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Nabou Claerhout

Nabou Claerhout (°1993, Antwerp) took a brave and unusual leap to learn to play the trombone at the age of 9. Nobody could have imagined then that, years later, she would land in the middle of the contemporary jazz scene. Today, Nabou is one of the most promising and innovative jazz trombonists of the Benelux.


With Fred Wesley and Mark Guiliana in mind, the young Nabou went from Art High School Brussels to Codarts Rotterdam, with among others Robine Eubanks, Bart Van Lier and Ilja Reingoud as her teachers. From an early age onwards, Nabou got the chance to play together with internationally renowned artists like Robin Eubanks, Bert JorisJohn RuoccoDave HollandDave DouglasEvan ParkerJim BlackCharles TolliverMartin FondsenJules BuckleyJeroen Van HerzeeleStephané GallandAkua Naru etc.


After a stop at the Royal Academy of Music in London (2017), Nabou graduated from Codarts in 2018. Since then, she taught at the Kortrijk Conservatory and the music academies of Wilrijk and Sint-Agatha-Berchem, and has been working as a researcher at the Arts & Research Institute in Antwerp. Currently, Nabou is one of the master coaches in the classical course at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp.


Her quartet N∆BOU and the band’s debut ep ‘Hubert’ (2019) made her without any doubt one of the pillars of the new jazz generation in Belgium, both as a soloist, bandleader and composer. In 2021, the band topped their own early success with the debut album 'You Know', released via Outnote Records and praised internationally.

After winning the 'Jong Jazztalent Gent' prize in 2021, Nabou founded her own Trombone Ensemble. In 2023, that collective released the album TROMBONE ENSEMBLE NABOU CLAERHOUT on W.E.R.F. Records. It became a unique project where Claerhout wants to transfer the love for the trombone even more strongly to the listener. With no fewer than five trombonists, a three-piece rhythm section and Robin Eubanks as a guest, she succeeded with verve, according to many rave reviews from audiences and press.


Claerhout also continues to experiment with different line-ups. In recent years, as a band leader, she also put together the trio CLAERHOUT/BAAS/PEET and free/impro-duo with singer Lynn Cassiers. In Lynn Cassiers & Nabou Claerhout, you are invited on a trip where trombone, vocals and a whole lot of effects take centre stage.


Nabou also earned her spurs with a range of other projects: the Ghent Youth Jazz OrchestraNational Youth Jazz Orchestra (winner of the 2016 ‘Zilveren Notenkraker’ Award), Young Metropole OrchestraMetropole OrchestraFederico Calcagno OctetAM.OKGhost Trance Music & ToolboxICTUSEllen Arkbor & Johan GradenJokke Schreurs SeptetAzbeulMuze Jazz Orchestra feat. Lennert BaertPompelominaTadpole Evolution, en Het Gezin Van Paemel Theater.


In season 2021-2022, she was artist in residence at Rataplan (Antwerp). In 2023, as artist in residence for Flagey's Brussels Jazz Festival, she was given the chance to create new projects. It was there that CLAERHOUT/BAAS/PEET was born and the Trombone Ensemble feat. Robin Eubanks to play for a sold-out Studio 4.


For some time now, Claerhout is no longer to be found only on the music scene: she has also taken a few steps in the theatre world. She collaborated on the production of the children's play Hey Meredith! and is touring Flanders in the autumn of 2024 with the monologue Adjusting Hope (Woodman/Het Laatste Bedrijf), together with Dirk Roofthooft, and with the youth performance FRAMED by Het Paleis.

In addition to that, Claerhout is the youngest new creator at LOD Music Theatre in Ghent. There, as LOD's in-house composer and artist in residence, she will create her first own music theatre production in 2026.


Nabou’s stage career is already impressive as well, with shows at festivals such as North Sea Jazz FestivalLondon Jazz FestivalGent Jazz, Jazz MiddelheimBrussels Jazz WeekendDranouter FestivalLike A Jazz MachineJazz à la VilletteEdinbirgh Jazz FestivalSalzburg Jazz FestivalBerlin JazzfestDarmstädter FerienkurseFestival ECLATAlternatilla Jazz FestivalJazz in DuketownGateshead International Jazz FestivalGentse Feesten, … and in venues such as Ancienne BelgiqueBimhuisDe RomaLantarenVensterHA ConcertsFlageyConcertgebouw Brugge, and on tours in BelgiumThe NetherlandsGermanyUK and Japan.

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