We couldn’t contain our excitement as soon as it was confirmed that Feeërieën would return to our beloved Brussels Park (Warandepark). From August 28th to September 1st, we will again take over Brussels’ most historic, evocative, and enchanting green space.
Once a private hunting ground, known as a “warande,” the park features a delightful bandstand that was built in 1841 by the renowned Belgian architect Jean-Pierre Cluysenaar, who is also recognized for designing the Royal Saint-Hubert Galleries. For over a century, this charming structure has hosted fanfare and brass band concerts. Feeërieën, for its part, has embraced modern and eclectic musical styles since its inception, creating a captivating blend of contemporary and diverse music.
This year, we’ve put together a line-up of artists from Niger to Iceland, the Dominican Republic, Japan, Guatemala, Scotland, and Jamaica. Just as diverse is the range of music, spanning genres from dub to neoclassical, electronica, desert blues, South African gqom, hip-hop, amapiano, and the sound of Scottish smallpipes.
We’ll be kicking things off with two grandmasters of contemporary dub: Kevin Martin, who recently moved to Brussels and performs under the alias The Bug, and Paul. St. Hilaire (aka Tikiman), the iconic Dominican reggae vocalist. The latter just delivered his best work on his latest album and is obligatory listening for fans of Rhythm & Sound and dub creator King Tubby.
Under the moniker ‘The Art Of Listening’, AB (in collaboration with B-Classic) presents a unique production that brings together two exceptional musical personalities: theatre-maker, opera director, and “wannabe counter tenor” Benjamin Abel Meirhaeghe and Icelandic producer-composer Valgeir Sigurðsson (credits: Björk, Feist). Their captivating and pared-down 60-minute song cycle lies at the intersection of electronic and contemporary classical music.
On Wednesday, there will be a tribute to jazz afro futurist Sun Ra x Khalab's afro futurism. Italian producer Raffaele Constantino - aka Khalab - has been building a rock-solid reputation in recent years with his organic fusion of traditional African sounds, deep bass work, jazz and heavily layered & dense electronic textures. It immediately earned him a spot in AB during BRDCST.
The 50th anniversary of the legendary jazz album "Space Is The Place" presents a perfect opportunity to shine a spotlight on the cosmic jazz of the Afrofuturist genius Sun Ra. Emanative, a nine-piece collective from London, takes on the task of reimagining Sun Ra's masterpiece in its entirety. Their performance at Feeërieën marks the European debut of this project, which they previously showcased at The London Jazz Café earlier this year.
We keep it worldly with the desert blues of Niger-based Etran De L’Aïr, whose debut album, N°1, topped The New Yorker’s “Best Music of 2020” list. Meanwhile, you can look forward to a performance by cellist Mabe Fratti, who gave us one of the most extraordinary works of the past year. And, yes, Scottish bagpipes will be heard echoing from the mouth of Ireland’s Brighde Chaimbeul. Caroline Polachek already fell for her sound: “I have a soft spot for bagpipes: when I hear them, I have to cry. I played her debut, The Reeling, to death – so that’s lots and lots of tears.”
DJ Blck Mamba takes charge of the closing evening and is joined by soulmates like Rokia Bamba and Lateena, the Swiss dancehall queen with Jamaican roots. Expect a sultry and rousing wave of amapiano, Angolan Afrohouse, Afrobeat, and the Kwaito that is exceptionally popular with the Black youth of Soweto. A dash of hip-hop and some steamy dancehall completes the scene.
Oh, did we already mention that this is the 19th edition and also entirely free of charge? And that you can also visit our Bar Chaud during our free summer festivals? Bar Chaud is the new hangout where you can enjoy something cool every day. You’re welcome from Monday to Friday, right beside the bandstand in the Brussels Park. The complete programme will follow soon. See you there.