B-Jazz 2018


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 they chose composer and Peter Vermeersch for his unstoppable productivity and his artistic versatility.

winner Composition Prize B-Jazz 2018: ‘The One Step’ (Peter Hertmans)
Sabam for Culture and Muziekmozaïek are searching for new Belgian jazzthemes. This year the composition ‘Vertigo of the Fish’ by Peter Hertmans was chosen.

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…)

winner ‘Grand Prix 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.”


Donder (Belgium)

Inspired by the cries and whispers of the world, Donder weaves sparse layers of cinematographic atmospheres, exploring the acoustics of the piano-trio set-up to the fullest extent. Not only the band name, the Dutch word for thunder, but also their music is highly influenced by nature. Maneuvering around loose composed guidelines, they improvise their way into the unknown, making every concert a different experience.
In less than two years, the trio recorded two albums and finished two tours that took them to Portugal, Belgium and Denmark. In May 2016, debut album ‘Still’ came out and one year later they joined forces with Danish reed player Lars Greve to record the second album in a church in Copenhagen. In October 2017 Donder won the Storm! competition in Bruges, which resulted in a collaboration with KAAP, including plans for a third album on De Werf Records and a Jazzlab tour through Belgium in the beginning of 2019.

Stan Callewaert double bass | Harrison Steingueldoir piano | Casper Van de Velde drums

website | facebook | bandcamp | spotify

Marcin Pater Trio (Poland)

The Marcin Pater Trio was born in Music Academy in Katowice. A group of friends who met in one academy and playin together with different bands and setups. Leader of the band Marcin Pater graduted with special honours at the Academy of Music in Katowice in 2017. After playing with many different bands he decided to create his own band in a trio setup with Tomek Machanski on drums and Mateusz Szewczyk on double bass.
Marcin Pater Trio music is a simply harmony with lilting melodies and with an elaborate rythimc patterns. The music of this band is highly inspired by Gerald Clayton, Robert Glasper, Avishai Cohen and Lars Danielsson. Every member of the Marcin Pater Trio has achieved a lot in many different contests, concerts, festivals and audio session recordings.
Marcin Pater won the second place in the international jazz vibraphone competition, the first place in jazz improvization contest on ‘Jazz Baszta Festival’, a special honour in international jazz improvisation contest in Katowice, the first place in international vibraphone competition on ‘International Percussion Festival’ in Italy (Montebello Della Battaglia) and many others.
Mateusz Szewczyk is a student at the Music Academy in Katowice, under the guidance of the great polish bassist Adam Kowalewski, he won the international double bass competition in Czary as a very young musician and the ‘Grand Prix’ on the Jazz Krokus Festival. Now he’s one of the most red-hot bassists in Silesia region.
Tomek Machanski is the oldest one in the band, studying on Music Academy in Katowice. He played with many polish music stars, he’s a permanent member of Wojciech Pilichowski Band and he recorded over 20 albums with different artists in different stars. Tomek just fell in love with drums, he’s an owner of 13 different kind of drumsets, playing totaly different styles.
We are a pack of dear friends, not only on stage but also in personal life. We like to hang out together and now we’re heading for stages, festivals and competition. The band is different than others because of the vibraphone sound as a leading and the only harmonic instrument. We want to creat new and fesh music.

Mateusz Szewczyk double bass | Marcin Pater vibraphone | Tomek Machanski drums


Malstrom (Germany)

The Malstrom devours everything in its reach, be it light, sound or matter. It sucks everything into its vortex, drawing it deeper and deeper into the very center of the
But what do you find at the core, at the very bottom of the swirl? The eye of the storm? A void, sheer nothingness? Is it a place of calmness that contrasts the furious edges? Does the Malstrom ever end?
And most importantly: Are you ready to find out?
Malstrom won the Europäischer Burghauser Jazzpreis 2015 and the International Getxo Jazz Competition 2017.

Salim Javaid saxophone | Axel Zajac guitar | Jo Beyer drums

website | facebook | soundcloud

Kika Sprangers Large Ensemble (The Netherlands)

Saxophonist Kika Sprangers moves her audience with her lyrical, melodic way of playing and characteristic sound. Through her colourful and fascinating compositions she finds her voice to express herself and tells a powerful story to her listeners. Her authentic music has undertones of serenity and melancholy, enriched by royal harmonies that are complemented by solid grooves. In the Netherlands, she is recognized as one of the finest young talents in contemporary jazz.
In 2016 Sprangers completed her bachelor studies under the tuteledge of Toon Roos and Marc Scholten (lead alto of the Metropole Orchestra) at the Utrechts Conservatorium. She was awarded distinction (9 with honours) for her final exam concert in TivoliVredenburg. She took lessons and masterclasses with among many others Bob Sheppard, Bob Mintzer, Mark Guiliana and Jasper Blom.
During her musical studies she caught the eye of Martin Fondse (Buma Boy Edgar Award 2017) who selected her as the leader of the saxophone section in the ‘Nationaal Jeugd Jazz Orkest’ (NJJO). They have toured many countries and have played in several prominent jazzfestivals and performance venues such as North Sea Jazz Festival, Bimhuis and King’s Place (London). Futhermore they frequently worked with the Metropole Orchestra. The album ‘A Rosa’ was released in 2016 in collaboration with classical orchestra the Nederlands Jeugd Orkest under the musical direction of Steffen Schorn and Martin Fondse. During the project ‘Jong Metropole’ the NJJO worked alongside renowned conductor, composer and arranger Jules Buckley (Metropole Orchestra).

