Tcha Limberger (violin, singing)
Tcha Limberger was born in a ‘Manouche’ family with a long-standing musical tradition (his grandfather was the legendary Piotto Limberger). Both his father Vivi, singer and guitar player, and his Flemish mother raised him to understand and appreciate their respective cultures.
As a child, Tcha was determined to become a flamenco singer. At age twelve, he started playing the clarinet, joining the family orchestra ‘The Piotto’s’. Meanwhile, he studied the flamenco guitar, but because of a lack of good teachers, he switched to Django-style guitar playing, learning from masters such as Fapy Lafertin and Koen De Cauter. At that time, he worked with ‘Het Muziek Lod’, where he met Dick Vanderharst, who introduced him to contemporary classical music and modern jazz. Tcha’s good friend and colleague, Herman Schamp, exposed him even more deeply to classical music and composing.
When Tcha was seventeen, he started studying the violin, inspired by stories on his grand-father and recordings of Toki Horvath. By the time he was twenty-one, he left Belgium for Budapest, where he took classical and tzigane classes from Horvath Bela.
Back in Belgium, Tcha was asked to work with Fabrizzio Cassol and Alain Platel (Les Ballets C de la B) in the productions ‘Vespers’ and ‘Pitié’. With ‘Les Ballets’ Tcha made his debute as a composer in ‘Patchagonia’.
Some years ago, Tcha was able to realize an old dream: founding an outstanding traditional Magyar Nota band. He has also formed the Kalotaszeg trio, playing folk music from Kalotaszeg Transsylvania. Recently, Tcha has started the quintet ‘Les Violons de Bruxelles’, gathering young talented jazz violinists.
Tcha finds his most creative musical experience in playing with the ‘Gitaar Duo Tcha Limberger-Herman Schamp’. This is where he has started to explore and enjoy free improvisation in a very intense and unlimited way.
Renaud Crols (violin)
Renaud Crols learned to play the piano at the age of six and the violin at the age of nine. At seventeen he made his debut at the Royal Conservatory of Liège and left with the First Prize in violin, in Chamber music and in music theory. At the same time he fell in love with jazz playing and improvisation and he got himself involved in different bands. By the age of twenty-one, he moved to Brussels and started his voyage of discovery into gypsy music from Romania and the Balkans. He focused on jazz, and more specific on Manouche jazz. He had the opportunity to perform several times with the famous Romanian gypsy orchestra “Taraf de Haïdouks”. Three years later, he toured in Canada with the Belgian sitar player Bert Cornelis and internationally renowned Indian tablas master, Partha Mukherjee. He also went on a world tour with the ballet representation “Pitié” of Belgian choreographer Alain Platel. Today, Renaud Crols mainly performs with classical or jazz ensembles.
Alexandre Tripodi (viola)
Alexandre began studying the violin at a very young age, and was then drawn to jazz - particularly swing – as a teenager.
This passion led him to study at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, and subsequently he began performing in various jazz, swing and French chanson outfits, in which he was able to learn the repertoire of Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli.
His playing is a joyful combination of traditionalism and lyricism - mixed with hints of bebop.
Notably, he has played with Tcha Limberger, Quentin Liégeois, Christophe Astolfi, Renaud Dardenne, Fapy Lafertin, and Pascal Mohy...
Renaud Dardenne (guitar)
Renaud Dardenne can be seen performing in many different contexts : the fantastic greek-belgian rebetiko band "Vinylio", many jazz bands, playing brazilian chorinho and of course next to Tcha Limberger with "Les violons de Bruxelles"...
He also composed soundtracks for movies and theatre (creations such as “Miroirs de Fernando Pessoa" by Elvire Brison).
A devotee of acoustic playing, his delicate, sincere style reflect a great love of traditional music, jazz, and Django Reinhardt.
Renaud studied jazz guitar and pedagogy in both Royal Conservatorium from Bruxelles and teach in the AKDT of Neufchateau and with Muziekpublique.
Les violons de Bruxelles have taken the legendary format of the Quintet of the Hot Club of France and turned it on its head;
the double bass is still very much present, but the rest of the instrumentation is exactly the opposite: just one guitar and...
Both harmonically and rhythmically, the polyphonic composition of the group provides the improviser with a subtle but stimulating accompaniment, while the contrasting personalities of the three violinists give birth to a kaleidoscopic range of styles, moods, and shades of swing...
A fresh and unique vision of the all-string swing orchestra!
Sam Gerstmans (double bass)
Samuel Gerstmans comes from a family of musicians. He began playing the violin at six years old, followed by the trumpet at eight. He studied at the Academy of Hannut, and at 17 he won prizes (?)for violin and chamber music.
At 19, he developed an interest in jazz, joining the Jazz Studio in Antwerp, and the following year he began studying with Michel Hatzigeorgiou at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. Also that year, he performed at the Théâtre des Martyrs in the play ‘The Taming of the Shrew’. He began playing the bass for Pascal Charpentier’s score for ‘The Master and Margarita’ – and has never looked back.
Since then, he has played in a wide range of groups including PHINC, Phil Abraham Trio, Michel Herr Life lines, Mélanie De Biasio, Les Violons de Bruxelles, Guy Cabay, Déborah Brown… In March 2011, he joined the Soledad group.