Newcastle jazz musician, Zoe Gilby, has already started 2020 in fine form, following up her 2019 Parliamentary Awards Jazz Vocalist of the Year with the announcement that she is the 2020 NE Online Magazine Artist of the Year, and now she’s Belgium-bound in late March for the Leuven Jazz Festival.

Situated in the Flanders region, twenty-five kilometres east of the capital, Brussels, the Leuven Jazz Festival celebrates its eighth year this March, a ten-day extravaganza between the 19th and 29th, with a focus on the female artists – ‘singers, pianists, drummers, trumpeters; meet the female power of modern jazz.’ 

“Andy and I have been to Belgium on holiday before, a few years ago, and it’s an amazing place”, smiled Zoe.

“In fact, Andy has performed in Gent, Brussels and Sint-Niklaas with other acts so we’re no strangers to the country.”

Zoe will be performing on the Sunday afternoon from 2pm at the Huiskamer familie Hermans-Pini, timing which affords an opportunity for the pair to take in some of the delights of both the festival, and of the city and its surrounding areas, they heading to the cosmopolitan region for a long weekend. 

In bringing her duo performance, alongside husband and bass player, Andy Champion, to the festivals’ ‘Female Focus,’ a delighted Zoe added: “I am so honoured to be included alongside other female singers, pianists, drummers and trumpeters.

“It really will be a meeting of the female powers of modern jazz, although it’s not just a focus on the women in jazz.

“I’m also delighted to be performing with my fantastic double bass playing husband, Andy Champion and it’ll be a pleasure to be able to share our duo project.

“It’s intense to perform as just voice and bass but the buzz we create from our duo is about embracing space, and exploring energies that just the two of us can create.

“It’s a soundscape with two instruments.”

Alongside headline acts which include Vijay Iyer & Craig Taborn, Julian Lage Trio, Jakob Bro & Jesse van Ruller, Philip Catherine & Eric Legnini, LG Jazz Collective, The Breath, Incognito and LTJ Bukem, Zoe’s performance takes place on Sunday 29 March at 14:00 at the Huiskamer familie Hermans-Pini – places are at a premium so it’s urged to visit https://www.leuvenjazz.be/en/programme/detail/zoe-gilby–andy-champion for further information.

Leuven Jazz Festival (English) https://www.leuvenjazz.be/en and (Dutch) https://www.leuvenjazz.be/