In 2009 De Beren Gieren won the first prize at the Young Jazz Talent Competition organised by the Gent Jazz Festival. The jury praised the strong interaction, Breathing in unity, De Beren Gieren performs jazz in a funny tempting way.
These three musicians have a close musical and personal relationship. Pianist Fulco Ottervanger and drummer Simon Segers got to know each other at jam sessions at Studio 78 in Tienen. Ever since the time when Fulco and Simon began to play together on the various projects, they have explored several different styles. Completing the trio, bass player Lieven Van Pee often added to the improvisational sessions at home and on stage over the years.
In their short existence they have built up a challenging and varied repertoire which they performed in many Belgian pubs and jazz festivals such as Jazz sur L'Herbe Jazz and Jazz Middelburg. After his studies as a jazz pianist Fulco Ottervanger also studied classical composition at the Ghent Conservatory. Notice that his compositions do not always remain within the traditional jazz idiom. Composition and improvisation are given equal share in the groups music. The form of the piano trio fits them like a glove.
Winning the Young Jazz Talent Competition last year offers them some bright perspectives in 2010 with a JazzLab Series showcase and concerts at Gent Jazz Festival, Dinant Jazz Nights and Jazz Maastricht. An excerpt of the jurys commentary: With great conviction we unanimously award the first prize to De Beren Gieren. This group manages to play adventurously with different time signatures and tempos within firm and consistent play. Furthermore they shine through elegance and delicacy. The leader of the band is Fulco Ottervanger, whose dynamic playing is strengthened by his sensitive touch. His ambitious compositions, full of surprising changes, are performed with a remarkable ease and visible pleasure. Drummer Simon Segers sounds especially light-footed and at the same time he takes exciting initiatives. The swinging base of the band is delivered by bass player Lieven Van Pee.