The Belgian fusion jazz band Milkshake Banana was created in 1978 by pianist Michel Ardui, the three brothers Vandendriessche (Johan on sax and flute, Peter on sax and Koen on percussion), percussionist Frank Michiels, and (in order) Maarten Weyler, Vincent Kennis, Ferdinand Phillipot and Roman Korolik on bass. Erik Vermeulen replaced Michel Ardui on keys and pianist Paul Flush joined the team shortly after.
It all started by winning the International Jazz Competition 'Jazz Hoeilaart' in 1979. With youthful enthusiasm the band played in bars, but also at several festivals in Belgium and abroad (Jazz Middelheim, Brosella, Den Haag Jazz, Atlanta Rhythm&Jazz Festival, Montreux Festival,
). They also joined Philip Catherine and Toots Thielemans on stage, and recorded two albums with the collaboration of Michel Herr, Kevin Mulligan and Toots Thielemans.
In its active years, the band appealed not only to jazz fans, but also to the young, thanks to a combination of jazz with funky fusion, world and pop music. Eventually Johan, Peter, Koen and Frank ended up in very diverse bands/acts such as the BRT Bigband, BRT Jazzorkest, Raymond van het Groenewoud, Johan Verminnen, Maurane, Niagara, Clouseau, Tony Christie, the WDR Bigband, Marc Moulin,
After a few decades - and at the explicit request of many 'old' fans - Johan, Peter, Koen and Frank are ready to pick up the threads. They give new interpretations to the 'stuff from the past' but also incorporate new compositions, with the help of (the slightly younger) musicians Alano Gruarin (keys) and Roberto Mercurio (bass guitar). The set-up is like always: two saxophones, keys, bass, drums and percussion.
Milkshake Banana 2.0 makes it no secret: their message remains that music at its best should be a combination of adventure, fun, communication, eclectism and ... passion!