The musicians

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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.

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Renaud Crols (violin)
 

Renaud Crols started learning 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, Chamber music and 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 also focused on jazz, and more specifically on Gypsy jazz. He's had the opportunity to perform several times with the famous Romanian gypsy orchestra “Taraf de Haïdouks” and went on a world tour with the ballet representation “Pitié” of Belgian choreographer Alain Platel. He performed with Roby Lakatos and Bireli Lagrène in 2016, and with "Les Violons de Bruxelles" went to the US to perform in the "Django in June" festival and workshop. He made a tour in Africa in 2019 with Achille Ouattara, and the same year recorded an album with Duved Dunayevski in Montreal called "The Transantlantic Five".  Today, Renaud Crols performs on piano and violon with many different types of bands, ranging from classical, blues, swing, jazz, salsa or folk music... 

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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...

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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.


 

 

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Sam Gerstmans (double bass)
 

Coming from a family of musicians, he started playing music at a very young age. At 18, he could play violin, trumpet, electric bass bass, a little guitar and a little piano. He had already played Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Shostakovich, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix... Then he discovered jazz and he choose to focus on electric bass.
He enrolled in the jazz studio for 1 year and then attended the Royal Conservatory of Brussels for 3 years to study with Michel
Hatzigeorgiou. During his studies, he started playing the double bass in the play "La Maitre et Marguerite" at the Théâtre des Martyrs in Brussels and then decided to integrate it in his curriculum. Therefore he's spend 2 more years in the Conservatory to study with Jean-Louis Rassinfosse.
Sam is passionate about music in all its forms. For 20 years now, he has been accompanying various musical projects from many genres such as jazz, rock, world music, pop... He has also recorded around forty albums. He crossed paths with some great names such as Philip Catherine, Steve Houben, Rick Margitza, Déborah Brown, Soledad...
His music also took him around the world and he performed in Vietnam, China, Senegal, Morocco, Brazil, Colombia, US, Canada, France, Finland...
Since 2017, he is teaching double bass at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels and he is in charge of a jazz ensemble at the local academy of Hannut.
His current groups are Jean-Paul Estiévenart Trio (+1), Les Violons
de Bruxelles, Mohy/Liégeois/Gerstmans Trio, Lorenzo Di Maio Trio,
"Jazz For Kids" and "Love Songs" with Manu Hermia and Pascal
Mohy, Lester's Blues, Nina New Dawn (tribute to Nina Simone),
Michel Herr, Fabrice Alleman, Frank Vaganée trio (with Teun
Verbruggen)...

 

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... three violins.
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!
ENG: Led by Tcha Limberger, "Les Violons De Bruxelles" group brings together the finest strings that Belgium has to offer, and puts the accent not on the guitar but on three violins. This string quintet takes the traditional swing formula of the “Hot Club de France” but turns its codes inside out. The quintet is unrivalled in its performance of gypsy jazz, swing, songs (and related genres like the choro), resulting in melodies that merge jazz with chamber music while the violins blend sumptuous improvisations with classic arrangements and wild forays into gypsy and Latin music. They have a unique way of drawing material from its source to make it evolve into something else.

FR: Emmenés par Tcha Limberger, Les violons de Bruxelles regroupent la fine fleur des violonistes de jazz belges. En mettant l’accent non sur la guitare mais sur le violon, ce quintet à cordes à trois violons, bouleverse les codes de la formule traditionnelle du swing façon Hot Club de France. Les Violons de Bruxelles revisitent comme personne le répertoire jazz manouche, swing et affiliés (choro, tzigane, chanson). En découle des mélodies entre jazz et musique de chambre, mêlant somptueux moments improvisés, arrangements classiques et embardées tziganes et latines. Une façon unique de puiser dans le répertoire et de le faire évoluer, de redéfinir le jazz manouche pour lui rendre ses lettres de noblesse.
Another text on us, from Fremeaux's presentation of our second album :