The end of November and start of December promises to be quite eclectic at BOZAR: the Brussels-based cultural center will be hosting 4th Stream, a fresh two-day mini-festival dedicated to the new wave of jazz, in all its splendidly diversified forms resulting in a wicked blend. Following American composer Gunther Schuller’s reasoning puts it, if you look at classical music as being the first stream and jazz the second, any music that intertwines and uses the two genres make for the third stream. BOZAR in turn takes it a step further and transcends almost all of the musical genres with a newfound fourth stream, from hip-hop to funk and nu jazz to minimalist psychedelic music. With that in mind, we dissect 4th Stream‘s healthy and robust line-up into five things not to miss. See you there.
Friday night will see a friendly American welcome to warm up the crowd: headlining act James Brandon Lewis Trio will be joined by Anthony Pirog to shake things up. Hip-hop sounds from the 90s and influences from blues and gospel are enhanced with rock and jazz through Pirog’s guitar improvisations. They’ll be taking over from the local opening act MDC III, saxophonist Matthias de Craene’s trio comprising the experimental percussions of fellow drummers Simon Segers and Lennert Jacobs.
Alongside the James Brandon Lewis Trio show, Dutch outfit Jameszoo Quintet will be simultaneously performing on 4th Stream’s second stage, providing unheard compositions of sounds and beats for guaranteed grooves. Signees on Flying Lotus’ famed Brainfeeder label, Jameszoo and co.’s funkiness will surely have you mesmerised from start to finish.
Make sure to stick around for British jazz quartet Dinosaur, rounding off the first night. They’ll be taking you to new musical worlds through jazz and rock with heavy syths and furious drumming, not to mention award-wining trumpet player Laura Jurd wrapping it all together nicely into a beautiful cohesion.
Saturday’s last evening of the festival will be welcoming the New Yorker band Thiefs who transpire the very character of the 4th stream: mixing both English and French vocals to create a truly cosmopolitan blend of jazzy hip-hop, the trio promises a perfect appetiser for the night. And keeping the ball rolling, Headhunter will be following their act, with original members Bill Summers on percussion and Mike Clarke on drums gracing the stage.
The audience is going to have to find a way of being in two places at once though, as Belgian duo Schntzl will be enticing you for your attention with their dreamy piano and percussions. Finally, what better way is there to finish off a music festival centred around the new generation of jazz players and makers than with the quality blend of jazz, hip-hop and soul thanks to the talent of British alto-saxophonist and MC Soweto Kinch? By bringing all these truly unique artists together, 4th Stream manages to reinforce the notion that jazz, at its core, is a beautiful amalgamation of different styles and influences, and offers a programme filled with a great mix of contemporary musical engineers and artists.