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The origins of the Hnita-Jazz Club date back to 1955, when the then-called Heistse Jazz-Club organised a concert with Belgian guitarist Raymond De Coninck alias Ray King and his quintet. That same year, legendary American blues singer Big Bill Broonzy performed at the club.

Sixty years later, the Hnita-Jazz Club is one of the oldest active jazzclubs in Europe. Up to this date, Hnita organised over 850 concerts with Belgian, European and American bands.

Dipping at random into the wealth of jazz artists that called in at the Hnita-Jazz Club: Chet Baker, Art Blakey, Lester Bowie, Betty Carter, Avishai Cohen, Bill Evans, Gil Evans, Dexter Gordon, Freddie Hubbard, Abdullah Ibrahim, Keith Jarrett, J.J. Johnson, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, Charles Mingus, Hank Mobley, Gregory Porter, Sun Ra, Horace Silver, Clark Terry, Toots Thielemans and many others. At the Hnita-Jazz Club, live lp’s and cd’s were recorded by Frank Foster and his Non Electric Company (1979), the Jackie McLean Quartet (1991), The Maynard Ferguson Big Bop Nouveau Band (1992), the Del Ferro / Vaganée Group (1995), the duo David Haney and Julian Priester (2004), the Samuel Blaser Quartet (2011) and Wim Leysen’s A.C.T. Collective (2013).

The Hnita-Jazz Club found accommodation on an attic and on the top floor of the Heist-op-den-Berg police station, before moving into the Hnita-Hoeve (Hnita Farm) in 1983. A former farm was turned into two separate rooms: a concert area for 120 spectators and a bar for 50 visitors.

The Hnita-Jazz Club was led by Juul Anthonissen (1931-2008) from 1955 until the time of his death, and since then by his son Peter Anthonissen.

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