Belgian Jazz pianist to perform in Vietnam

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Éric Legnini, Belgian jazz pianist and leader of the Éric Legnini Trio, will perform in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi next week as part of Europe Day celebrations in Vietnam.

Europe Day commemorates May 9, 1950, when the then French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman gave a speech calling for European countries to combine their coal and steel production under a single European institution, paving the way for the European Union.

It will be Legnini's second time in Vietnam after performing once before in Hanoi in 2011.

This time he will take the stage at the Ho Chi Minh City Conservatory of Music, 112 Nguyen Du Street, District 1, on May 9 and at the Hanoi Opera House, 1 Trang Tien Street, on May 11. The performers will also include Thomas Bramerie (contrabass), Franck Agulhon (drum) and Hugh Coltman (vocal).

The Belgian artist will also speak to post-graduate students at the Ho Chi Minh City Conservatory of Music on May 10.

Legnini, 43, began learning the piano at the age of six and was initiated into jazz in his teens. In 1988 he traveled to the US to study American jazz styles for two years.

He then returned to teach jazz piano at the Brussels Royal Conservatory of Music, where he met Jacques Pelzer. The result was the Pelzer album "Never Let Me Go" featuring Eric Legnini with guest stars Barney Wilen and Michel Graillier.

In the 1990s he worked with Flavio Boltro (trumpet) and Stefano Di Battista (saxophone), forming the jazz ensemble Éric Legnini Trio.

Legnini won the "Octave de la musique jazz" prize in 2006 and "Instrumental Album of the Year" award at the 2011 Victoires du jazz for his album "The Vox".

Admission to the concerts, both at 8 p.m., is free. Tickets can be obtained in Hanoi at the Wallonie-Bruxelles Delegation in Vietnam, Room 505, 360 Kim Ma Street (Tel. 04. 3 831 5241), and in HCMC at the Department of Regional Chamber of Wallonie, Room 1103, 6 Le Thanh Ton Street, District 1.

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