Oblivious to traditional high-performance standards, Seppe Gebruers (1990) was never one to win the Tour de France. To that end he misses a solid training scheme and a sense of calculating opportunism. Instead, Gebruers is more of an attacker than one to dominate the entire race. Furthermore, he rather surrounds himself with a group of equal leading partners than a supporting team of helpers.
Playing at half-force is not an option though, as anyone who has witnessed his physical playing style will testify. Each concert is a classic in its own right, not to be set against another hypothetical future ride. At the same time there is this very open approach to Gebruers’ playing, in which the moment itself is manifest, along with an awareness of space, and particularly a vindication of the input of other musicians. Which should come as no surprise when dealing with a pianist who is just as fascinated by the medieval Messe de Notre Dame by de Machault, as by Georges Aperghis’ contemporary compositions.
This broad view on music already manifested itself at an early stage. After playing jazz standards between age twelve and sixteen, it was time for something else. Gebruers not only studied with jazz-related pianists like Jef Neve, Kris Defoort and Erik Vermeulen, but also absorbed the classical tradition with Levente Kende and Heidi Hendrickx.
His first moment on the big stage then, was after winning the 2011 Young Jazz Talent Ghent contest, together with Ifa y Xango, a collective of like-minded young musicians. A year later the ensemble appeared on the main stage of Gent Jazz, for a set characterized by a bold, “bad-ass” attitude, usually associated with American jazz stars.