In partnership with Zinneke, we are launching an exchange platform around culture in the urban public space. At the end of June, we invite a dozen Belgian and international organisations to reflect on the political, social and cultural relevance of large-scale participatory initiatives. On the program: a co-creation workshop during the Brussels2030 Summer Assembly and immersion walks throughout the city.
On Saturday 13 May, a new edition of Urbanistics took place at Campus Nieuwland. During this free festival, young and old could dive into a wide range of urban disciplines from noon till nighttime. On the programme: workshops, breakdance & MC battles, performances by the Fanfakids, a street market and much more!
Join us for a new edition of Fête de la Musique dans les Marolles! Neighbourhood residents, students, artists and visitors improvise themselves as musicians thanks to “DIY” techniques: recycled instruments, experimental sound effects and other savage soundscapes. With workshops for all ages from May, ahead of a participatory grand final on Sunday June 25.
So proud! MetX was the very first resident of ICAF, the renowned International Community Arts Festival in Rotterdam. From 29/03-02/04 we facilitated workshops, did interventions in the public space, presented the youth activities of our Fanfakids and closed the festival with a concert by the Sheikhs Shikhats & B'net Chaabi in Theater Zuidplein.
At the end of March, our colourful collectif of musicians has once again turned the Destelheide Training Centre upside down. During a whole weekend, more than 50 members from groups like BRUiTAL, Remork & Karkaba, Fanfakids and Fatmas de Belgica prepared for the coming concert season. With rehearsals, workshops, try outs and some surprises du chef!
During the month of Ramadan, a number of cultural organisations in Brussels work to make their activities accessible to people of Muslim origin. MetX also participates in this Kaaitheater initiative. During our master class weekend, for example, we offer facilities allowing everyone to participate, regardless of their religion.
On March 12, the Fatmas de Belgica again took part in Musikaa, a collaboration between Klarafestival, BOZAR and cultural organisations from Molenbeek. On this occasion, Laïla Amezian chose to focus on popular Arabic-Andalusian songs. The Fatmas de Belgica will be accompanied by the string quartet 'Quatuor Satellite' with arrangements by Fabian Fiorini.
The Sheikhs Shikhats & B’net Chaabi drop a second single from their debut album. This original composition, based on a traditional Moroccan chaabi song from the 1960s, comes with a music video made by Maël L. Lagadec. The full album will be released in March via Zephyrus Records, followed by a release tour in Belgium and the Netherlands.
On Sunday 18 December, Bakanaï closes the year with a showcase concert and drink at MetX. Laurent and his colourful collective of dancers and musicians invite everyone to bring a toast to the past year and enjoy some good music! Want to groove and move towards 2023 to the rhythm of our exuberant trance fanfare? See you as from 7 pm in De Lenglentierstraat 20.
The Sheikhs Shikhats & B’net Chaabi drop a first single from their debut album: Still to Come. With this captivating song, Laïla Amezian, Laurent Blondiau and the 16 other group members transport you with a big bang to the rich musical universe of the shikhats and ghanayats. The full album will be released in March 2023 via Zephyrus Records and will be accompanied by a release tour in Belgium and the Netherlands.
Together with Laïla Amezian, we transformed the large hall at MetX into a colourful souk in a Mediterranean atmosphere. Visitors could discover stalls with artisan products, creative workshops and artistic performances with, among others, members of the group Kabareh Cheikhats (MAR), the singers of Sultanats B'net Chaabi and musicians Laurent Blondiau & Toine Thys.
From 30 October to 5 November we once again celebrated Día de Muertos both inside and outside the Marolles. Featuring masterclasses and a Fandango with the musician Patricio Hidalgo, workshops and storytelling evenings on the commemoration of the dearly departed, the installation of the Great Altar of the Dead and of course the Procesión on Saturday evening!
On Saturday 24 September, the urban opera Décrocher la lune will take place in La Louvière. For the music, the new artistic direction calls on Laurent Blondiau and MetX. Laurent composed the entire soundtrack for the event and will perform it together with an ad hoc ensemble, reinforced by the Orchester Lunaire (La Louvière), Bakanaï (Brussels) and the New Moon project, a percussion group formed for the Zinneke Parade.
Watch out! Our underground noise makers clash, grind and melt their energies with dance collectif SungirlZ for their first music video. Directed by Joaquin Breton and Vital Schraenen. Recorded at the temporary art hub Face B at Grand Sablon - Brussels.
On August 25, our musicians will take you on a journey in their unique universe of whipping (brass) wind instruments, (West) African rhythms, urban dance moves and pop-up parades. Want to create on-the-spot rhythms or choreographies with them? Join us from 14:30 to 20:00 in Gare Maritime for music and dance workshops followed by a collective final performance!
