Martin Salemi Trio wins B-Jazz International Contest 2018

With more than 100 visitors on the first evening of the finals, another 150 on the second and more than 6 000 online viewers for our facebook live streams, we look back at a successful 39th edition of this international contest.

During three days 28 young jazz musicians from Italy, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands and Belgium stayed in Leuven (Belgium). Three days in which they got to know each other and played music, with their own bands as well as together with musicians of the other bands. All of this in the presence of the members of the jury and Philip Catherine, the godfather of B-Jazz International Contest.
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.

No contests without prizes…
These are the winners that received a prize yesterday, during the award ceremony presented by Mark Lefever.

Peter Vermeersch, Filip Verneert and Mark Lefever


winner Jazzmozaïek Award 2018: Peter Vermeersch

Every year Jazzmozaïek (the jazzmagazine published by Muziekmozaïek) chooses a Belgian musician that stands out on the fields of renewal, rejuvenation and broadening of the genre.
This year Peter Vermeersch takes home this award for his unstoppable productivity and his artistic versatility.





Filip Verneert, Peter Hertmans & Patrick Mortier


winner Composition Prize B-Jazz 2018: ‘The One Step‘ (Peter Hertmans)

Sabam for Culture and Muziekmozaïek are searching for new Belgian jazzthemes.
The composition ‘The One Step’ by Peter Hertmans gets this year’s Composition Prize.






Peter Hertmans & Kika Sprangers


winner Sabam for Culture Prize: Kika Sprangers Large Ensemble

The best live interpretation of ‘The One Step’ is rewarded too and this prize goes to Kika Sprangers Large Ensemble from The Netherlands.
The members of the jury were impressed and this is what Peter Hertmans has to say about it:

“Composing is very important in my musical life. For me it is the ultimate musical self expression.
I hope to be an example for youngsters who are also in search of their deepest identity.
I found it utterly fascinating to see how all finalists of B-Jazz reacted to my composition.
Kika Sprangers and her Large Ensemble gave the most positive response with her beautiful arrangement. Thanks for that.
It maybe wasn’t the most obvious composition, but after all B-Jazz participants are of such high level that I think it is appropriate.”



Then the moment everybody’s waiting for: the winner of the finals of B-Jazz International Contest 2018!

First of all the jury had to say something about all the six finalists:
“All bands played very good. There was a great diversity in styles and there was a lot of creativity in the bands. All of them are good instrumentalists and everybody did their best to come up with original music.”

And then… (drumroll…)

Martin Salemi Trio


winner ‘First Prize Albert Michiels’: Martin Salemi Trio

“What a good band! They sound beautiful.
There’s an excellent interplay and they have good compositions.
The pianist is a very good improviser in his style and the beautiful concept was very well executed.
The jury enjoyed the concert very much.”


Soon you’ll be able to watch the complete concerts of all six finalists on this website and the B-Jazz YouTube channel.