Gent Jazz festival set for longest edition yet with international and local line-up

Ghent kicks off its annual jazz festival on Friday with a main stage and garden stage at the Bijloke site. The city's longest edition yet will feature 13 concert days and more than 40 Belgian artists among the international line-up.

The opening act of the 23rd edition is Canadian pianist and singer Diana Krall. Performances to follow include names such as Norah Jones, Brad Mehldau, Jamie Cullum, Bill Frisell and Joshua Redman.

"We are happy that we can spoil people with music for even longer," said Liesbeth Rubben, spokesperson for the event's organiser, Greenhouse Talent. The performance by Anohni and the Johnsons on Saturday is not to be missed, she says. “It is their first performance in 15 years in Belgium and the only one in the Benelux, so we are quite proud that they chose Ghent."

Space for new talent

Born in the UK and raised in Amsterdam and California, Anohni relocated to New York City in her teens, forming her group in 1998 with a focus on animist and eco-feminist themes. The group's genres span from electronic experimental to avant-classical, dance and soul.

In addition to top international performers, established Belgian names such as Amatorski, Gabriel Rios, Johannes Is His Name, Zap Mama and Melanie De Biasio will perform.


There are also opportunities for new acts. In the Young Jazz Talent competition on 11 July, the winner will receive a place on next year's bill and a performance at Ha Concerts, the former Ghent Trade Fair. Last year's winner was Aki, who will perform on the main stage on 11 July.

“For us, these collaborations are important to focus on the growth of young, home-grown artists," Rubbens says. "This year there will be more than 40 Belgian artists on stage. We are proud of that mix with top international players."

While several concerts are sold out, tickets are still available for many performances between 5 and 20 July.


#FlandersNewsService | Gent Jazz in 2023 © BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK

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