Do you play a percussion, wind or other acoustic instrument and wanna dive into the music of Bakanaï? Artistic coordinator Laurent Blondiau and musicians from the group organised four consecutive evenings of summer workshops, with a closing concert during OpenStreets Molenbeek on 22/07.
18 choirs and festive brass bands, a musical tour across the streets of les Marolles and a grand final concert featuring 250 singers and musicians at the Palais de Justice. This was Singing Brussels Marolles, a magnificent urban cantata in celebration of the Fête de la Musique. Throwback to Sunday 19 June with our aftermovie and a report on BRUZZ!
This summer we participate in the preparation of the candidacy for Brussels European Capital of Culture. During the Brussels2030 Summer Assembly we organise percussion workshops with Jo Zanders on 5, 6 & 7 July. In parallel, Jo also gives workshops DIY percussion in Forest. On July 8, both groups bring a closing musical performance.
During this free festival on July 2, people of all ages can discover the richness of hip-hop and urban disciplines. With demos, workshops and battles for children and their parents, followed by an evening program with concerts and talent contests for teenagers and adults.
Want to join our urban cantata? A number of choirs from Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels perform through the Marolles, after which Laïla Amezian and Olivier Thomas invite you to sing along during a grand final concert.
Finally we were able again to bring together a large group of musicians for our annual residency! More than 60 musicians from BRUiTAL, Remork & Karkaba, Bakanaï and Fanfakids, among others prepared in GC Nekkersdal for the upcoming concerts.
MetX, CC Bruegel and Bozar present an exciting new edition of Singing Brussels, organised as part of the Fête de la musique! On Sunday 19 June, you can enjoy a musical tour across singing concerts in the Marolles, that will end with a large participatory concert in front of the Palais de Justice.
Early March, we took part in MUSIKAA, the project of Klarafestival and Bozar in Molenbeek. Together with VK, we pay tribute to two musical traditions from Morocco that have been passed on orally by women: Izran & Chaabi. With an interactive lecture on 7/03, a residency from 9-12/03 and a series of try out concerts on 13/03.
This year's Zinneke Parade will take place on 14 May and will have the theme "Trompe l'oeil". Various groups and artists from MetX also participate. The Fanfakids form a zinnode with Kuumba and BBO, BRUiTAL works on DIY percussion instruments and some MetX musicians organise rhythmic workshops for brass and wind musicians.
Our brand new compilation featuring the newest and most original sounds from the MetX universe. Ready to explore Mâäk’s musical freedom, BRUiTAL’s intriguing soundscapes, the Fanfakids’ youthful energy or the generous cross-fertilization of gnawa music, jazz & brass by Marockin’ Brass and Remork & Karkaba?
Mâäk Quintet releases a second track as part of our MetXology compilation. In Papa Ours, trumpet, alt sax and tenor sax interlace three separate melodic lines, propelled by a question-answer game of two repetitive loops, each with different lengths. They performed the new track live at Brussels Jazz Weekend Winter, the online release is coming soon!
Brass from the world of jazz and global sounds, multilingual vocals, spoken word and rhythms that take you to North and West Africa. At it’s Winter Event on December 12, Darna offers you two exclusive concerts at AB, for free and 100% corona proof: AGO Gnawa ft. T.B. Wèh & BLAST, followed by Gnawa de Bruxelles ft. Lucid Lucia.
Helping young people in Brussels with spaghetti and an evening out? That's what we did during our BSN Brass, Bolo & B-Boy Battle on Saturday 27/11. On the menu: an original mix of dance, music, (wrestling) sports and spaghetti with the partners of Brede School Nieuwland, for the benefit of Brussel Helpt.
After an intimate version in 2020, we celebrated the dead this year with a whole series of festivities! On the programme: workshops for young and old. A giant altar for leaving mementos of the dearly departed. And a finale with no less than four different Día de Muertos processions and Mexican fireworks!
The first music video by the Fanfakids and the breakdancers of Urban Center Brussel! Director Klaas Boelen wrote and shot the clip with the Fanfakids, who show off their percussion and dance skills as well as their cinematographic ambitions. The official release took place on 2 November during Filem'On, the International Film Festival for Young Audiences.
In the run-up to the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, the Scottish group Oi Musica invites music makers worldwide for a powerful climate wake-up call. Luc Mishalle, Jo Zanders and other MetX musicians made a Brussels arrangement of Karine Polwart's song Enough is Enough, together with a matching video clip.
