Home » Jazz Musicians » Brussels Jazz Orchestra

Brussels Jazz Orchestra

It might be unexpected but the Brussels Jazz orchestra (BJO) is not the kind of jazz orchestra that stick to standards. We prefer to achieve the highest level by composing original music, creating unique arrangements and playing inventively as well as passionately.

In fact, it really is jazz with a dynamic orchestral sound, with a classic strength in which each musician is also a brilliant soloist. Call it an ‘orchestrated passion for jazz’ that incites BJO to create world-class music.

Who comes to play with BJO depends on the project. In addition to BJO’s own productions, we work with well known musicians from all over the world. In that way, BJO has established a reputation at home and on relevant jazz stages abroad.

Since 1999 the Brussels Jazz Orchestra is recognised and subsidised by the Flemish Government. Brussels Jazz Orchestra is orchestra in residence at Flagey Brussels.

BJO performed with Philip Catherine, Bert Joris, deFilharmonie ,Toots Thielemans, Brass Band Willebroek, Tutu Puoane, Brussels Philharmonic, David Linx, Vlaams Radio Koor, Veerle Dobbelaere, Michel Herr, Michaël De Cock, ’t Arsenaal en Richard Galliano in own productions.

BJO invited Maria Schneider (US), Kenny Werner (US), Dave Liebman (US), Dave Douglas (US), Gianluigi Trovesi (IT), Gustavo Bergalli (ARG), Norma Winstone (GB), McCoy Tyner (US), Maria Joao (Portugal), Kenny Wheeler (GB), Lee Konitz (US) and others.


Album Review

Brussels Jazz Orchestra With Camille Bertault: Gainsbourg

Read "Gainsbourg" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

A più di trent'anni dalla morte, Serge Gainsbourg resta una figura particolarmente amata dal pubblico francese. La sua tomba al cimitero di Montparnasse è tra le più visitate e perennemente ricolma di fiori freschi. Nato Lucien Ginsburg da emigranti ebrei di origine turca e russa, iniziò negli anni cinquanta a esibirsi nei locali come pianista e intrattenitore, iniziando quella carriera di cantante e autore (e poi attore, regista, performer) che lo portò al successo internazionale con la canzone “Je t'aime... ...

Album Review

Brussels Jazz Orchestra: Wild Beauty

Read "Wild Beauty" reviewed by Maurizio Zerbo

Benchè candidato alla vincita di un Grammy Award, Wild Beauty, non è certo uno dei migliori CD della Brussels Jazz Orchestra. A conti fatti, i due prestigiosi ospiti non costituiscono il valore aggiunto di un progetto che naviga senza grandi colpi d'ala in un quieto mainstream. Joe Lovano è un magnifico solista, ma le sue composizioni non sembrano esaltare le qualità della migliore big-band jazz europea di oggi. L'arrangiatore Gil Goldstein è abile nell'organizzare il discorso musicale, finendo però con ...

Album Review

Brussels Jazz Orchestra / Royal Flemish Philharmonic: Dangerous Liaison

Read "Dangerous Liaison" reviewed by Jack Bowers

I am loath to use the word masterpiece when appraising any musical endeavor, but there is simply no better way to describe these remarkable compositions for big band and symphony orchestra by the superb Belgian composer/trumpeter Bert Joris, which together frame the definitive answer to anyone who says there's not much happening on the European jazz scene.

Joris was commissioned by the Brussels Jazz Orchestra and Royal Flemish Philharmonic to write two compositions for big band and orchestra, and they ...

Album Review

Brussels Jazz Orchestra: Countermove

Read "Countermove" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The Brussels Jazz Orchestra, which has welcomed in the past such eminent composer/arrangers as Bill Holman, Maria Schneider, Kenny Werner and Phil Woods, and has played the music of noted Belgians Bert Joris and Michel Herr, turns for a second time on this new album to works by its talented artistic director/lead alto saxophonist, Frank Vaganée, whose musical expertise is undeniably comparable to those already named.

Vaganée's elaborate charts run the gamut from blues to ballads, shuffle rhythms to flat-out ...

Album Review

The Brussels Jazz Orchestra: The Music of Bert Joris

Read "The Music of Bert Joris" reviewed by Jack Bowers

We’ve sung the praises of the Brussels Jazz Orchestra before ( The September Sessions ) but never so loudly as for this new two–disc set on which the BJO plays the music of the marvelous Belgian composer / arranger / trumpeter Bert Joris. And what music it is! Melodically rich, harmonically sophisticated, invariably bright and swinging — in short, everything one could wish from an enterprising and resourceful big–band craftsman, which Joris certainly is. His sunny compositions are so perfectly ...

Album Review

Brussels Jazz Orchestra: Live

Read "Live" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Although Belgium doesn’t leap readily to mind when the conversation turns to hotbeds of Jazz, that country has produced a handful of outstanding Jazz musicians — Toots Thielemans, Bobby Jaspar and a few others — and boasts at least one world–class big band, the Brussels Jazz Orchestra. On Live, recorded in May ’97, the BJO performs three compositions by one of Belgium’s leading composer/arranger/players, trumpeter Bert Joris, one by saxophonist Erwin Vann and another by the orchestra’s leader/alto saxophonist, Frank ...

Read more articles


Half Note Records Announces A Release From The Brussels Jazz Orchestra Featuring Joe Lovano "Wild Beauty"

Half Note Records Announces A Release From The Brussels Jazz Orchestra Featuring Joe Lovano "Wild Beauty"

Source: hubtone PR

AVAILABLE IN STORES AND ONLINE SEPTEMBER 10, 2013 Following its triumphant partnership with pianist Kenny Werner (Institute of Higher Learning), the award-winning Brussels Jazz Orchestra turns its attention to Joe Lovano, long heralded a towering soloist among tenor saxophonists. Wild Beauty illuminates the composer side of Lovano’s musicianship, featuring a palette of earthy tunes previously recorded with small groups, but now re-imagined for the 17-piece BJO. Gil Goldstein wrote the evocative arrangements. The album is a summational work, filled with ...



Brussels Jazz Orchestra (BJO) to play with Kenny Werner at New York’s Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in October

Brussels Jazz Orchestra (BJO) to play with Kenny Werner at  New York’s Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in October

Source: hubtone PR

The BJO is coming back to New York! From October 26-31, the prestigious Brussels Jazz Orchestra plays at Lincoln Center's Dizzy's Club Coca Cola with award winning pianist and composer, Kenny Werner. After a long absence in the States, the European orchestra from—you guessed it!—Brussels, capital of Belgium and Europe, will unleash its virtuosity in New York in a week-long appearance at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Under the direction of Frank Vaganée, the Orchestra introduces Werner's brand new compositions and ...



New Album of the Brussels Jazz Orchestra: "The Music of Michel Herr"

New Album of the Brussels Jazz Orchestra: "The Music of Michel Herr"

Source: All About Jazz

The Brussels Jazz Orchestra, one of Europe's most respected big bands, has a new album out, titled The Music of Michel Herr. It offers a wide overview of the music for big band written in recent years by the Belgian pianist, composer and arranger Michel Herr, who also conducted the band during the recording sessions. Released on February 22, 2008 by the Belgian label Werf, the double cd features 9 single pieces and 2 suites, some rich and interesting writing ...


Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


Self Produced


Wild Beauty

Half Note Records



De Werf



Richie Cole
saxophone, alto
Gordon Goodwin
composer / conductor
Gerald Wilson
composer / conductor
Bill Holman
composer / conductor
Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra
band / ensemble / orchestra

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.