about

photo by Jos Knaepen

photo by Jos Knaepen

“Pianist Bram Weijters belongs to the new generation of promising jazz talents from Belgium. You could compare his playing to that of Brad Mehldau…”
-Jazzenzo

Bram Weijters is a belgian Antwerp-based piano player and composer with a focus towards jazz, improvisational and alternative music. He keeps a busy schedule throughout Europe and North America, and when he’s not playing with his own trio, he frequently collaborates with several groups including the Chad McCullough-Bram Weijters Quartet, Hamster axis of the one-click panther, Koen Nys Quintet, Zygomatik, Marjan van Rompay group, Rackham, Canadian singer Jaclyn Guillou and many others.

Over the past few years Bram has participated in a wide array of musical projects. From rock to hip-hop, and classical to pop music, Bram has quickly become one of the most in demand pianists in Belgium. He frequently collaborates with groups including Jerboa, Dez Mona, and Winther.

At just eight , Bram started music courses at the music school in his birth town, attending piano and percussion classes. As a teenager he played in several rockbands. After completing secondary education, he was admitted to the Antwerp Conservatory. After graduating for jazz piano in Antwerp he went to the Brussels Conservatory, where he graduated in 2005 for jazz compostion and arranging. He has studied with Kenny Werner, Anthony Braxton, Gary Peacock, Mark Turner, Dave Liebman, Bill Carrotters, Dave Douglas, Ravi Coltrane, Joshua Redman, …

photo by Jos Knaepen

photo by Jos Knaepen

“Certainly a player with great chops, his approach—especially on his two teamings with Weijters—is one that is a measured and deliberate, often introspective, sometimes gorgeously melancholic, and one that employs a continuity of mood and atmosphere that the best recordings have.”
-Dan McClenaghan / Allaboutjazz.com

Trumpeter / composer Chad McCullough is a modern musician based in Chicago. He has four critically-acclaimed albums under his own name, is a sideman on countless others, several tours around the globe, and is a key member in countless ensembles. Hailing from Seattle, he was called “one of Seattle’s young musical gems” by Allaboutjazz.com. He is a member of the West African-inspired group The Kora Band, a group who’s latest record Cascades has garnered national attention, peaking at #12 on the World Music Charts, and won NW Recording of the Year in Earshot Magazine. They were recently awarded a CMA New Jazz Works grant for their upcoming record. He also tours with Tunnel Six, an international group that has been awarded 4 Canada Council of the Arts grants, and who’s debut record made the top ‘100 albums of 2011’ on eMusic. As a composer, he has scored for film, written for various brass ensembles, dancers, and string quartets and quintets- in both classical and jazz idioms. He is also in high demand as an educator, and frequently speaks about jazz music and the trumpet to students of all ages, giving clinics at high schools and colleges throughout the country. He has been involved with mentoring projects run by the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, and the radio station KPLU, and has done educational outreach in several nationally recognized music programs.

Chad graduated cum laude, with his Bachelor’s in Music from the University of Idaho as a Lionel Hampton Scholar, in May of 2003, and was the first student to graduate with a jazz emphasis on his degree. He recieved his Master’s in Music from the University of Washington in 2005. He has worked in Disneyland, played both piano and trumpet in the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and in 2009 he attended the jazz workshop at the Banff Centre.

Chad is a Hub Van Laar performing artist, and plays their Oiram trumpet and flugelhorn.

photo by Jos Knaepen

photo by Jos Knaepen

Born in Wilrijk, Antwerp, Belgium, Piet Verbist studied classical double bass at the Academy of Ekeren and Turnhout. He also took lessons with John Clayton, Hein Van De Geyn, Ricardo Del Fra and studied at the Antwerp Jazz-Studio where Dave Pike, Dennis Luxion and Hein Van De Geyn were his teachers. He graduated from the Brussels Conservatory in 1994 and then began lessons with Dave Holland.

Piet has been in high demand on the Belgian scene for many years, performing with: Eric Legnini, Jacques Pelzer, Phil Abraham, Nathalie Loriers, Erwin Vann, Richard Rousselet, Stefaan Debevere, Michel Herr, Kris Defoort, Jack Van Poll, Erik Vermeulen, Frank Vaganee, Dre Pallemaerts, Ben Sluys, Kurt Van Herck, Jan de Haas, Luk Mishalle, Dirk Wachtelaer, Koen De Cauter, Dirk Vanderlinden, Jeff Gardner, Charles Loos, Matt Renzi, Jasper Blom, Edouard Ferlet, Phillipe Thomas, Mark Turner, Rob Van Kreefeld, the band Octurn, Toots Thielemans, Paolo Fresu, Bert Joris, Geoffrey Burton, Carmelo Muriel, Nono Garcia, Chad McCullough, John Bishop, Piotr Wojtasik, and many others. He toured for 8 years with the Jef Neve Trio around Europe as well as to Japan, China and Canada.

Presently, he’s active with the François Descamps Quartet, JDH (Jan de Haas) Band, Cezarius Gadzina Saxafabra, Michel Paré quartet, Ancesthree (Ben Sluys/Hendrik Braeckman), Vanishing Pictures, Carmelo Muriel, The Jazz Station Big Band. Piet leads his own band, “Zygomatik” with Herman Pardon (drums), Bram Weijters (piano) and rotating saxophonists including Vincent Brijs, Fred Delplanq and/or Matt Renzi (USA). Piet is on the faculty of the Antwerp Conservatory and at the Art High School of Antwerp.

Photo by Jos Knaepen

Photo by Jos Knaepen

One of the primary voices in Northwest Jazz for over 30 years, drummer John Bishop has performed in concerts and clubs with Bobby McFerrin, Lee Konitz, Slide Hampton, Benny Golson, George Cables, Kenny Werner, Sonny Fortune, Bobby Hutcherson, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Tom Harrell, Herb Ellis, Buddy DeFranco, Larry Coryell, Joanne Brackeen, Jon Faddis, Charles McPherson, Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, Kenny Rankin, Joe Locke, Hal Galper, Jessica Williams, and countless others. Along with numerous jingle, film-score, demo & multi-media recording sessions, he’s appeared on more than 100 albums including sessions involving Rudy Van Gelder & Teo Macero, and a Grammy-nominated recording on RCA with singer Mark Murphy. Bishop was inducted into the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame in 2008.

Presently, Bishop records and tours with the Hal Galper Trio, the Chad McCullough/Bram Weijters Group, and the cooperative bands – “Scenes” with John Stowell & Jeff Johnson, and “Wellstone Conspiracy” with Brent Jensen, Bill Anschell, & Jeff Johnson.

Besides his jazz work, Bishop has toured nationally and internationally with Buddy Greco, the McGuire Sisters, and the Harry James Orchestra, and has performed with Bob Hope, Red Skelton, Bob Newhart, Rich Little, The Hi-Los, Frankie Avalon, the Drifters, the Coasters, the Platters, Pete Barbutti, the Seattle Symphony and many others.

In 1997, Bishop started Origin Records (named Jazzweek’s 2009 “Label Of The Year”) and OriginArts, a graphic design & CD production company, to help further the exposure of creative artists and their music. In partnership with his ex-drum student, Matt Jorgensen, they have released over 400 recordings by 260 artists. In 2002 they added another jazz label, OA2 Records, a classical imprint, Origin Classical in 2008, and in 2003 began Seattle’s annual Ballard Jazz Festival. He has designed 450 CD packages and multiple book covers, banners, posters, and other graphics for clients around the globe.