In addition to our well-known productions, house artists and ad hoc projects, MetX is always looking for young blood, emerging musicians or original formats. That's why we launch a new 'Carte Blanche'. The goal? Develop a new project from scratch in 2022 under the wings of MetX.
On Wednesday 22 September, the Doors Open Day of Brede School Nieuwland took place in the heart of the Marolles. As a partner, we also gave a foretaste of some after-school activities offered by MetX: the Fanfakids + breakdancers of Urban Center Brussel and our gnawa training programme Karkaba.
The first day of school is an exciting day for many children. Together with Circularium and the Cosmogolem we wanted to make it something special. With performances, games, initiations trampoline jumping and putting dreams for the new school year into the heart of a wooden giant!
Want to learn more about this traditional music and dance genre from Morocco? Mâalem Driss Filali and Mohamed Saïd Akasri invite you to workshops in a.o. the Marolles neighbourhood, Zaventem and Waregem. And via the Muziekpublique Academy you can participate at a series of gnawa initiations with our training program Karkaba.
Mâäk Quintet also releases new work as part of our MetXology compilation. With 'Sémille-Sommeille', they let music speak to the soul where words sometimes fail. Ready for an inner mind trip full of frenetic themes and improvisations? Discover Mâäk Quintet's new single on Spotify!
From the academic year 2021-2022 onwards, the Hoofdstedelijke Kunstacademie and MetX are joining forces. Wind instrument students at the academy can take their ensemble/combo classes with MetX groups Bakanaï or Remork & Karkaba. Musicians from these groups can, in turn, join the academy for additional instrumental lessons.
In the weekend of 19-21 June, we FINALLY celebrated outside again! Our groups and artists turned the streets and squares upside down during Fête de la Musique. With Remork & Karkaba and Fanfakids in Molenbeek, balcony concerts in les Marolles and a smashing fanfare fiesta at the Sk8tepark Ursulines!
The Brussels Cosmogolem is ready for a corona-proof party! From 13 to 16 May, together with numerous children and artists, we will celebrate the inauguration of this new work of art for children's rights. Get ready for a 4-day 'Celebration Wave' with a start in Genk, stops in Diest and Leuven and apotheosis on the Place de la Vaillance in Anderlecht!
Alluring melodies, enchanting vocals, breathtaking brass instruments and an explosive chaabi groove. Les Sheikhs Shikhats & B’net Chaabi will charm you with contemporary compositions, based on Moroccan repertoires from the end of the 19th century. Discover this joyful band of no less than 18 vocalists and musicians!
A lot of youngsters are having a hard time during this pandemic. In Brussels, Leuven, Diest and Genk, organisations are joining forces to artistically reinforce the voices, wishes and dreams of young people about what it means to live together in the city. They focus on the question “Hoe dream jij notre stad?” ("How do you dream our city?”)
Our gnawa fanfare releases three new tracks: own arrangements of the gnawa-classic “Tchor Kerira” and the Latin American traditional “Maria Theresa”, plus an arrangement of Luc Mishalle's "Afriquia". You will also recognise the latter song as the soundtrack for their brand new video!
Flemish Minister of Culture Jan Jambon had Karkaba added to the Register of Inspiring Examples of intangible heritage. Through this training programme around gnawa culture, people of all ages, sexes and origins can familiarise themselves with traditional gnawa music, dance and singing.
Want to keep playing music without live rehearsals? As a musician of our participatory groups, you can practice from home with tutorial videos and other online tools. An overview of our digital repertoire, in anticipation of the new concert season:
The week of 8 till 14 February has been one big declaration of love to Belgian music. Together with VI.BE, VRT and the broad music sector, we've put homegrown music in the spotlight. On the menu: gnawa-jazz with MXDO @ Lagrange Points, MikMâäk @ De Bijloke, BWMN Showcase Night & much more!
The CosmoGolem is coming to Brussels. This wooden giant, created by artist Koen Vanmechelen, is a worldwide symbol for children's rights. In collaboration with B-Classic, Studio Koen Vanmechelen and local organisations, we bring together children and artists to make it an unforgettable journey.
In 2021 we'll be releasing a new volume of our MetXology compilation albums. Mâäk Quintet and Marockin' Brass started recording at the end of 2020. Fanfakids, BRUiTAL and Karkaba will follow soon. The new tracks will be available online and hopefully to be discovered at a concert or festival near you!
In addition to our well-known productions, house artists and ad hoc projects, MetX is always looking for young blood, emerging musicians or original formats. That's why in 2021, we launch another 'Carte Blanche' for a musician to start a new project under the wings of MetX.
