The Fondy Riverside Bullet Band is a jazz orchestra rooted partly in its homeground near the river Rupel (B) and partly in New Orleans. The band was founded in 1970 by a handful of people from the town called Boom (Belgium). Currently two of them are still with the band, more specifically the two Van Breedam brothers: Johnny Van Breedam (trumpet, vocals) and Camiel Van Breedam (trombone, leader).
The story relating the way in which the name of the band came into being is of purely local inspiration. It has a lot to do with cats, a local pub, and the woman running it and the nearby river Rupel. When the musicians are in the right mood, they may be prepared to unveil this mystery for the umpteenth time.
The FRBB finds its inspiration in the jazz music of New Orleans, especially that from the Revival period, but also that of the nineteen twenties. The shining genius of Louis Armstrong is an important driving force of course, but also figures like George Lewis, Bunk Johnson, Jim Robinson, Kid Thomas, De De Pierce, ….
Therefore it is evident that the band has continuously been searching to play with New Orleans musicians and organising concerts with authentic Crescent City groups. In the meantime those performances have grown into cherished memories for hundreds of jazz fans.
The FRBB is not a dixieland band. It is not a band that functions by means of a wind-up mechanism. The group constitutes a living organism that reacts to mood, inspiration, public, accommodation, atmosphere, … In the focal point of this mix of influences they try to recreate the urban negro folk music of New Orleans; they don’t play their music to show off, but for the kick it gives them and their public.
When the orchestra is at its best, it functions like a magnet: every person within the range of its power field is attracted and displaced by it. Jazz fans in Belgium, Germany, France, Holland, England, Italy, Switzerland, ……. and New Orleans have already had the privilege of experiencing that magnetism.
If you want to stay closer to their home base, you can hear the band live in Jazzclub Het Veerhuis in Klein Willebroek (Belgium) every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month (except July & August) from 21.00 to 00.30 or buy some of the records, cassettes, CD’s that the band has made during its 35 year long evolution.