Benjamin Torbijn drums | Danny van Ruitenburg bassguitar | Eric Brugmans guitar | Manuel Wouthuysen piano & keys | Kika Sprangers soprano and alto saxophone | Marit van der Lei vocals | Sanne Rambags vocals | Anna Serierse vocals | Emilio Tritto bass clarinet | Koen Smits trumpet/flugelhorn | Fanni Posa French horn | Maite Neri flute

website | facebook | soundcloud | youtube


Dumbo Station was founded in October 2015 by guitarist Paolo Zou, pianist and keybordist Benjamin Ventura and bass player Stefano Rossi. In late December 2015, drummer Davide Savarese joined the band.
The band’s compositions range between modern jazz, funk and nu soul. Often, in the past years, the band became a sextet, featuring trumpet player Francesco Fratini and saxophonist Alessio Bernardi.
Between 2016 and 2017, Dumbo Station collaborated with some of the most important and influential jazz and hip hop players of our time: Maurizio Giammarco, Dario Deidda, Gregory Hutchinson, Danno (Colle der Fomento), Michele Papadia, Fabio Zeppetella, Pierpaolo Principato, Stefano Sabatini, Phil Aelony, Davide Shorty, Lello Panico, Antonello Sorrentino, Marta Colombo are just some of the few names. At the same time, the band was involved in the making of its first studio album, “Tirana Cafè”, which will be released on January 25th, 2018 by Alfa Music label. The album, which featured Maurizio Giammarco, Vincenzo Presta, Elvio Ghigliordini and Davide Shorty as guests, recorded in summer 2017, is an extremely eclectic opera and consists of original compositions, ranging from traditional jazz to modern jazz, nu soul and funk music, always keeping improvisation and interplay as the roots of its way of thinking.

Paolo Zou guitar | Benjamin Ventura piano & keys | Stefano Rossi bass | Davide Savarese drums

facebook | bandcamp | youtube


The Martin Salemi trio offers us a trip through the history of jazz. The first album ‘Short Stories’ is a collection of stylish compositions that alternate between ballads, swing, asymmetrical grooves and rolling rhythms. A few references can be heard from the first measures of Confidence: pianist Nathalie Loriers and above all Enrico Pieranunzi, due to the light touch and his precious way of combining jazz and classical music into something as light and velvety as a summer breeze. But then, right in the middle of the tune, the pianist suddenly heads in another direction, picking up the tempo and welcoming in the fun of swing, running off long suites of improvised notes with the ease of a Keith Jarrett before finally coming – like magic – back to the nonchalance of the opening theme.
The rest of the repertoire proves one thing: Martin Salemi is not a man of one style. From Lennie Tristano, whose singularity and exceptional agility are evoked on ‘Lennie’s Pennies’, to the rolling rhythms of ‘Regina’ whose percussive chord-based introduction could be a nod to the bluesy exoticism of the great Horace Silver, we travel easily through the history of jazz. Whatever their genre or the influences that shape them, the leader’s compositions are all delightful. Not only do they have character – neither demonstrative nor affected – they are also memorable by their melodies, their precise structure and their ability to fully exploit their chosen format.
Consisting of bassist Mike Delaere pegged to the drummer Toine Cnockaert, the rhythm section is versatile and inspired. They amplify the leader’s nostalgic side on the splendid ‘Early Morning’ and then powerfully underline the impetuous rhythms of ‘Working Summer’ (listen in particular to Cnockaert’s drum solo). In parallel, note the sleeve illustration by the leader’s father, Jean-Claude Salemi, in a lively style that evokes both the popular style of a Maurice Tillieux crossed with Yves Chaland and a French série noire movie.

Martin Salemi piano | Mike Delaere double bass | Toine Cnokaert drums

facebook | soundcloud | youtube

These are the names of all the bands and/or musicians who applied for B-Jazz International Contest 2018.

In total we received more than 100 applications, of which 77 (from 19 countries) meet the contest rules and completed their application.

The jury chose from these 77 applicants 2 bands/musicians to play the finals of B-Jazz on 16 and 17 March 2018.

