Opening Night

Fred Hersch, Cinema Paradiso ft. Jozef Dumoulin, Antoine Pierre Vaague & Nabou Claerhout - Lynn Cassiers

online concert
Sat 20/03/2021 - 20:00
+/- 3.5 hrs

Ticket prices

€ 10 (approx. 12 USD)
€ 2 for Leuven UiTpass reduction rate (not accessible internationally)

Your ticket will grant you 72 hours of access to the online concert (until Tuesday, March 23rd, 20.00h).
You'll receive your unique login by e-mail on the day before the concert.
You can watch all four sets in succession, or select and (re)watch a particular concert.
FAQ on online concerts

We kick off the 2021 online edition of Leuven Jazz with a deluxe streaming night.
In line with the festival's pedigree, we'll combine a selection of Belgium's finest in jazz with an international headliner, pianist Fred Hersch. 


  • Cinema Paradiso ft. Jozef Dumoulin (70')
  • Antoine Pierre VAAGUE (45')
  • Fred Hersch solo (70')
  • Blind Date #1: Nabou Claerhout & Lynn Cassiers (30')

Fred Hersch @ Soapbox Gallery, NY

At Leuven Jazz, we definitely have a weak spot for virtuoso pianists.
With Fred Hersch, we bring one of the most innovative jazz pianists into your living room. Hersch was - for example - the first pianist to play solo for an entire week in the legendary Village Vanguard in New York.

His prowess is always combined with abundant imagination. His strength isn't just his virtuosity, but also the musical depth and vast repertoire. He carefully selects from the entire history of jazz, combines standards with original pieces, and has collaborated with the greatest in jazz, such as Joe Henderson, Charlie Haden and our own Toots Thielemans. With his expressive interpretation and inventive creativity in a stunning variety of settings, he is genuinely a select member of jazz's piano pantheon.

We were already fortunate to present him in a duo with Italian pianist Stefano Bollani in our sold-out concert hall in 2013. He is, of course, also the leader of one of jazz's era-defining trios and their album 'Live in Europe' (recorded in Brussels in 2018) has been hailed as its best to date. It won the Radio Klara Award for best jazz album and the trio was also named Best Jazz Group in the 2019 DownBeat Critics Poll.

With his latest album, 'Songs from Home', he returns to playing solo.
As Radio Klara describes it: “Beautifully recorded and with an exquisite sonority, Hersch combines standards, pop songs, traditionals and original compositions. A masterpiece that will take its listener in a warm, tender and playful ambience. 'Songs Frome Home' (2020) is the ideal soundtrack for these dark winter days and will let you enjoy some beautiful songs and masterly improvisations."

Hersch is a poet on 88 keys, combining impressionistic beauty and unseen virtuosity.
Or as Jason Moran once expressed it: "Fred at the piano is like LeBron James on the basketball court. He's perfection."

Watch Fred Hersch talking to Ethan Iverson in the run-up to his live recording:

Cinema Paradiso featuring Jozef Dumoulin

Cinema Paradiso is the Belgian trio of Kurt Van Herck (sax), Eric Thielemans (drums) and Willem Heylen (guitar). On their new album 'Volume #2' and in this concert, they're joined by pianist Jozef Dumoulin as a guest musician.

The music of Cinema Paradiso breaths serenity, musical freedom and playfulness.
Their line-up and the strong emphasis on the interplay hint at the atmosphere and sound of the legendary trio Lovano-Frissell-Motian as an obvious point of reference.
But the outspoken personality of the three musicians, the clever use of electronics and the generous piano play by Dumoulin, as well as the uncommon repertoire, deliver a strong personal signature.

Despite Covid, Cinema Paradiso managed to draw attention last year with some rare club performances and concerts at Bijloke, ''Beljazz' in Flagey and 'Jazz Middelheim'.
We're extremely pleased to launch the new record of the trio, with Jozef Dumoulin as a special guest. Cinema Paradiso 2 is born! 

"Wonderful listening … I’ve spent much time with Paul Motian's music. It was a joy to hear these new versions of the songs I know so well and love so much. I know Paul would be happy." (Bill Frisell)

Antoine Pierre VAAGUE

Drummer Antoine Pierre is probably best known as the leader of the sextet Urbex and his cross-over project Next.Ape. 
Now he is ready to go solo with VAAGUE, a new musical chapter in which he surrounds himself with an extensive drum kit. 

Antoine will take you to another world and sound experience, that mixes his electronic sound with samples by musicians he admires (Keith Jarrett, Magic Malik, Chopin, …) and sound bites taken from texts and speeches of important people in the 20th century (Marguerite Duras, Jim Morrison, Orson Welles and Albert Camus). He finds his musical inspiration in artists and contemporaries such as Son Lux, Flying Lotus and Moderat.

Leuven Jazz will be the grand premiere of this exciting new adventure, to be enjoyed from your own living room.

Blind Date #1: Nabou Claerhout & Lynn Cassiers

In 'Blind Date', we unite two inspiring artists for an exclusive Leuven Jazz set.
Lynn and Nabou will meet for the very first time on our stage. This blind date will result in a surprisingly unique sound, an interplay in which improvisation is central.

Lynn Cassiers

A graduate of the Conservatory of The Hague, Lynn Cassiers continues her path as a tutor at the Lemmens Institute in Leuven. On stage, this versatile artist and vocalist creates her own style with improvised soundscapes, in which her fragile voice is combined with electronics.
She collaborates with bands such as BJO and Mäâk and can also be found in the company of artists like Eric Thielemans (Tape Cuts Tape), Jozef Dumoulin (Lilly Joel, Lidlboj), Joao Lobo (Oba Loba) and Benjamin Sauzereau, all kindred spirits in her adventurous quest for an improvised story. She also takes matters into her own hands with projects like Imaginary Band and Yun. Recently, she collaborated with Pak Yan Lau (Konbini) and Norwegian trumpeter Hilde Holsen.

"… Cassiers is brilliant. She really couldn’t care less about genres and vested expectations: she creates her own sonic universe in which avant-garde pop (think Laurie Anderson), traditional jazz and free improv meet, in a wonderful mixture that avoids all the traps of doing this." (Free Jazz Blog)


Jazz trombonist and composer Nabou Claerhout (27) has been named "definitely one to watch out for", in Belgium as well as internationally. Already at a very young age, she had the opportunity to work with artists such as Bert Joris, Dave Holland, Dave Douglas and Akua Naru.
In her quartet N∆BOU, she approaches the trombone in a contemporary way and creates her own sound with innovating effects and fresh compositions, in the company of three musicians that already performed with HAST, Tsar B, Oko Yono or Joshua Redman. The foursome delivered some remarkable performances at a.o. North Sea Jazz Festival, Gent Jazz, Bel Jazz Fest and -  of course - Leuven Jazz (2019). This fall, she will launch her eagerly awaited debut album.

"There was real star quality in her soloing: strong tone, strong line, real presence. Claerhout was a new name to me and is definitely one to watch out for." (London Jazz News)

With special thanks to: