Living in Ghent, a UNESCO creative city of music, these three musicians got to know each other at the conservatory and ended up becoming best friends. Fulco Ottervanger, who studied classical piano as well as classical composition, is the band's main composer. His work, therefore, doesn't always strictly fit within the jazz tradition, but you can most certainly detect the barmy seriousness of Cecil Taylor, the stubbornness of Thelonious Monk, the energy of Charles Mingus and the Dutch humour of Misha Mengelberg. Composition and improvisation are equally important in the music of De Beren Gieren. Their live performances are utterly infectious and irresistibly enthusiastic, making them the darlings of press and public alike. Their first demo-CD was very well received and judging by the onslaught of requests from the biggest organizers, it seems like the jazz world firmly believes in De Beren Gieren.
The group is also keen to do collaborative work. In 2011, they toured with the French DJ Boulaone, they moulded Mozart into a jazz package at the En Avant Mars Festival, they were the driving force behind the jam sessions at the Ghent Jazz Festival and, they have plans to work with the French guitarist Jean-Yves Evrard and the German saxophone player Jan Klare, in 2012.
(Text by Frederik Goossens/translation Tania Derck)