Ever since jazz hit European shores a century ago, the music genre has found a warm welcome on the Old Continent. Even though it was banned in a large part of Europe during fascist and communist domination, all countries from Finland to Italy and from the UK to Yugoslavia have brought forth musicians who embraced jazz and who played it just as well as their American heroes.
In the 1950s, European cities like London, Paris or Copenhagen became true jazz hubs, and a second home for artists like Ben Webster, Sahib Shihab or Dexter Gordon who became mentors for the local jazzcats. In the following decade, the fusion of Afro- American jazz with elements of European folk and classical music spawned some of the most creative recordings in the genre’s 100 year old history.
Yet, in spite of its creative artistic ideas and its interesting history, the European jazz scene remains highly undervalued by jazzfans worldwide.
Jazztime Europe was founded by the Belgian jazz journalist, collector and DJ Lander Lenaerts (°1986). Passionate about European jazz and its history, he wishes to archive, document and share the history of modern jazz in Europe through various media, be it exhibitions, publications, documentaries or record releases. His articles have been published in magazines like Jazz & Mo’ (Belgium), The Word Magazine (Belgium), We Jazz magazine (Finland) and The Move Mag (UK).
Jazztime Europe has curated the exhibitions ‘Jazz in Belgium. The Modernists 1950-1970’ for the Leuven Jazz Festival (2015) and ‘Hot Club de Belgique 1939-1961’ for Jazzcentrum Vlaanderen in Dendermonde (2018).
Both exhibitions, which showed rare recordings, posters and photographsfrom the private collection of Jazztime Europe as well as from fellow private collectors, focused on two things: a strong story and strong visual content.
The modern jazz scene that emerged in Europe after World War II produced a treasure trove of beautiful and unique music that is far too often overlooked. During its listening sessions, Jazztime Europe shines more light on the vaults of the European jazz scene.
With the focus on personal stories andpetites histoires, the listening sessions are by no means a boring history class, but an accessible dive into the rich European jazz scene of the past.
Jazztime Europe has presented listening sessions at JCV Dendermonde, Het Jazzgenootschap and Ancienne Belgique (Brussels).
Under his DJ moniker The Jazz Kid, Lander Lenaerts looks far beyond the borders of Europe and plays original vinyl sets of raw hard bop, latin and funky soul jazz. He has DJ’ed at Blue Note Club Sessions (Eindhoven), InJazz Festival (Rotterdam), The Jazz Meet (London), Worldwide FM (London) and We Jazz Festival (Helsinki) among others.
Jazztime Europe has collaborated with groove oriented record label SDBAN to produce the LP/CD releases ‘Let’s Get Swinging. Modern Jazz in Belgium 1950- 1970’ and ‘Jack Sels – Minor Works’, two compilations of rare and previously unreleased Belgian jazz.
About Let’s Get Swinging, the press wrote:
“The song choices here are sparkling, and there isn’t a single dud. One of the most rewarding survey albums I’ve heard in years.”
Marc Myers, Jazzwax.com
“An exemplary compilation that leaves no stone unturned and reveals a treasure trove of information for the reader-listener. A first class with distinction project.”
Tim Stenhouse, UK Vibe.org
“This release is brilliantly executed. Hat tip to the compiler who approached this anthology with so much love.”
Dick Hovenga, Writteninmusic.com