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Expo 2020 Dubaï - Laurent Blondiau and Chaabi rhythms!

Photo of the band
Laurent Blondiau and the Mâäk Quintet at Expo 2020 Dubaï | © J. Van Belle - WBI

During the World Expo in Dubai, visitors to the Belgian Pavilion will have the pleasure of hearing Laurent Blondiau, who will perform in the company of singer Laïla Amezian and the group B’net.


Laurent Blondiau and the Mâäk collective

Laurent Blondiau, trumpet player and artistic coordinator at MetX, no longer needs an introduction inside or outside Belgium (European Revelation of the Jazz Academy of France in 2019, Sabam Jazz Award in 2015, etc.). More than 20 years ago, he founded the Mâäk jazz collective, with which he explores every new possibility in sound, rhythm and harmony.

The Mâäk collective, which strikes a delicate balance between improvisation and music scores, all peppered with African rhythms, soon began to play different currents of musical influence. Here are a few examples that illustrate their constant thirst for experiences and regeneration: Mâäk Kojo (Beninese influences), MikMâäk (big band of 16 musicians), Les Sheikhs Shikhats & B’net Chaabi (project with Laïla Amezian that combines chaabi songs and rhythms with jazz arrangements), Bakanaï (multidisciplinary ensemble comprising musicians playing a "transportable" instrument and dancers) and Les Ventistes du Faso (project to train wind instrument players in west Africa).


Collaborations and traditions

Over the last few years, Laurent Blondiau has been working with Laïla Amezian on the repertory of traditional Chaabi songs from Morocco. Chaabi rhythms are particularly interesting and complex because they allow for many different arrangements and compositions. The project first took the form of an amateur choir, then a first professional project, and now a group of 18 musicians with which they are preparing a recording scheduled for late November. Visitors to the Belgian Pavilion at the World Expo will have the privilege of being immersed in their world.


The World Expo

For an artist, it is always a pleasure to be able to present your music to a new audience. People from all over the world are present during a World Expo. This offers an opportunity to visit different foreign pavilions and meet many interesting people. Laurent Blondiau is also hoping that, "the people who attend the concerts in the Belgian Pavilion will be very diverse!"


Jazz and Wallonia-Brussels

Laurent Blondiau considers that there are large numbers of artists and artistic projects in our little country. He highlights the importance of aid from the public authorities, whether for jazz or for other disciplines. Wallonia-Brussels therefore plays a vital role in allowing artists to receive aid and support so they can continue to create and also disseminate and share their creations.

For the trumpeter, exchanges with other artists from Wallonia-Brussels, as well as artists from the north of the country and other regions, is an opportunity and a blessing. And, as he recalls, "The power of a wonderful project, a wonderful artistic work, is not limited to the geographical origin of the artists, but rather to their creativity and their desire to meet, wherever they come from."


For further information

Laurent Blondiau :

Le collectif Mâäk :

Laïla Amezian :


Are you interested in Wallonia-Brussels' participation in the Dubai World Expo? Find all the details:

Photo of Laurent Bondiau
Photo of band
Photo of band
Photo of band

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