Experimental jazz drummer wins Flemish Culture Prize


The jury described rising star Lander Gyselinck as a unique, creative and rigorous musician with huge potential

‘Impossible to pigeon-hole’

This year’s Flemish Culture Prize for music has been awarded to Lander Gyselinck, a rising star on the jazz scene at home and abroad. He is a composer and a drummer with the band STUFF., known for their funky blend of hip-hop and electronic jazz.

Gyselinck, 29, studied jazz and pop music at the conservatory in Ghent and then in Brussels, before travelling to New York to spend a year at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. He soon developed his own style of avant-garde, experimental and improvisational jazz, while working with musicians such as Kris Defoort, BeraadGeslagen and Known Alone.

“This drummer, composer and jack of all trades is a unique, creative and rigorous musician who already stands out at such a young age and has huge growth potential,” the prize jury said. “It’s impossible to pigeon-hole him and he is the creative linchpin in various projects”.

“Gyselinck has already drummed his way to the top at such a young age,” culture minister Sven Gatz said. “I am proud that after the Toots Thielemans Jazz Award and the Sabam Youth and Music Award, I can also present the Flemish Culture Prize for Music to this young musician. I’m intrigued to find out what wonderful things he still has in store for us.”

“This is an honour that I didn’t see coming,” said Gyselinck (pictured). “It’s an honour for which I must thank all the ambitious artists, musicians and music lovers with whom I have had the pleasure of working and exchanging ideas and from whom I will always continue to learn. An artist never stands alone, but always stands for something else, too – for a community.”

Photo: Mirjam Devriendt