Friday, June 3, 2011


Unless you really live on the other side of the world, Leuven will be the place to be tomorrow night.
Living in Belgium sure has its advantages. Last month I went to the MOSAE ZAPPA festival in Maastricht (NL) where five bands played Zappa and / or Beefheart. Earlier this year, I caught Keneally / Minnemann / Beller and also Adrian Belew (solo !) in Tilburg (NL). And last week, I went to Brussels to see the Frank Zappa Ensemble.
Wowie Zowie... Can't complain. And I haven't even mentioned that Bad Doberan / Zappanale is only an 8 hour-drive away...

But tomorrow, you'll find me in Leuven where the Muze Jazz Orchestra will be performing.

the promo text says:
Saturday, June 4, 2011, the MJO is scheduled to perform at Appeltuinjazz in Leuven with "Muze Jazz Orchestra plays Frank Zappa".

MJO is a 9-piece band. The band will be performing Zappa and will play some material by Lieven Cambré as well.

The setlist should or could include: Peaches En Regalia (F. Zappa), Cletus Alwreetus-Alwrightus (Zappa), Po-Jama People (Zappa), Sofa (Zappa) As I think you are (Cambré), Lady Bird (arr. Cambré).

As I was able to have a short chat with Marco Cirone, I'm happy to add the following:

The Muze Jazz Orchestra arose from the monthly jam sessions that took place at the 'Muze' club in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium.
Every first Sunday of the month, Marco Cirone invited musicians. These sessions started with a concert around a specific theme (music by Miles Davis, Pat Metheny, Groove Like Eddie (Harris), original work, ...), and were followed by a jazz jam.

Out of the collective of musicians who regularly participated in the jam sessions, the idea grew of doing something with a bigger band.
September 2010, kicking off the new season, the Muze Jazz Orchestra performed for the first time.
The band is a mix of conservatory students, semi-professional and professional musicians. A lot of these musicians have performed together in various combinations and settings.
The arrangements of the pieces that are performed by the MJO are from Marco Cirone and from Lieven Cambré.

The repertoire of the MJO involves more than just Zappa music.

Lieven Cambré arranged his own compositions and the jazz classics for the MJO, whereas Marco Cirone arranged the Zappa pieces.

Marco Cirone adds:
"The love for Zappa's music started when I discovered "Joe's Garage" in the local CD library. I had seen cross-references in the liner notes of many bands that I was listening to such as Steve Vai, Mr. Bungle, X-legged Sally,...

Around the same time I started 'Freak Accident' in which those influences could clearly be heard. The fascination with Zappa's music has continued to grow gradually and I continue to make discoveries in his massive work: musical but also visual, theatrical, conceptual thinking, politics,....

We currently have 3 MJO concerts behind us and we are working steadily to expand the repertoire. We try to add a couple of new songs to every concert. We like the fresh and adventurous approach.

Besides the 'Appeltuin' concert (June 4 in Leuven), there's a large schowcase scheduled at the cultural center of Heusden-Zolder on Saturday, September 3."

  • Marco Cirone: guitar, vocals, arrangements

  • Lieven Cambré: alto sax, compositions, arrangements

  • Carlo Nardozza or Daniel Vandenhoydoncks: trumpet

  • Koen Nys: soprano- and tenor sax

  • Igor Maserolli: baritone sax

  • Tim Daemen: trombone

  • Tom Van Acker: bass gitaar

  • David La Mela: drums

  • David Hermans or Alano Gruarin: piano

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