As from 2021, Urban Center Brussel organises percussion workshops featuring the Fanfakids. Children aged 6-12 years can learn different rhythms together with some advanced group members and ex-Fanfakid Jalel Vangoethem. The workshops will take place each Monday at Campus Nieuwland.
MikMâäk embarked for a cherished collaboration with the French top guitarist Marc Ducret. An extraordinary alchemy between two innovative, free-spirited natures. Due to the corona measures, the concert at De Bijloke on 9 December was broadcasted via livestream.
New adventures await the Fanfakids. Since this autumn, the percussion workshops have been extended to schools in Molenbeek and the Marolles, veteran Jalel Vangoethem joins the team and both the costumes and the logo of the group underwent a thorough makeover.
The 3rd edition of Dia de Muertos dans les Marolles was a rather discrete one. This year, the Mexican Day of the dead commemorated the victims of the corona crisis. With the construction of an altar, workshops, intimate concerts and a sober celebration on the Place du Jeu de Balle.
MetX temporarily suspends all rehearsals. All concerts of our groups have also been canceled till the start of 2021. We hope all the measures will help decrease the pressure caused by Covid-19 on our health care system. Meanwhile, stay safe and keep in touch via our social media and newsletter!
Imane Guemssy's project will stand on its own two feet. Thanks to a Carte Blanche from MetX, she gathered a completely female gnawa group around her in 2019. Together, they started to develop a contemporary repertoire. After launching the project at MetX, Imane will now run the group on an independent basis.
Because of the corona crisis, 20 years of Zinneke will be given an unusual interpretation: a soundscape with testimonies and sounds from participants, Zinnodes organising Simili Parades and a final happening with a.o. BRUiTAL and Fanfakids “Loops”.
No time to rest in the nest for our giant snake! After several summer parades, this autumn the Quetzalcóatl meanders crisscross through Antwerp, Ghent and the Marolles. With in its tracks pupils of primary school De Luchtballon from Merksem, Ledebirds from Ghent and Remork & Karkaba.
As part of the Saison Libre at Théâtre National, you can jam with Laurent Blondiau and other MetX artists after a number of theater performances. Wanna tune in to a mix of cosmopolitan sounds and vibes? The first sessions of 10/10/20 and 14/01/21 have been canceled, but other jams will take place in early 2021!
Good news for Bakanaï, BRUiTAL, Fanfakids, Tsoukina and Remork & Karkaba: after an interruption of months we can finally start up the rehearsals again. Of course, with adapted safety measures and colour codes that apply to the cultural sector.
The mythical giant snake Quetzalcóatl has been slithering through Brussels this summer. With workshops around percussion, voice, costumes and masks in collaboration with CC Brass and Park Poétik + parades along Forest & Saint-Gilles, the Wolvendael Park and Camping Josée.
This summer we've strengthened Karkaba, our training program around gnawa music. In addition to biweekly rehearsals at MetX, we also organised workshops on location as part of StaycationBXL. There was a series for women in collaboration with Buurthuis Anneessens and one for young people in collaboration with We Love BXL.
The public space was the place to be for enjoying concerts this summer. Our artists proposed three temporary MetX Moving Combos: original formulas featuring 4 musicians from the Brussels global sounds and jazz scene. Acoustic, mobile and 100% corona-proof!
On 29 and 30 May, the organisers of 11 established jazz festivals joined forces for an online festival. Mâäk Quintet, normally programmed at Brussels Jazz Weekend, performed alongside other big names from the Belgian jazz scene such as De Beren Gieren, Jean-Paul Estiévenart, Esinam and Nabou.
Alien life, the Bermuda Triangle or the primal sound of MetX... According to science, they must exist even in the absence of hard evidence. Let's give it a try as far as our sound goes: discover the MetX MiXtape and playlists with musical influences from our artists.
The social distancing measures oblige MetX to thoroughly review our agenda for 2020. At least until the end of August, many events will be cancelled, moved to a later date or feature alternative formulas like online gatherings and pop-up concerts.
Given the recent developments regarding the spread of Covid-19, all concerts and rehearsals from MetX groups are canceled. Our annual weekend of residence has been suspended to the Spring of 2021. We are looking for alternative formulas to organise (mini) concerts later this year. More info and updates via our social media and newsletter.
March 8 is International Womens’ Day. The ideal occasion for some sneak preview concerts by female gnawa group Tsoukina. On March 7 they play first at the Chaabi Habibi event at UPA, after which they join the all womxn line-up of the Intersections party at VK. Parallel to these try outs, they further develop their repertoire during weekly rehearsals at MetX and a residence at Zinnema in May.
