Flat Earth Society USA tour 2014:
21/06/2014: Rochester Jazz Festival 22/06/2014: Rochester Jazz Festival 24/06/2014: Le Poisson Rouge, New York 25/06/2014: Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, Pittsburgh 26/06/2014: The Jam Factory, Toronto 27/06/2014: Ottawa Jazz Festival
"The music is full of bizarre and shocking juxtapositions…but once you’ve got over the sheer oddity, the juxtaposition becomes poetic, though in a surreal way. It’s as if a night scene in a Raymond Chandler novel were suddenly invaded by a flock of seagulls. Vermeersch’s approach is risky, which is what makes it so energising.” (Ivan Hewett — The Telegraph) “Flat Earth Society, a tight 15-piece band led by clarinettist and composer Peter Vermeersch, late of X-Legged Sally. Two brilliant sets confirmed how accomplished they are, twisting rapidly from theatrical bombast to tenderness, collective improv, mad movie-chase music and back to swinging anthems... Wet is Wet presented jazz as envisaged by Goebbels. Vermeersch grins impishly, like a young Daniel Libeskind, as he directs his close-knit ensemble. He is a monster talent, with an outrageously original band.” (John L. Walters — The Guardian, about the concert at the London Jazz Festival, Nov 2007)
FES was founded in 1998, when no-nonsense artist, former architect, clarinettist, saxophonist, keyboard player, composer and producer Peter Vermeersch, wanted to explore new horizons after having convinced music lovers all over the word with Maximalist! and the cult legend band X-legged Sally. Vermeersch, who worked with international artists like Josse De Pauw, Wim Vandekeybus, Vincent Bal, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Fred Frith, The Simpletones and Jazzwork from Berlin and wrote music for the Arditti Quartet, Prima La Musica and the Smith Quartet, assembled a pack of inspired and inimitable musicians, forming a big band which has nowadays become much more than just a big band. Peter Vermeersch included, the band now consists of a permanent group of 14 musicians: Stefaan Blancke (trombone), Benjamin Boutreur (saxes), Berlinde Deman (bass tuba), Bart Maris (trumpet), Michel Mast (saxes), Marc Meeuwissen (trombone), Kristof Roseeuw (double bass), Luc Van Lieshout (trumpet), Bruno Vansina (saxes), Peter Vandenberghe (keyboards & compositions), Teun Verbruggen (percussion), Wim Willaert (accordion) and Tom Wouters (clarinet, percussion). Occasionally this group is completed by guest musicians: Esther Lybeert (vocals) and/or Pierre Vervloesem (guitar).
The music of FES, varying from strictly written sheet music to liberating improvisation, is 95% homemade. Streaks of music of other composers are used as inspiration, frequently arranged, adapted and integrated into FES compositions, adding a wide range of atmospheres and styles to the eclectic FES universe. FES, who dares to flirt with other disciplines as theatre and film and owns the ability to seduce a number of different audiences, from more select jazz listeners to a wild young rock public, is at its best live on stage. Toots Thielemans experienced their joy of playing, their humour and technical skill and joined them on stage during Jazz Middelheim 2003. He refers to FES as a ‘a band of rebels!’ FES must be the most versatile and at the same time the most daring big band phenomena ever.