Chris Potter performs with the Antwerp Jazz Orchestra


ANTWERP — The Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, Belgium, recently organized an exciting project allowing many of its students to study and perform with world-class jazz musicians. Among the students was Alex Baboian, a guitarist and composer from the Boston area, who is spending this year at the conservatory.

The special guest was a jazz saxophonist, in Baboian’s words, “the incomparable Chris Potter of New York”, who performed with the Antwerp Jazz Orchestra conducted by teacher and trumpeter Bert Joris.

After intensive rehearsals in late April, Baboian and his colleagues performed a program consisting entirely of Potter tunes arranged especially for the project by students from the orchestra. Baboian, who wrote the arrangement for the Jazz Orchestra (his first for Big Band), said “the challenge was a once in a lifetime experience of humility that I won’t soon forget, and the talented group of musicians ( composed of students from conservatories in Belgium, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, with Chris Potter) gave the music a much more colorful life than I could have imagined. Performances took place in the halls of Singel (Antwerp), CC Muze (Heusden-Zolder) and the legendary Bimhuis (Amsterdam).

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Henry R. Wright