We are Belgium

Sunday 7 May
Place des Palais
17:30 - 20:30

As part of mixity2017.brussels, the theme year devoted to Brussels' abundant diversity, Place des Palais will play host to the "We are Belgium" project.

Sixty choral singers accompanied by big-name Belgian pop rock artists as well as the National Orchestra of Belgium will draw the audience into a show that pushes all musical and social boundaries.

"We are Belgium! " presents the country's various musical traditions in an "Only in Belgium" way." In this manner each artist represents a part of Belgium, and each song has a special meaning, both personal and universal. Together they represent the Belgium we love so much.

The choir, specially assembled for the occasion by Stijn Kolacny, founder of the famous Belgian choir Scala, will be accompanied by the National Orchestra of Belgium, conducted by Dirk Brossé.

Come to Place des Palais and sing along with Ozark Henry, Marie Daulne, Sandra Kim, Natalia, Jef Neve, Christoff, Els de Schepper, Merdan Teplak, Will Tura, Binti, Viktor Lazlo, Typh Barrow and many more. They are sure to provide a wonderful atmosphere!!



The artists

The "We are Belgium" choir!

A choir will be hand-picked for this concert. The choir, with singers from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, will be supported by a symphony orchestra enhanced by a pop group and professionals from the worlds of rock, pop, ballad, schlager... famous Belgian groups and singers. Anyone can register to participate in auditions for the choir. Stijn Kolacny will guide this choir through all the steps leading up to the 7 May concert.

The National Orchestra of Belgium

It provides the musical platform for "We are Belgium!" Since 1936 the Orchestra has set the standard for symphonic music, making its home in the Centre for Fine Arts Brussels and  performing in Belgium and abroad. The Orchestra prides itself on knowing what matters in society because it always exceeds expectations.


Ozark Henry

Described by the media as "the Flemish Bowie," Ozark Henry has been producing music in his own style which defies categorisation since releasing his first album in 1996: from avant-garde electronic music to pop and a symphonic album with the National Orchestra of Belgium. Henry's world consists of a mix of the professional and the experimental, audio and visual, and heritage and technology. In 2015 Ozark Henry was named a United Nations goodwill ambassador in the fight against human trafficking. At this time he is developing a 3D music facility for the UN.


Marie Daulne

She is the driving force of Zap Mama, the polyphonic music group that has offered a mix of soul, jazz, gospel, and Afro-Cuban rhythms since 1990. Marie introduces herself: "I am a nomad. I like to use different instruments in order to experiment with various musical genres. And so I am "Zap Mama" because I flip from one instrument, culture, or style to another. I am above all a citizen of the world rather than an American or a Belgian."



The European star Natalia has sold over a million concert tickets, won more than 22 awards in her native Belgium, been a panelist on The Voice several times, and sold countless records over the course of her career. Natalia's debut came in 2003 when she participated on the Belgian programme "Idool" where she came in second place. The single "I've only begun to fight" became the main song in the Teamspirit 2 film soundtrack and immediately jumped to the top of the charts in Belgium, and that's how it all got started. Natalia enjoys collaborating with other talented singers and she has already participated in concerts with many successful artists like Lionel Richie, The Pointer Sisters, En Vogue, the French superstar Lara Fabian and Anastacia, to name just a few. She lent her musical talents to serve as a panelist on The Voice (Belgium) from 2011 to 2013 and returned to the entertainment industry in 2015-16 to participate as a panelist on "The Voice" and "The Voice Kids." 


Sandra Kim

To date she is still the only Belgian Eurovision winner and she is also the youngest. But in the meantime Sandra Caldarone has grown to become much more than just the girl who sang "I love life" in 1986. Since her participation in the famous singing contest, Sandra Kim has been a television presenter, and her services have been sought for concerts and major events (including King Albert II's ascension to the throne). In 2010 she recorded her own album in collaboration with big names in the music scene.


Les sœurs Binti

Six sisters and six voices: Hadiel, Yasmin, Amina, Rana, Sherien, and Fedia Holail Mohamed. Together they created the group "Binti," (literally) a "girl" group that grew up together sharing the same passion for music. Binti is a six-part, acoustic-vocal group with a guitar and a piccolo. Seven years ago they began by performing the songs that were close to their heart: old reggae songs, from "barbershop" music to the blues. Since 2012 they have also been producing their own songs and they have released an album.


Will Tura

Since 1958, "the emperor of Flemish Singing" has released no less than 135 albums with his music. Over the course of his impressive career, Tura has experimented with many musical genres like variety and ballad, Dutch pop, gospel, rock 'n' roll, country, and even a bit of rap. Some of his main hits have become great classics in Flemish music. Even though Will Tura has officially held the title of knight since 2001 and has spent more than sixty years on stage, he still does not think of stopping.


Jef Neve

Composer and pianist Jef Neve, also known as the "crown prince of Belgian jazz," has been a member of the musical elite since he completed his studies at the Lemmens Institute in 2000. He performs with his jazz ensemble "the Neve Trio" but also in classical orchestras, pop groups, and as a solo artist. In addition, he composes music for films, television, and the theatre, for both domestic and international productions. Jef Neve loves transcending the limits of his genre and he often collaborates with artists from other genres.


Viktor Lazlo

Born in France to a father from Martinique and a mother from Grenada, Viktor Lazlo fell in love with music and writing at a very early age. She was discovered by producer Lou Deprijk and recorded her first record, music from the Jean Pierre Mocky film: "Kill the Referee." More than ten albums and compilations would follow and be sold in over 30 countries. There were five gold records, concert tours in Germany, Austria, Japan, Taiwan, Canada, Turkey, etc., and more than 25 big screen and television films in France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Spain. She published her first novel, "The Crying Woman" in 2010. The very warm media reception for her single "Promised Land" marked Viktor Lazlo's return in October 2016. The second title is "Lola & Jim," pseudonyms of two victims of the November 2015 attacks in Paris who perished when terrorists opened fire on a café terrace in the 11th District.



The word "crooner" seems to have been invented for him alone. Christoff has been counted among popular Flemish artists for years. He made his musical debut at the age of twelve in a church choir. Since then he has been especially known for his pop and "schlager" music. He often collaborates with other artists, including his sister Lindsay.


Merdan Taplak

DJ and producer Merdan Taplak does much more than just keep the turntables spinning. He trains people in his own world of electronic sound and Turkish grooves. With his Merdan Taplak Orkestrar he channels this same world through a rhythmic brass band where, in addition to DJ Merdan, we also find three woodwind instrumentalists as well as an accordionist.


Typh Barrow

Typh Barrow - she's a bit like Janis Joplin & Amy Winehouse, minus the tragedy. She pushes the needles all the way into the red zone when her powerful voice takes off. But watch out: within her sophisticated and delicate package lurk a smoky bar, seasoned musicians, creaky boards, and age-old whiskeys. Typh is extremely unique and varied. So unscripted. Elusive. A talented author, composer, and performer, she won over the public and piqued the curiosity of event organisers with her EP "Time." To confirm this success, the most prominent producers in international pop took an interest in this unusual, husky, powerful, and oh-so bluesy voice. They are Dimitri Tikovoi (Placebo, Moby, etc.), Danton Supple (Coldplay, U2, etc.), Tom Coyne (Adele, Amy Winehouse, etc.). Although Typh's quest is to find "her" truth, the road to it is actually the most interesting part. A musical journey where we encounter all the best of pop and soul music from the last 40 years!


Official website :  http://www.belgiedatzijnwij.be