More than 20 years ago, Mâäk Quintet emerged as a classic jazz quartet centered around trumpet player Laurent Blondiau. Today, the quintet is a multifaceted collective with international connections. And easily one of Belgium’s most praised avant-garde jazz formations.
Out in the streets or inside a concert hall, acoustic or amplified, in front of crowds or in a more intimate setting… Mâäk is all about vitality, dynamism and musical freedom. Within well-defined musical boundaries, the quintet creates a sound that ranges from sophisticated and fascinating to magnetic and sensual.
The musicians never stop experimenting with new sounds, rhythms and harmonies. Hence, the quintet’s compositions -with orchestrations from duo to tutti- remain wonderfully spontaneous and improvised. Yet flawlessly orchestrated.
The quintet is also the backbone of larger ensembles. For instance: Laurent and co. surround themselves with eleven other top musicians to form the exceptional bigband MikMâäk. And since 2010, the collective is performing with the Beninese musical family Anagoko as the Voodoo-jazz ensemble Mâäk KOJO.
The musicians from Mâäk also like to clash their sound with artists from totally different backgrounds, such as Belgian-Moroccan singer Laïla Amezian or punk-jazz ensemble Skordatura.
Laurent Blondiau: trumpet
Michel Massot: tuba
Jeroen Van Herzeele: tenor saxophone
Grégoire Tirtiaux: alto saxophone
Samuel Ber: drums
Photos © Karim Tibarari & Sam Verhaert