Barbara Wiernik

A stylish jazz singer who stays clear of any sort of mannerism and stereotype, and takes the genre in a new direction by influences ranging from pop and poetry to Indian singing.

08.10, 18.00, Jazzstation
Barbara Wiernik & Nicola Andrioli


Who is… Barbara Wiernik?

She discovers a passion for singing as if by chance at the age of eighteen. She registers at Jazz studio in Antwerp straightaway and then pursues her education at the Royal Conservatory of music in Brussels where she attends classes with David Linx.

She pens all her poetically charged lyrics herself. She has already travelled several times and for long periods to India to learn the specific singing techniques. In addition, Joni Mitchel and Norma still serve as remarkable role models. As regards the latter, she has been attending her courses for no less than twenty years.

She presents her debut album entitled ‘Eclipse’ in 2000, performing along musicians Jozef Dumoulin, Hugo Read and Ramesh Shotham. This was later followed by ‘Soul of Butterflies’ (2009) with among others Fabian Fiorini and Laurent Blondiau.

She also guests on albums by Alexandre Furnelle, Manuel Hermia and Giacomo Lariccia, and forms the trio PiWiZ alongside Zurstrassen and Jacques Pirotton.

And then, there is also WRAP!, together with Alain Pierre and Jean-Louis Rassinfosse. Their CD ‘Endless’ is issued by Igloo Records. With Alain Pierre, she is also part of the duo Different Lines.

Another rather special project is ‘Les 100 ciels de Barbara Wiernik’ with no less than thirteen musicians from both the classical and jazz scene.

Coming Saturday, there is the premiere of the duo CD ‘Complicity’ with pianist Nicola Andrioli (Philip Catherine, Lorenzo Di Maio, Manolo Cabras).


What is…

... your favourite spot in Brussels?

I have been living in Saint-Gilles for sixteen years now and for me, “le parvis”  is one of the most unique locations with its classics such as Le Verschueren, La Maison du Peuple or Bar de l’Union. With the first rays of sunshine, the terraces are flooded with a mixed crowd of splendid diversity from across Brussels: both young and not so young people, but also families with children from many different cultures. A vibrant blend that gives off a very special energy. If you are driving to this area by car, expect to have a parking problem because there are as good as no available parking spaces at all. It is therefore best to choose an alternative mode of transportation.


… the last CD or album you bought for yourself?

I purchased two at once. ‘What Was Said’ by Tord Gustavsen with Simin Tander and Jarle Vespestad, which I appreciate for its atypical atmosphere. It is music that almost makes you high by its warm tones and its almost luminescent aura which exudes from the album. And I also bought ‘For You’, the debut album of French singer Lou Tavano. She also manages to instil a very particular feeling by a fresh and modern sound associated to an emotional depth. She writes her own lyrics, predominantly in English.


… your fondest memory of a recent concert?

That would be Lorenzo Di Maio who presented his album ‘Black Rainbow’ at the Marni Jazz Festival early September. I had already seen the group on stage a couple of times but this time around, every detail was carefully thought out and executed to perfection. It is of course a real dream team with the pianist and the drummer, whose services I also do call upon (laughs). What struck me, is that their instrumental music sounded very vocal. Melody and harmony speak right to the heart. And also the manner in which these young musicians operate as a strong entity, was remarkable, all the while showing utmost temperance and discipline.


… your favourite quote of the moment?

It is a quote by Sonny Rollins. “Improvisation is all about losing conscious thought. Let the music come out”. The very concept of letting go, giving up control, really appeals to me. You have to be able to do it at the right time though. And, obviously, it takes a lot of hard work and practice before you get to that stage. That is also what I always try to teach my students during my classes: find the moment when you no longer think, forget all precepts and let emotion and music take over.