His father was a cinema owner. As a small child, Félix would go behind the stage to play. Before becoming a movie theater, the place was a music hall.
The orchestra stands were left behind and the boy would take the leader's stand and conduct his imaginary big band. That was a beginning of the dream.
Self taught, Félix SIMTAINE hit the drums at age 16 and started playing 1954 - 1968 as an amateur, a.o. with Robert JEANNE quartet.
He became professional in 1969 under the influence of American drummer Stu MARTIN.
25 years later, the boy's dream became a reality, Félix founded and leads his big band.
Félix SIMTAINE accompanied organist Rhoda SCOTT, with whom he recorded an album and went on a tour around Europe and Africa. They also participated in a number of television shows.
Félix SIMTAINE appeared in a number of festivals, a.o.:
Midem in Cannes
Jazz Middelheim (Antwerp), etc.
He played with famous musicians like: René THOMAS, Mike CARR, Chet BAKER, Slide HAMPTON, Jack SELS, Toots THIELEMANS, Pony POINDEXTER, Joe HENDERSON, Jack VAN POLL, Jimmy HEATH, Lou BENNETT, George COLEMAN, Barney WILEN, Dave PIKE, Shahib SHIHAB, Nathan DAVIS, Les Mc CANN, Pepper ADAMS, Dizzy REECE, Jiggs WHIGHAM, Jiri STIVIN, Pete KING, Dusko GOJKOVICH, Scott BRADFORD, Bobby JASPAR, Bent JADIG, Jimmy GOURLEY, Tete MONTOLIU, Joe LOVANO, Charlie ROUSE, Ali RYERSON, Lew TABACKIN,....
Félix SIMTAINE was member in various groups :
CASINO RAILWAY (with Philip CATHERINE and Marc MOULIN), JESS AND JAMES (LP), CAMARA Quintet, SOLIS LACUS, COSA NOSTRA (Jack VAN POLL), ABRAXIS, J-R MONTEROSE's "Spontaneous effort", SAXO 1000, and bands of Michel HERR (LP), Charles LOOS, Serge LAZAREVITCH (LP), Richard ROUSSELET(CD), John RUOCCO, Eric LEGNINI, OCTURN,
BRUSSELS JAZZ ORCHESTRA, Jarek SMETANA trio & quartet, Steve HOUBEN.
He appeared with American sax player Lew TABACKIN with whom he made a third tour in 1996 resulting in the album "Live at the Archiduc".
In January 1996 he made his second tour with the "Tribute to Pepper Adams", a group of two baritones Gary SMULYAN and Bo VAN DER WERF, which also resulted in an album "Intensive Act".
He appears regularly in Paris with the sextet of French trumpet player Jean-Loup LONGNON.
he plays with the André DONNI quartet, Phil ABRAHAM Quartet, etc...
in February 1996, he made a tour, for the second time, with Canadian alto sax player Dave TURNER (CD).
In December 1996, with pianist Charles LOOS and bassist Philippe AERTS, he went, with a Belgian delegation, to China, where during one week they played in Shanghai, representing Belgian jazz.
Félix SIMTAINE is also the founder of ACT BIG BAND, a big band composed of the best Belgian soloists, and that he leads with Michel HERR, who is in charge of the musical direction.
This orchestra appeared in Belgium and abroad and released several albums, a.o. "Extremes" (Igloo IGL 044 CD), with guests US saxophonists Joe LOVANO and John RUOCCO.
In 1998, on the occasion of Act Big Band 20th anniversary (and Félix's 60th birthday) Act Big Band was invited to perform at the 8th edition of the festival "jazz à Liège" and created on this occasion a new piece by Michel HERR, a special project as a tribute to French writer Marcel PROUST.
Félix SIMTAINE toured with singer Mandy GAYNES, and with his trio, featuring pianist Pascal MICHAUX and bassist John PETERSON.
His latest project is a 10 piece band called TEN-TAMARRE, which made first appearance at the Jazz à Liège Festival in May 2000 and sinc then has made several tours and festivals.
(See top of page for main discography)
with ACT BIG BAND
| Christine Schaller "Real Life" (M.L. CAR. 800 62)|
| Félix Simtaine "Act Big Band" (LDH 1002)|
| "Come Back To Me" (Rhoda Scott, Barclay XBLY 920 240 33T)
| Serge Lazarevitch "Cats Are Welcome" (Igloo IGL '87)|
| Charles Loos "Live at the Travers" (Igloo)|
| Pierre Vaiana "Trinacle" (Igloo IGL 031)|
| "Cooperation" (Jarek Smietana GOWI CDG03)|
| John Ruocco "Soon Spring" (LDH 1008)|
| Charles Loos - Ali Ryerson (EDM 89012-N.Y.C. 1988)|
| "Rhythm Sphere" (Eric Legnini, Joe Lovano), Igloo IGL117)|
| Kris Defoort "Diva Smiles" (Arpèges LPG 839)|
| "Le Jazz Perd Le Nord" (WBM-108)|
| "Vento" (Paolo Radoni KBL 0778 33T)|
| "Solis Lacus" (Michel Herr B. SHARP CDS-082)|