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Winner of 4 Grammy Awards
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Toots 100

Between a smile and a tear

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Vince Mendoza, dirigent

Grégoire Maret, mondharmonica

Kenny Werner, piano/keyboard

Philip Catherine, gitaar

Ivan Lins, piano/keyboard

Claudio Lins, zang

Tutu Puoane, zang

Pedro Sá Moraes, zang

Toots Thielemans is known as one of jazz music greats. In 2022 we would like to put the spotlight on this amazing guitar player, harmonica player and whistler once more. That’s why Metropole Orkest joins forces with a.o. Kenny Werner, Grégoire Maret, Philip Catherine and Tutu Puoane to give a couple of very specials concerts in the year that he would have turned 100 years old.

The 100th birthday of Toots will be celebrated with special concert in his honour. A unique arrangement has been made to showcase his rich and full musical career, from the first jazz-titillations that inspired him, all the way to his last soulful and touching ballads. For this project a selection of Toots’ many collaborators from the past were picked. Musicians whom he admired and loved to work with.

Metropole Orkest started working with Toots in the sixties. The first concert they played together was the Grand Gala du Disque in 1961. Many great projects followed. In the seventies he collaborated with Rogier van Otterloo to create the score of the movie “Turks Fruit”. He always enjoyed working with the orchestra, enjoying the beautiful conversations between them and himself – much to the delight of the audience.

Kenny Werner (piano/arranger) and Toots had a very unique connection: playful, challenging, understanding. “Throw me in the deep end, just don’t let me drown”, Toots declared after their first concert together.

Grégoire Maret (harmonica) is a natural musician, humble and formidable in his own right. He never tried to imitate Toots and Toots for his part respected and admired him for his own unique style.

Philip Catherine (guitar) played many concerts with Toots. They were guests on each other’s birthday concerts and learned one another’s songs backstage. Exchanging ideas and chords offstage and a musical language onstage. Many unforgettable moments were created between them.

These concerts are a collaboration between Metropole Orkest and The legacy of Toots Thielemans vzw. The concerts are made possible in part by Flanders – State of the Art.


Fri 29 Apr, 8:00 pm
Bozar: Paleis voor de Schone Kunsten, Brussel

Mon 2 May, 8:00 pm
Parkstad Limburg Theaters, Heerlen

Wed 4 May, 8:30 pm
Wilminktheater, Enschede

Thu 5 May, 8:00 pm
Philharmonie, Essen

Sat 7 May, 8:15 pm
TivoliVredenburg - Grote zaal, Utrecht

Sun 8 May, 3:00 pm
Koninklijk Theater Carré, Amsterdam

Sun 14 Aug, 10:00 pm
Jazz Middelheim, Antwerpen