With Donder, every album, every project so far meant a new approach, a new sound, and a new way to construct and interpret a repertoire. Their application for the Jong Jazztalent Ghent contest provided a chance to develop a new, original and ambitious project where they could once again explore new terrains.

The idea for their project proposal stems from their encounters with the Norwegian music scene, which has produced a lot of unique and ground-breaking music in recent years.  Norway has a deeply anchored folk music tradition, and even though it has become less widely practiced nowadays, this tradition still very much alive. With its improvisational freedom, sense for melody and complex rhythms, the folklore tradition goes hand in hand with the philosophy behind jazz, and this combination results in a substantial amount of creative and genre-transcending music.

“Inspired by cries and whispers of the world, Donder wears mental imagery into layers of sound. While the music takes various shapes, fragments of melodies and forgotten thoughts unfold into sonic landscapes with a cosmic dimension.”

Despite a thriving scene, a similar heritage seems to be lacking or overlooked in the Belgian and Flemish jazz environment. With this project, Donder wants to fill out the blanks in their musical identity, and research the musical heritage from our ancestors and the role it could play in their music. The knowledge and material they acquire will be used as a source of inspiration for composing a new repertoire for Donder in a new quartet constellation.

The project is neither an attempt to initiate a folk music venture, nor some kind of manifestation of Flemish nationalism, but rather an endeavour to connect the loose ends in their musical identity.  In 2020, they released their album “Het Verdriet“, which was positively received by the public. The band was joined by Sigbjørn Apeland, a Norwegian harmonium and church organ player for this record. The unusual combination of piano trio with harmonium opens up for a multi-layered chamber music ambience with extensive possibilities concerning sound and textures.

“Donder is a band like no other. They’ve developed an idiom which is entirely their own and which allows them to pursue their own unparalleled vision. What a joy to follow this young trio. Keukenpraat is their best record yet, but it holds the promise that Steingueldoir, Van De Velde en Callewaert are capable of even more beautiful music.” – Written in Music

Pianist Harrison Steingueldoir (°1995, BE) finished his masters degree at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp in 2017, where he studied piano with Free Desmyter and Erik Vermeulen. Throughout the years Harrison won different awards as soloist and band member and toured through Belgium, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Portugal and Japan with Donder, GYJO and coaching projects with Ambrose Akinmusire and Avishai Cohen. Besides being a pianist, Harrison teaches and composes and arranges for bigband.

Drummer Casper Van De Velde (°1995, BE) graduated from the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp in 2017 where he studied with Teun Verbruggen, Stéphane Galland and Dré Pallemaerts. He won the Storm! Contest both in 2015 with his duo SCHTNZL and again in 2017 with Donder. In 2016 he was awarded the prize for best instrumentalist at the Tremplin Jazz Contest in Avignon. Casper is also active in bands like Bombataz and An Pierlé Quartet and is involved in theater projects.

Bassist Stan Callewaert (°1995, BE) moved to Denmark in 2016 to obtain a master’s degree in Music Performance at the RMC. In 2017 he also completed his masters at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp where he studied with Nicolas Thys and Brice Soniano. Besides Donder, Stan is actively involved in the Copenhagen-based trio Lawaai and has been working on a solo double bass album. He has shared the stage with artists like Randy Peterson, Kresten Osgood and Warren Smith and can be recognized by his rather unconventional, textural approach to the double bass.

Stan Callewaert (BE) – Double bass
Casper Van De Velde (BE) – Drums & percussion
Harrison Steingueldoir (BE) – Piano

Manchesterstraat 49A/f, 9000 Ghent
Jens Tytgat

Werfstraat 108
8000 Brugge
Benny Claeysier

The Netherlands
Kobe Gregoir