels and Filip Verneert (photo: Hugo Lefèvre)

B-Jazz International Contest is organised by Muziekmozaïek – in collaboration with the cultural center 30CC, OPEK and café Entrepot – as part of the Leuven Jazz festival.

Based on the qualifications and final, the jury chooses the winners.

The winner of the ‘Grand Prize Albert Michiels‘ gets the chance to play concerts at Getxo Jazz Festival 2017 (Spain), at Saint Louis College of Music (Rome, Italy), at Amersfoort Jazz Festival (Netherlands) and on the Druivenfestival (Hoeilaart, Belgium).

In addition there is a prize for best bassplayer and a prize for the best performance of the mandatory composition (= winning composition of the B-Jazz Composition Contest 2017).

By encouraging young talented musicians and to grant them the attention and support they need, B-Jazz holds on to its main ambition: to encourage jazz (musicians) and contribute to the cultural development and future of our society.