The world’s most prestigious competition for jazz trumpeters comes for the first time in Europe to Belgium at Namur Concert Hall, le Grand Manège.
Carmine Caruso was one of the world’s greatest brass teachers. It is to this man and his work that the 2023 Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition is dedicated. All of Saturday’s events are open to the public and will be held at Namur Concert Hall, Le Grand Manège, Rue Rogier 82, 5000 Namur, Belgium, on October 21st, 2023.
Carmine Caruso was a renowned trumpet player, teacher, and author. Born in New York City in 1948, Caruso began playing the trumpet at a young age and quickly developed a passion for music. He studied at the Manhattan School of Music and later at the Juilliard School, where he earned a degree in trumpet performance.
Throughout his career, Caruso performed with some of the most prominent orchestras and bands in the world, including the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Woody Herman Orchestra. He also had a successful solo career, recording several albums and performing at major venues around the world.
In addition to his performance career, Caruso was also a highly respected trumpet teacher. He authored several books on trumpet technique and pedagogy, including « The Caruso Method » and « The Physical Approach to Early Trumpet Playing », which are still widely used today. He also taught at several universities and music schools, including the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School, where he was a faculty member for over 30 years.
Caruso was also known for his dedication to advancing the trumpet. He invented the ‘Caruso Tuning Device’ and developed the ‘Caruso Embouchure Method’, which are both widely used by trumpet players today. He passed away in 1993 but his legacy continues to inspire and influence trumpet players around the world.
Carmine Caruso was not just a trumpet player but also, a teacher, an innovator, a mentor and an author. He dedicated his life to music and to helping others to improve their skills, and his influence can still be felt today.
Trumpeter, composer and arranger, Airelle Besson has made a name for herself on the European jazz scene with her clear and powerful playing. Virtuoso but never too demonstrative, her sound centres on emotion and musicality. Trained in both classical and jazz fields, her major influences are Bach and Keith Jarrett. Winner of the Django-Reinhardt prize of the Académie du Jazz and awarded the Victoires du Jazz in the “French Instrumental Revelation of the Year” category, Airelle Besson is as much a sought-after side-woman as well as a leader and an established composer.
A precocious talent
Born in Paris on March 23, 1978, Airelle Besson had a passion for the trumpet from the age of four, and began playing when she was seven. As a teenager she chose to be homeschooled, with her father’s support music was central in her education. In addition to the trumpet, she began learning the violin at nine and followed her studies in both jazz and classical music. After attending a number of conservatories, she studied musicology at the Sorbonne in Paris before entering the prestigious Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, from which she graduates with the first prize in jazz in 2002. Her turning point towards jazz had come during a workshop at the Cluny Jazz Festival with trumpet player Jean-François Canape.
Between electronic and acoustic
After graduating from the conservatoire, Airelle Besson teamed up with saxophonist Sylvain Rifflet to form and co-direct Rockingchair, a quintet with a rock and electronic leaning. The band released two albums, Rockingchair (2007) and 1:1 (2011). In 2013, Airelle, the group’s trumpet player, was propelled to the forefront of the European jazz scene when selected to take part in the “Take 5: Europe” programme, which opened doors to the continent’s biggest festivals (North Sea Jazz Festival, Molde Jazz Festival, Banlieues Bleues, London Jazz Festival etc). The following year, Airelle Besson transformed her longstanding friendship and collaboration with guitarist Nelson Veras into a poetic, acoustic duo in the album Prélude (Naïve Records). The album was a huge success, and the two musicians toured the international scene for several years.
Between small ensembles and large orchestras
In 2014, Airelle Besson created her own quartet with Isabel Sörling (voice), Benjamin Moussay (keyboards) and Fabrice Moreau (drums). Widely acclaimed by both the press and the public, their first album (Radio One, Naïve) is a tour de force in equilibrium and lucidity. All the melodic power of Airelle Besson’s compositions, as well as her talent for harmonisation, are elegantly displayed. Their second album, TRY! will be released on February 5, 2021. Airelle Besson increasingly devotes time to composing and arranging. In 2014, the English group Metronomy approached her for an arrangement on their album, Love Letters. Currently, 2020/21, she is artist-in-residence at the Cité musicale-Metz, where she is creating a new classical-jazz program with the Orchestre National de Metz. She will also be working with the Big Band de l’Union de Woippy on an upcoming project.
Throughout her career, Airelle Besson has been a valued member of various groups led by prestigious artists, notably in Charlie Haden and Carla Bley’s Liberation Music Orchestra in 2006. Other notable reference points are her work in duo with Vincent Ségal and Lionel Suarez, her trio formed alongside the German musicians Sebastien Sternal and Jonas Burgwinkel, and as a member of Lionel Suarez’s Quarteto Gardel with Vincent Segal and Minino Garay. In all these ensembles, as in her own groups, Airelle Besson stands out for her capacity to say a lot with a few notes. In her playing, lightness and delicacy predominate over and above her classical rigour and sheer virtuosity. Her style which embodies precision and the clarity of her message is among the best French jazz has to offer.