This year the quintet around Laurent Blondiau will once again pull out all the stops. They are preparing for a whole series of concerts in Belgium and abroad. During Brussels Jazz Weekend, they will invite Laïla Amezian, Zouratié Koné and Imane Guemssy with MetX and play for the Journée des Lundis d'Hortense on the Grand Place. And in June they host a brass battle for Fête de la Musique.
2020 is going to be massive for Fanfakids. With performances and workshops In Belgium and abroad, celebrating their 20th anniversary with Zinneke Parade, a makeover of their outfit by a fashion designer and new international exchanges!
The Zinneke Parade celebrates its 20th anniversary! For this festive edition Fanfakids, created during the 1st parade in 2000, together with Sysmitos, Ledebirds, Urban Center Brussel, Elastik vzw, WijkAntenne de Quartier (WAQ) and Maison de Quartier 6 Heyvaert (MQ6) form the Zinnode "Loops".
On November 30 we organised a MetX Solidarity Jam for Fair Saturday and the charity campaign Brussel Helpt. All night long people enjoyed good music while supporting a good cause. On the menu: a try out by our new group Bakanaï, a sticky jam session and a spaghetti fest for the benefit of DoucheFLUX.
In October MetX participated again at the celebrations of the Mexican Day of the Dead in les Marolles. Young and old joined workshops around a.o. music, dance, decoration and make-up. The climax was a festive parade with music from the Mexican artist Israel Alonso and Remork & Karkaba.
From September 14 till October 5, De Centrale organises the first Gnawa festival in Ghent. The kick-off happens during OdeGand with a gnawa parade or ‘Krima’. At the request of De Centrale, MetX invites a large number of gnawa musicians from Brussels, completed by gnawas from Ghent and Antwerp.
OUT NOW: MikMâäk #2, the long-awaited follow-up to their debut album from 2015. With live-recorded compositions by Fabian Fiorini, Pascal Rousseau, Samuel Ber and Laurent Blondiau. Release concerts at Recyclart, Handelsbeurs en Théâtre Marni (13/02). And a video clip bathing in typically disarming Mâäk-humour.
The project Al-Karavan is a series of nomadic musical encounters, paying tribute to the first generation of Moroccan migrants in Belgium. On September 20 and 21 the musicians set foot at Le Senghor in Etterbeek. Featuring a.o. Les Fatmas de Belgica, Laïla Amezian & Les Sheikhs Shikhats and Remork & Karkaba.
MetX goes on tour in Brussels. Together with several cultural partners, we organise open jam sessions on various locations throughout the city. You can join other musicians, both professionals and amateurs, and tune in to a mix of various musical genres.
This year la Fête de la Musique took place from June 20 till 23. Four days filled with hundreds of concerts throughout Brussels and Wallonia. Including a massive brass battle in les Marolles organised by MetX!
MetX is setting up a new multidisciplinary ensemble. Not just a brass band, but a kind of laboratory where you can experiment and learn as an (amateur) artist. Trumpet player and composer Laurent Blondiau provides the artistic framework. Want to join the project?
Are you working for a collective, production house, concert venue, festival or other type of organisation with an interest in world music? Than the Belgian World Music Network might be your thing! Join us at the annual World Music Meeting on May 23.
Have you ever heard a harmonic orchestra play gnawa jazz? On the 19th of May, the Royal Harmony Sint-Cecilia Gullegem and our gnawa brassband Remork & Karkaba played a joint performance during the world music festival Kokopelli. An unseen exchange between lively musical traditions from Belgium and Morocco!
End of March 2019, we organised a weekend filled with master classes for our musicians. The members of Remork & Karkaba, Ander Brass en BRUiTAL had the opportunity to improve their groups’ repertoires and their individual artistic skills. All three bands also did some try-outs and promising soundclashes. And they even got company from BRUZZ-videoblogger Saïd Al Haddad. Check out some photos and videos below:
On January 24 we invited all participants and partners of MegafoniX for a massive jam session. Through this participatory musical project, driven by the district development contract Jonction, we connected […]
Early December, the original partners in crime of Mâäk played four exclusive concerts. This exceptional Mâäk Five reunion concluded the 20th anniversary of the renowned jazz collective. Throughout 2018, Mâäk […]
On the april 19, the renown B–Classic festival starts in Genk. Marockin’ Brass will play there three times: on’ B-Classic barst los’, ‘ B-Classic betovert ‘ and ‘ B-Classic cycles ‘ (19, 20 and 22 April). The Gnawa–Jazz band is working on a new album and may […]
In 2018, the jazz collective Mâäk is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a nice series of concerts with: 21.04.2018 – Mâäk Quintet: Journée de propreté, Brussels 04.05.2018 – MikMâäk: De Roma, Antwerp 26.05.2018 […]