‘Flight of the Black Zebra’, that is the name you should be looking out for! This is the Conservatoire ensemble that will take the stage at Jazz Middelheim on 15 August, together with Jakob Bro. Cedric de Lat (trumpet), Milan Verbist (piano), Jasper de Roeck (double bass) and Simon van Brandt (drums) will open the last festival day in the company of the Danish guitar virtuoso. The first coaching sessions already took place in May. The students -together with Bro- then created the framework for their own compositions and arrangements that they will perform at Jazz Middelheim.
Flight of the Black Zebra
1 student and 3 brand new alumni, that's the recipe for Flight of the Black Zebra. As individual musicians, they have certainly earned their stripes.
Cedric De Lat's love for jazz started early. At the age of ten he started playing trumpet with Lode Mertens. Eight years later De Lat went to the conservatories of Ghent and Antwerp, where he just finished his master's degree. Cedric is a member of several bands and formations, including Jake Walker, IMPAKT and Grand Picture Palace, the Belgian jazz ensemble led by alumna Anneleen Boehme.
Milan Verbist is the founder of the Milan Verbist Trio, formed in 2016, together with Jef Manderveld and Simon Van Brandt, his fellow students at de! Kunsthumaniora at the time. Meanwhile, they are all studying at the Antwerp Conservatoire, where Milan is also part of the Blue Bop Quintet and the Cobalt Trio. Outside the conservatoire, Milan plays the jazz piano in various bands.
Jasper De Roeck only started as a jazz double bass player in 2017, a late beginning which has certainly not affected him in the least. In 2019 he won the Sabam for Culture prize with the jazz ensemble Serendip and in the same year Jasper packed his bags for a year of study at The Royal Academy of Music in London. In 2020 he graduated from the Antwerp Conservatoire. Meanwhile, Jasper is a member of several jazz ensembles and is also active as a classical double bass player with the Flanders Youth Orchestra, among others.
Simon van Brandt is a natural born drummer who feels right at home in many jazz ensembles. He is often asked to provide the rhythm section, for instance with the Milan Verbist Trio and Unfinished Business. He also drums for Jungle Roots, a roots reggae band from Antwerp.
Jakob Bro is a world-class Danish guitarist and composer. Bro has 16 recordings to his name, has won numerous awards at home and abroad and has worked with Joe Lovano (coach in 2021), Joey Baron, Mark Turner, Ben Street and Kurt Rosenwinkel, to name a few. In the spring of 2021 Jakob Bro released the widely acclaimed album Uma Elmo together with Arve Henriksen and Jorge Rossy.
Making music in a broader sense, that's what will happen at Jazz Middelheim this summer. For its 41st edition, the oldest jazz festival in the country boasts surprising names such as Iggy Pop, Thurston Moore Group, Fred Hersch and many other eminent musicians. Once again, our jazz department is fully determined to hold its own among all these greats. There is no lack of talent within the school. A first look at the line-up reveals that Jazz Middelheim will once again be a real alumni party: Blackwave, Grand Picture Palace, Bert Joris ft. Sam Joris Octet, Lander & Adriaan ... All these bands and ensembles represent the jazz department of the Antwerp Conservatoire!
On 15 August at 12.45h the party starts in Park Den Brandt. Don't miss it! Tickets and info via jazzmiddelheim.be.