The village marching band and the most important international awards, the Sardinian countryside and the albums, discovering jazz and his many collaborations, his love of small things and Paris. There are not many people capable of putting together such a diverse array of elements and turn it into such an incredible and fast stylistic growth.
Paolo Fresu succeeded in a country like Italy where, for too long, jazz was famous just like Shakespeare or Matisse paintings, Armstrong was little more than a freak show and Miles Davis was acknowledged well after his creative peak. The magic lies in the spontaneous way in which he managed to convey the deepest meanings and magic of his native land with the most precious of the arts.
At this stage of his successful and long career there is no need to list recordings, awards and experiences that have made Fresu an international star, his music loved by many. Inside his trumpet sound runs the sap that has illuminated the European jazz nouvelle vague, the depth of a thought that doesn’t limit itself to music, his generosity that sees him in the right place at the right time and most of all the unending passion that always leads him.
35 years of teaching at the CRR of Chambéry
(Trumpet / Harmony / Arrgt in the JAZZ department)
Currently playing with:
– the Jazz Ensemble of Patrice Caratini since 1996
– The Brussels Jazz Orchestra since 2001
and also Stéphane Guillaume Project, Karim Maurice Quintet etc…
– since 2004 founded the “Pierre Drevet Quintet”
– and “the European Jazz Trumpets” 2012 and 1st Prize 2016 with the European Jazz Trumpet’s at
international competition of the « Made in New York Jazz Competition ».
– the “Lilananda Jazz Quintet” 2015
and the new Bossa2.0 project of the Lilananda Jazz Quintet 2017
– some videos….
– Some discs:
PIERRE DREVET QUARTET (septembre 1991 Distrib. MELODIE )
OMBRE ET LUZ (L.Pluton/P.Berne/A.Ceccarelli ,Ombre et Luz 1993 )
GRAINS DE FOLIE ( Juin94 : Pierre DREVET BIG-BAND)
INSIEME ( Novembre 1996-Distribution Mélodie)
ONJ Laurent Cugny (Merci,merci,merci Verve Mars 1997) JAZZNAVOUR ( Oct 1998)
GUILLAUME DE CHASSY QUINTET (Dec 98)
CARATINI JAZZ ENSEMBLE (Darling Nellie Gray Fev 2000)
AROUND THE SOMETIME SUITE ( Lilananda 2009 ) Stéphane GUILLAUME Windmills
BRUSSELS JAZZ ORCHESTRA ( Janvier 2005 Dreyfus Jazz, Countermove Avril 2006 Werf,
Philip Catherine 2006, David Linx 2007, Michel Herr 2008, Richard Galliano Milan Records
2008, Bert Joris 2011, 2015 et 2017…)
DANCING JOY Lilalanada Jazz Quintet CD Live 2016 ( Inouïe distr.)
BOSSA2.0 CD Live 2018 ( Inouïe distr.)
ECHANGE CD Live Nov 2019 ( Inouïe distr.)
PHARES ( LilanandaJazz Quintet 2021) ( Inouïe distr.)
ESPACES PARTAGES (Duo B.Revel, P.Drevet 2021)( Inouïe distr.)
Although many musical genres are close to him, he does not close his activities to any of them. He plays solo and together with bands belonging to the leading Polish improvised music groups – Maciej Fortuna Trio (Solar Ring, Sahjia, At Home, Jazz), the multiple award-winning Maciej Fortuna Quartet or the duo Fortuna/Dys, which has released two albums – Tropy (FM, 2013) and Maciejewski Variations (DUX, 2014). He performs music combining jazz with electronics – both solo and in duet with An On Bast (albums 1, Live and Electronic Transcription of Film Music by Krzysztof Penderecki). His Slavic project based on Kolberg’s collections (Kolberg Fortuny; later Maciej Fortuna Słowiański) was exceptionally successful. He has performed at many international festivals, including Jarasum International Jazz Festival, Heineken Jazzaldia (San Sebastián Jazz Festival), and Fringe Festival.
In 2016 he performed the first-ever jazz concert inside the volcano. In 2017 he reactivated the Poznań Fifteen Orchestra. A year later, he conducted the premiere of his composition for 100 trumpets and percussion. Since 2019, the Poznań Komeda Marathon has been held under the artistic direction of Maciej Fortuna. Jerzy Milian dedicated his last composition to him, which was released at the turn of 2019 and 2020. In 2021 he resumed the activities of his trio, with whom he recorded the album “Baltic”. At that time, he began meditations for the trumpet solo, a series of interactions recorded in abandoned places and among nature in Poland and Spain.
He creates his own language of musical expression and expands the sound palette of his instrument, experimenting with combining different genres of art. He creates and directs multimedia concerts and video productions.
Maciej Fortuna is a doctor-habilitated assistant professor of jazz trumpet at the Academy of Music in Poznań. He runs his own music publishing house, Fortuna Music, and leads the Jazz Poznań Association (2015). Privately, father of two.
Rue Rogier 82, 5000 Namur
Namur Concert Hall and Auditorium Rogier