The Orchestre International du Vetex was formed in 2004 in the small Flemish town of Kortrijk for a special occasion : to gather professional and amateur musicians from Flanders, Wallonia and the North of France in order to publicise the possibility of renovation of the old textile factory Vetex situated in an abandoned part of the city. Some local associations took part in the project and a couple of weeks later, the Orchestre International du Vetex gave its first concert at the "Fiesta Mestiza"-festival in Kortrijk.
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It's the beginning of a great adventure. The band is quickly noticed in the musical world in Belgium thanks to this crazy mixture of brassmusic, always with a punky rock'n'roll attitude. It sows energy everywhere it goes, but not only because of the style or the numerous musicians, also because they don't like to be too serious and certainly want to have fun with the spectators. It's a cross-border band, with people from three different regions in two different countries but that have some important goals in common and that fight for the same ideas. Fascinating? Of course. Easy ? Not always...
In 2005, after a series of concerts in Belgium and France, the Orchestre International du Vetex records its first album, Le Beau Bazar , a CD and a DVD with 12 songs and a documentary about the life of this cross-border band. Then, they record "Flamoek Fantasy" in 2007. Both albums receive very good critics in Belgium but in other European countries as well.
Till now, the Vetex has played more than 400 concerts... From little clubs and parties to big and famous stages... From the streets of Sarajevo to the underground in Praha. From the Olympic Games in Turin to prestigious street and world music festivals in Graz, Jelenia Gora, Nis, Santander, Amsterdam, Bansko, Berlin...
In 2008 and 2009, the band headed more and more east-wards, spending a lot of time touring through the Balkans (Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Bulgaria). First of all because the Vetex is a cross-border band, but also because this region is a great source of inspiration for them. During these travels and tours, they started a friendship and a musical collaboration with musicians from these regions including the great Serbian accordion-player Ivo Vucelja, the young talented Bosnian trumpet player Ivan Sucac and the phenomenal female singer from Mostar, Jelena Milusic. Soon, they start to work on a new project : create a show where both the music of the Vetex and traditional song of the Balkans are played. Moreover, Adela Jusic, a young artist-filmmaker that survived the war in the surrounded city of Sarajevo, gives us a very personal view of the life near the borders and the way to live with our neighbours in spite of our differences through images and videos.
And here is the result : an international production called 'Balkan Banquets'. A fascinating show with a lot of joy but with sadness and nostalgia too. A show that makes us think about the borders, here and there. Physical and psychological borders. Musical and geographical borders...
Begin 2010, the Vetex will release a DVD-pack with a photo-booklet that summarize the 6-years-life of the band. In the DVD, you'll find videos of Balkan Banquets, clips videos, reports from young filmmakers, ... In between, the band will record his third album at the end of 2010, and they will be present in a myriad of festivals and events all over Europe.
The band :
Annelies "Bolle" Remaut / Percussion
Benoit "Ben Ben" Blanc / Trombone
Dries Degrande / Sousaphone
Ine Deblauwe / Fluit
Jacob "Jaks" Willem / Bariton Saxofoon
Jan Cuvelier / Bugle
Jean-Baptiste Lison / Accordeon
Lionel Raepsaet / Alto Saxofoon
Loes Coolen / Trompet
Matthieu "Mamatt" Levecque / Trompet
Maxime "Max" Catteloin / Percussion
Michiel Deblauwe / Klarinet & Soprano Saxofoon
Ruben Deprez / Trombone
Thomas Morzewski / Trompet
Tomas Bulcaen / Trombone