Willem Suilen ensemble

Willem Suilen piano, composition – Victor Pevernagie violin – Julien Gillain violin – Coline Meulemans viola – Joachim Jamaer cello – Filippe Caporali double-bass – Pierre Hurty drums

Reinier Baas & Ben Van Gelder

20h00-21h00 : Willem Suilen

21h00-21h30 : PAUSE

21h30-22h30 : Reinier Baas & Ben Van Gelder

The Toots Thielemans Jazz Award, now in its eleventh year, highlights the successful partnership between BOZAR, the Royal Conservatory of Brussels and the Friends of the Conservatory over the last year. The purpose of this prestigious award is to encourage and promote the Conservatory's creative and aspiring young talent and to help launch the winners’ careers on a national or even international level. To that end, the winners receive a cash prize of €5000.

Jazz legend Toots Thielemans saw it as an honour to be associated with this award and always took a keen interest in the musical exploits of the past winners.

This year's winner, who was chosen unanimously by a panel of professional jazz teachers, is Dutch pianist Willem Suilen, a 2019 graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. Tonight Willem appears with his jazz trio accompanied by a classical string quartet. He performs his own lyrical compositions and richly coloured arrangements.

Specially for this year's TTJA concert we are offering the winner the chance to collaborate with the musician of his dreams: leading guitarist Reinier Baas from the Netherlands, of whom the authoritative magazine Jazzism writes:

“A breathtakingly talented guitarist, who is able to impress and touch with his instrument and a gifted composer who dares to take risk on top of this.”

He is joined by his saxophonist buddy Ben Van Gelder for the second part of this unique concert, where they blend improvisation with technology and (electronic) instruments to add a remarkable new dimension to their performance.