Drummer Stéphane Galland is one of those artists who is conjoined with his instrument. Starting out playing the drums at age three, as a teenager he was already playing with international luminaries and graduated from the Conservatory before he had even turned eighteen. Earning a name and fame in the 1990s as one of the founders of Aka Moon – who will also be playing Gent Jazz in an encounter with the Brussels Jazz Orchestra – he has since built a reputation for himself as a formidably creative drummer who manages to make complex rhythms sound straightforward. His artistry and sense of rhythm have resulted in a variety of different gigs with the likes of Toots Thielemans, Philippe Boesmans and Ibrahim Maalouf whilst he has also been doorstepped by Zap Mama, Axelle Red and legendary Senegalese percussionist Doudou N’Diaye Rose.
In addition, Galland is also a widely travelled rover. Exploring other continents to him is tantamount to seeking our new rhythms and fresh grooves. The Rhythm Hunters were set up to pass on the understandings gleaned from his musical journeys of discovery to other musicians. The six-strong multi-national band sets to work on new compositions from Galland, taking rhythmic principles from different corners of the world as their jump-off point in order to arrive at a new musical language. Unusual and complex rhythms are collectively reconnoitred and pared down into a fluent whole. It is the logical continuation of his previous project ‘(the mystery of) Kem’, even though The Rhythm Hunters take things one step further. Tenor saxophonist Shoko Igarashi (Japan), alto saxophonist Sylvain Debaisieux, trumpeter Pierre-Antoine Savoyat (France), pianist Wajdi Riahi (Tunisia) and bass player Louise van den Heuvel (the Netherlands) along with Galland take you on a unique journey of exploration of different rhythmic realms. Music for adventuresome ears!