On Friday, March 17, four Belgian jazz bands took the stage at 30CC/Schouwburg during the second preliminary round of B-Jazz International Contest. Knuets/Secula Quartet, KAU trio, Orson Claeys Quintet and Anti-Panopticon thrilled the Leuven Jazz audience. So did the jury consisting of Nabou Claerhout, Louise van den Heuvel and Maarten Weyler.

After careful consideration, while the musicians of Bus 5 got the Late Night Jam going, they cut the difficult knot. Anti-Panopticon will go as the second band to the finals of B-Jazz during Jazz in ‘t Park in September. Congratulations!

From the jury’s report:

“Wonderful: lots of different colors, varied places we were taken to. It was really a story. This is everything we missed in the previous bands….
With a clear, distinct own identity, sometimes very intimate but sometimes popping dynamics, impressionistic (piano) with often classical
touches, but all this in a beautiful and pleasant mix. Finally also a bass solo, though all alone … but very nice transition back
into the composition.
It started with a long piece, but a lot of beautiful things passed by thanks to an excellent balance. Then the next song was short again, and that’s just what you need: very nice compositions and when it’s allowed to be long, feel free. But if a piece can be short and concise, so be it. And so it is.
And just that comes across as very natural. Refreshing. Each musician had and got space, and so you made each other better. Rhythmically, melodically, harmonically… everything was covered.”

With that, we already know the two Belgian finalists: Anti-Panopticon and Elias D’hooge Trio (who won the preliminary round in Harelbeke earlier this month). In the finals from Thursday, September 7 to Saturday, September 9, they will compete against four international acts.

Thank you to all the musicians, volunteers and the 30CC crew for the fine cooperation.

fltr: Floris Kappeyne, Tijs Klaassen, Lennert Baerts & Jesse Dockx
winner preliminary round B-Jazz 2023 | 17 March 2023 – 30CC/Schouwburg (Leuven Jazz)
photo (c) Patrick Clerens
fltr: Nabou Claerhout (jury), Jesse Dockx, Tijs Klaassen, Floris Kappeyne, Lennert Baerts, Maarten Weyler (jury) & Louise van den Heuvel (jury)
photo (c) Patrick Clerens