Steven Delannoye

A year studying in New York has first and foremost taught the young saxophonist to make informed choices between own groups, activities as a sideman and solo projects.

26.05, 18.30, BRUSSELS JAZZ WEEKEND -  Kumiko Izakaya
Adrien Volant 5tet feat. Steven Delannoye

28.05, 15.15, BRUSSELS JAZZ WEEKEND -Grand-Place/Grote Markt

28.05, 20.15, BRUSSELS JAZZ WEEKEND -Grand-Place/Grote Markt
Antoine Pierre Urbex


Who is… Steven Delannoye?

He usually plays the tenor saxophone but more often than not he performs on soprano saxophone, bass clarinet and flute.

Because he is offered a BAEF scholarship (Belgian American Educational Foundation), he has the opportunity to study at the Manhattan School of Music (New York) in 2009-2010. One of his main mentors there is Phil Markowitz who advises him to make the right choices between own initiatives and a myriad of side projects. A piece of advice Delannoye (°1983) takes to heart.

Therefore, he is currently focusing to a certain extent on DelVitaGroup for which Steven writes most of the compositions. Following the collaboration of seven-member woodwind ensemble (featured on the CD ‘Yip & Yang’) and the tour with Dutch trumpeter Eric Vloeimans, the group manages to coax none other than guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel into performing a (for the time being) one-off concert.

With cellist Lode Vercampt, he forms the duo Giant’s Talk (named after a composition by Kris Defoort). He labels it himself as his ECM adventure. Now and then, pianist Nicola Andrioli gets involved. With him, Delannoye also forms another duo whose debut album in 2016 has been released under the Belgian label el Negocito Records.

Delannoye also features in Traekfugle (the ensemble around vocalist Sander De Winne in collaboration with Danish vocal all-female ensemble IKI) and Urbex, the trendy super group from the young Belgian jazz scene with among others Antoine Pierre, Bert Cools and Bram De Looze.

More recently, he forms the quartet Brandhaard alongside Mark Schilders, Reinier Baas and Jean-Paul Estiévenart, exploring between acoustic noise and proper action.

As a result of this vast array of collaborations, he has deliberately put his New York trio with bassist Desmond White and drummer Jesse Simpson on hold.

For the time being, he focuses his full attention on his solo projects.


What is…

... your favourite spot in Brussels?

I am unable to choose. So, I’ll give you two of my favourite spots. On the one hand, there is the area around the Brussels-Charleroi canal, south of Ruisbroek. Unspoilt nature just a fifteen-minute bicycle ride away from my home. I live in the city centre, right next to place du Jardin aux Fleurs/Bloemenhofplein. As a keen cyclist, I often take a ride to go work there, generally on my iPad.
On the other hand I go to coffee house OR, near the Bourse, two or three times a week. Many a time, I come across Jean-Paul Estiévenart and we talk about our recent musical adventures. From there, I often head for Muntpunt. I have a subscription and withdraw myself in a corner to do some reading.


… the last CD or album you bought for yourself?

I have not bought any physical CDs or albums in a long time. It must have been one by Paul Motian, ‘Garden of Eden’ under the ECM label or his Broadway classics issued by Winter & Winter. Today I prefer to support certain crowdfunding projects set up by colleague friends. For instance, I sponsored the new record by French drummer Guilhem Flouzat who has been living in New York for some time. I have met him through his bassist Desmond White who also plays in my New York trio. The third man on Flouzat’s CD is Ben Wendel, someone who is really gaining success and whom I met when I was studying there. It is striking that all these guys have excellent websites. But then again, it is a must when you live there because competition is fierce.


… your fondest memory of a recent concert?

That is very personal. Last year we were performing live with DelVitaGroup in De Kimpel (Bilzen) and we had none other than Kurt Rosenwinkel as special guest. As a matter of fact, he was not by any means a guest musician but a full-fledged band member. I had written most compositions myself and then to hear them being played by a musician of his calibre, it sends chills right down your spine. He is not only an exceptionally gifted colourist but above all a first-class artist all the way down the line. His dedication to work during rehearsals was also commendable. He gave it his all.


… your favourite quote of the moment?

It is something Miles Davis once said: “Don’t fear mistakes, there are none”. A sound piece of advice which I entirely follow through in everyday life. I love the adventurous side where anything and everything is possible.