It is 1997 when the young wolves of the Brussels Jazz Orchestra share the stage with Toots Thielemans for the first time. The concert at Jazz à Junas will be the first of a long, warm collaboration in which Toots often acts as a musical mentor. Being a generous supporter of young musicians, he regularly invited them to perform together. Since 1997, Toots and Brussels Jazz Orchestra played together on a regular basis in Belgium and abroad.
On 29 April 2022, it will be 100 years since Toots Thielemans was born. It should come as no surprise that the Brussels Jazz Orchestra will not let Toots 100th birthday go by unnoticed. Together with Dutch harmonica player Hermine Deurloo, the BJO pays tribute to the legend from Brussels the world had to bid farewell to in 2016.
Hermine Deurloo (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) trained as a saxophonist but picked up the chromatic harmonica after hearing Toots Thielemans. While she has a deep love for jazz, her musical tastes and activities are broad ranging and take the harmonica into a wide variety of novel and unusual contexts, including modern jazz, string quartets, big bands, African music and film soundtracks. Over the years, she has performed with a wide range of jazz musicians and orchestras, such as the Metropole Orchestra, The Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, Al Jarreau, Candy Dulfer and Tony Scherr, while her latest album includes drummer Steve Gadd. In 2018 Hermine won the U.S.A. Bernie Bray Harmonica Player of the Year Award.