The practice is complicated, political and to the outsider, impossible (pronounced with French inflection).
Compromis is "where words and actions give the appearance of national co-operation and support to conceal the pursuit of a regional agenda…"
'Stay around your own church.' Belgian aphorism.
"Most Flemish people don't like Brussels, and want nothing to do with the city. And they're not interested in finding out about the city." Belgian film director, Marc Didden. [Flanders Today, April 2009]
Belgium boasts a rich musical tradition. Every year it hosts one of the world's most important classical music events - Reine Elisabeth International Music Competition. The popular music and folk music scenes are also vibrant. Belgium has also produced many world class jazz musicians including: Bobby Jasper. Rene Thomas. Django" Reinhardt. The superlative Toots Thielemans.
Adolophe Sax, born in Dinant, invented the saxophone, an instrument that shaped the sound of jazz and popular music during the twentieth century.
Antoine Joseph Adolphe Sax (November 6, 1814 - February 4, 1894) was a Belgian musical instrument designer, best known for inventing the saxophone.
Adolphe Sax was born in Dinant in Belgium. His father, Charles Joseph Sax, was himself an instrument designer, who made several changes to the design of the French horn. Adolphe began to make his own instruments at an early age, entering two of his flutes and a clarinet into a competition at the age of fifteen. He subsequently studied those two instruments at the Royal School of Singing in Brussels.
Having left the school, Sax began to experiment with new instrument designs, while his father continued to produce conventional instruments to bring money into the household. Adolphe's first important invention was an improvement of the bass clarinet design which he patented at the age of 20.
In 1841, Sax relocated permanently to Paris and began work on a new set of instruments which were exhibited there in 1844. They were keyed bugles, and although he had not invented the instrument itself, his examples were so superior to those of his rivals that they became known as saxhorns. They are today widely used in military bands and sometimes in orchestras. The saxhorn also laid the groundwork of the modern euphonium.
Sax was also busy around this time inventing the instrument for which he is now best known, the saxophone. The composer Hector Berlioz wrote approvingly of the new instrument in 1842, but the instrument was not patented until 1846, after he had designed and exhibited a full range of saxophones (from soprano to bass). These instruments made his reputation, and secured him a job teaching at the Paris Conservatoire.
Sax continued to make instruments later in life, as well as presiding over a new saxophone class at the Paris Conservatoire.
He died in 1894 in Paris and was interred in the Cimetière de Montmartre.
At a very young age, Jaspar learned to play piano and clarinet. Later, he took up the tenor sax and flute. With the "Bop Shots" band, he took his first steps in the jazz world. In 1950, Jaspar moved to Paris, playing and recording with the best musicians of the era. Here he met his future wife, Blossom Dearie.
In the mid-fifties Jaspar was persuaded to try his luck in the United States, where his reputation in jazz circles had preceded him. He played and recorded with the quintet of J. J. Johnson, with Kenny Burrell, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Donald Byrd and many others.
In 1961/1962, Jaspar returned to Europe for a year for a series of concerts and a number of recordings. With his colleague, Belgian guitarist René Thomas, he formed a successful quintet. In some sessions, this was expanded to a powerful sextet with American trumpeter Chet Baker. One of those sessions was immortalised on the record Chet Is Back, recorded in 1962.
In February 1963, he died from a heart attack, aged just 37.
Status: UN Country
Capital City: Brussels (Bruxelles)
Main Cities: Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi, Liège
Area: 30,520 km2
Currency: 1 euro = 100 cents
Languages: Flemish (Dutch), French, German
Religions: Roman Catholic