La Fanfare du Belgistan

La Fanfare du Belgistan

BandWorldFolk

The Belgistan, a small autonomous (and purely fictional) region of Eastern Belgium, proudly presents its Fanfare: an ensemble of five horns and two percussionists bringing the unique sounds of Belgistani music to the world audience.

Biography

The Belgistan, a small autonomous (and purely fictional) region of Eastern Belgium, proudly presents its Fanfare: an ensemble of five horns and two percussionists bringing the unique sounds of Belgistani music to the world audience. Its hellish dances, wild and mysterious rhythms, and hypnotic melodies will appeal both to lovers of Arab and Gypsy music and to fans of jazz. Their classic and exotic musical instruments (soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, trumpet, sousaphone, derbouka, tapan, karkabas, guembri and many more) produce the most eccentric sounds and eclectic experiences: from traditional Gypsy songs to original and modern compositions, as well as Asian-inspired groove music and contemporary improvisation. The mood is joyous, even dizzying. Trance and dance come together for an unforgettable experience.

The seven Belgistani musicians have been musical partners for over ten years. They started as Orange Kazoo, a jazz-rock band created in 1996 which performed hundreds of concerts throughout Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, and released an eponymous record in 2001 on the label AZETO, distributed by AMG Belgium.

In September 2001, after some traveling around Eastern Europe, the musicians decided to create a small brass band, similar to those they had seen in Macedonia. They started out playing in the streets and at private parties. But success came rapidly and the group soon counted fans all over Europe after performing in Spain (a week in Barcelona), France (lots of local concerts), and Italy (a week in the Lucania Buskers Festival)

A landmark in the Fanfare's career was meeting the French chanson band, Les Ogres De Barback, which hired La Fanfare du Belgistan as their backing orchestra, and together they played main stages at the biggest and most prestigious festivals across France (Bobital, Furia, Couvre-Feu, Les francofolies, Les nuits Botaniques, Couleur Café, Fête de la musique, among others.) They participated in the recording of Les Ogres de Barback’s 2004 release, "terrain vague", which sold 50,000 copies on the Irfan label, and the two groups collaborated on a live recording in 2005, also released on Irfan.

In 2007 they made their maiden voyage to North America, performing at Festival International de Louisiane in Lafayette, LA in April, and Festival D’Ete in Quebec City, QC in July. Later summer appearances that year include the Francofolies in La Rochelle, France and Spa, Belgium.

The Fanfare has recorded a new album, to be released in May 2009. Although horns and drums stay at the heart of their music, the soulful Belgistani sound has become richer with the addition of some electric instruments and the inclusion of guest musicians from the wonderfully dense and colorful Belgian scene.

Discography

"Orange Kazoo" 1991
"La Fanfare du Belgistan" 2003
"terrain vague" with Les Ogres de Barback, 2004
Live Recording, in collaboration with Les Ogres, 2005
"Musiques et Danses du Belgistan" May 2009

Set List

two 45 minute sets