Since many years the Kortrijk “Golden River City Jazz Band” occupies a major place in the Belgian traditional jazz scene where this dynamic old style band keeps up the tradition of New-Orleans jazz with much enthusiasm. When the band first performed at the Kortrijk “Golden River City Jazz Festival” in 1970 (the year the band was formed by clarinettist JEAN-JACQUES PIETERS, who’s still the leader) nobody could have imagined that this was the start of a most successful story. In the meantime, the band has got a fine reputation both in Belgium and abroad.
No less than 30 times the Golden River City Jazz Band played a major role at the annual festival in its hometown. The real breakthrough occurred in 1973 when the band had the opportunity to accompany the British lady-singer Beryl Bryden.
From the original personal only the banjo player Arsène De Vlieger (joined the band in 1973) and founder-leader, clarinettist and saxophone player Jean-Jacques Pieters are still members of the band.
Since then the band has accompanied an impressive series of international guest stars and soloists at the annual Kortrijk Golden River City Jazz Festival.
The G.R.C. Jazz Band featured a.o. Beryl Bryden , Bud Freeman, Wally Bishop, Sheila Collier, Ken Colyer, Keith Smith ,Monty Sunshine, Terry Lightfoot, Keith Nichols, Judy Johnson, Val Wiseman, Tom Collins, Norbert Detaeye, Pat Hawes, Oscar Klein, Cora Hollema, T.J. Johnson, Phil Mason, Mister Acker Bilk, Angela Brown, Ron Mc Kay, Pauline Pearce, Rod Mason,Marjorie Barnes, Dim Kesber , Barbara Johnson ,Ria Demmenie and many others.
The band played in almost every Belgian Youth club and jazz club. The G.R.C.JAZZ BAND played on many jazz festivals in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany and in the United Kingdom, with Wallace Davenport, Gene Connors, Digby Fairweather, Cousin Joe, Janice King, Sammy Rimington, Maggie Kinson ,and George Probert
In the seventies the band had a jazz club “Jazzton” in Kortrijk ,and produced the first two records with George Probert (Jazz ton record GR 2221) and with Ken Colyer ( GR 2231 ).
In the eighties the band played many concerts in “ The Lanteern” at De Haan (LP Parsifal 400/9001) and at “The Artist” in Ostend ( LP Parsifal 400/9003).
In 1982 there was a reorganisation of the band and English musicians as Colin Bowden ( dms ) , Alan Elsdon (tp) and Terry Brunt (tb) joined the band. They are still regularly playing with the band.
In 1985 ex Dutch Swing College bassist Bob van Oven joined the band. As a result of this Cees van den Heuvel on trumpet and Thomas Hipp on trombone are now regular members of the band.
Nowadays, the Golden River City Jazz Band is playing in several line-ups consisting of Belgian, Dutch and British musicians such as Jean-Jacques Pieters, Arsène De Vlieger, Cees van den Heuvel, Alan Elsdon, Thomas Hipp, Terry Brunt, Bob van Oven, Andries Schoneveld, Colin Bowden and Paul Brandes.
The musicians of the Golden River City Jazz Band hope you will share their enthusiasm and the joy of live their music wants to bring. If you can’t get enough of it, just don’t miss the annual golden River City Jazz Festival, early in September.