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Cinema Paradiso functions as a trio without a leader, consisting of Kurt Van Herck (Brussels Jazz Orchestra, Dizzie Gillespie Big Band, Bert Joris Quartet), Eric Thielemans (A Snare is a Bell, EARR, Talking About the Weather) and Willem Heylen (KRAKk, Aki, Sargam). They are set to release their new album, Empty Empty, in September 2024. After his guest contributions on several tracks during the recording sessions that resulted in the compilation of the first two albums (Volume I and Volume II), Jozef Dumoulin (Lidlboj, The Red Hill Orchestra, True Company) was involved in the entire creation and recording process of Empty Empty, opening doors to new sonic possibilities. Now focusing on original compositions (along with some Indian chants and a piece by Claude Debussy), this album also distinguishes itself from the previous two albums by presenting a new sonic landscape. Blending the rich timbres and textures of both the acoustic and electric sonic worlds of the musicians, Cinema Paradiso aims to get a strong, direct, full sound that still retains enough detail and acoustic warmth. The album was recorded and mixed by Joris Caluwaerts (Stuff) at his Finster Studio in Antwerp and will be out on September 6th at Challenge Records. Cinema Paradiso brings contemporary spiritual free jazz music. It is raw, devotional, layered and textural, warm and unapologetically beautiful. In a live setting, the quartet aims to offer more than a concert. A Cinema Paradiso show is an experience, a hypnotic trip, an opportunity to fully connect with the music and to let yourself get carried away, to feel reborn at the other end.


Kurt Van Herck – Tenor and soprano saxophone

Eric Thielemans – Drums and percussion

Willem Heylen – Electric guitar and percussion

+ Jozef Dumoulin – Fender Rhodes, keyboard and grand piano


BASED IN: Belgium


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