The applicants are (in alphabetical order):

  • 1000 (Norway)
  • A.I.M.A. quartet (Italy)
  • Adam Jarzmik Quintet (Poland)
  • Adriano Koch (Switzerland)
  • Alistair Payne Quartet (Netherlands)
  • Ana Caral Maza (France)
  • Anders Fjeldsted Sextet (Denmark)
  • ATA (Italy)
  • Aurora (Spain)
  • Bokeh Acoustic Trio (Poland)
  • Brodie Jarvie Quintet (United Kingdom)
  • Capital Focus Jazz Band (United States of America)
  • Cordelia Tapping Group (United States of America)
  • D H D Trio (Netherlands)
  • Dahl / Ford / Loeb (Denmark)
  • Danil Zverkhanovsky Trio (Germany)
  • Dmitry Makhlin (Russia)
  • Dominik Kisiel Exploration Quartet (Poland)
  • DYKI LYS (Ganna Gryniva Ensemble) (Germany)
  • Echoes (United States of America)
  • Fat-Suit (United Kingdom)
  • Forlorn Elm (Switzerland)
  • Fort Hill (United States of America)
  • Fu Ping Liu (Belgium)
  • Gottfried di Franco (Belgium)
  • HABERECHT 4 (Germany)
  • Heavy Therapy (Germany)
  • Jam Experiment (United Kingdom)
  • Johannes Metzger Quartet (Germany)
  • Just Another Foundry (Germany)
  • KADAWA (United States of America)
  • Klara Cloud & The Vultures (Poland)
  • Kosmos (Denmark)
  • Kristina Barta Trio (Czech Republic)
  • KRUIDKOEK (Netherlands)
  • Louis Matute 4tet (Switzerland)
  • Ludanyi Quartet (Hungary)
  • Marcin Pater Trio (Poland)
  • Margaux Vranken + strings (Belgium)
  • Martin Salemi Trio (Belgium)
  • Matteo Di Leonardo 4tet (Belgium)
  • Minua (Switzerland)
  • Mireille (Switzerland)
  • Monoglot (Switzerland)
  • Musina Ebobissé Quintet (Germany)
  • NAU Trio (Germany)
  • Obradovic-Tixier Duo (Switzerland)
  • OGGY & the Phonics (Switzerland)
  • Olga Amelchenko Quintet (Germany)
  • Otto Kintet (Belgium)
  • OWN YOUR BONES (Germany)
  • Pasquale Mandia Trio (Italy)
  • Pawel Kaminski Quartet (Poland)
  • PULL (Netherlands)
  • Sans Soucis (United Kingdom)
  • Shakai (Norway)
  • Skeltr (United Kingdom)
  • Skulski | Gerigk | Roth (Germany)
  • Solomons Kosmos (Germany)
  • SoundMeck (Poland)
  • STILL IN THE WOODS (Germany)
  • Teis Semey Group (Netherlands)
  • Tom Syson Sextet (United Kingdom)
  • Trio Mezcal (Italy)
  • the bottomline (Germany)
  • The Jake Hart Trio (United States of America)
  • The K-K Duo (United States of America)
  • The Passengers (Netherlands)
  • Trillmann (Germany)
  • Tríptico (Colombia)
  • Trois Imaginaires (Switzerland)
  • Two Violins (Ukraine)
  • Veronika ChiChi Quartet (Lithuania)
  • Vortex Kwintet (Belgium)
  • Yvonne Mwale (Zambia)
  • Zeñel (United Kingdom)


A jury judges all applications and once done they choose the best out of them.
These bands are then accompanied by the bands that the international network of B-Jazz selects to take part in the finals.

During the finals the members of the international professional jury judge all six finalists.
They pay attention to (amongst others) technical skills, diversity, individuality and originality.
The interpretation of the obligated composition (‘The One Step‘ by Peter Hertmans) gets also judged.

The members of the jury for the preselection are:

Peter Hertmans Belgium

guitarist, composer, coordinator of the jazz departmentof LUCA | School of Arts (Leuven, Belgium) and teacher jazz guitar at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels (Belgium)
Maarten Weyler Belgium

chairman of the music education & training at School of Arts/Royal Conservatory Gent (Belgium) and teacher at the Istanbul University State Conservatory (Turkey)

For the finals the members of the jury are:

Matti Austen Netherlands

co-programmer Amersfoort Jazz Festival / International Laureate Festival / Amersfoort Jazz Heritage Walks
Giovanni Candia Italy

educator jazz guitar and theoretical subjects at Saint Louis College of Music (Rome, Italy)
Jan Formannoy Netherlands

guitarist and main subject teacher guitar at Maastricht Conservatory (Netherlands) / chairman of the B-Jazz jury
Peter Hertmans Belgium

guitarist, composer, coordinator of the jazz departmentof LUCA | School of Arts (Leuven, Belgium) and teacher jazz guitar at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels (Belgium)
Sabine Kühlich Germany

singer, composer and teacher jazz vocals at the Jazz Voice Hochschule für Musik Würzburg in Germany
Leon Lhoëst Netherlands

pianist, composer/arranger, editor for Jazzmozaïek magazine and teacher at the Conservatories of Gent (Belgium) and Maastricht (Netherlands)
Teresa Luján Spain

teacher jazz vocals at the Superior Conservatory of Music of Navarra (Spain)
Patrick Mortier Belgium

musician, producer and publisher / representative for Sabam (for Culture)
Filip Verneert Belgium

musician / representative for Muziekmozaïek Folk & Jazz / secretary of the jury