Photo of Nico: Lien Nullens, photo of Fil: Olivier Lestoquoit, photo of Lúcia: Christina Nickel, photo of Karen: Greetje Van Buggenhout, photo of Pierre-Antoine: Michel Sadowski, photo of Bruno: Roger Van Tilt, photo collage by Karen van Schaik
HU! is my personal musical project. I am currently writing for. I got the “carte blanche 2021” with production house MetX to start up this project.
Karen van Schaik – baritone, alto and sopranino saxophone, compositions
Pierre-Antoine Savoyat – trumpet, flugelhorn
Bruno Grollet – tenor saxophone
Lúcia Pires – flute
Nico Chkifi – drums
Fil Caporali – double bass
Recorded and mixed by Delphine Dupont, camera by Christina Nickel, video’s by Karen van Schaik.
Newest Compositions for HU!
Teaser 2: The Invisible Forces That Keep Me From Doing What I Really Want
HU! is a jazz project that challenges todays’ gender stereotypes and the fact that there are still so few female jazz instrumentalists (about 5% of jazz instrumentalists are female). HU! plays with the traditional roles of musical instruments, transforms relatable situations from daily life into music and brings to the table fragile subjects with musical pieces like “Jeans with Tiny Pockets and Toothpaste for Men”, “Circlusion”, “High Pitched Voices Often Get Interrupted” and “Ballad For The Frozen Eggs.”
By using the power of music and humour, HU! is a friendly invitation to question our unconscious gender biases!
Let’s all be HU!
I draw inspiration from my own experiences as a female jazz musician and parallel to writing music for HU! I am doing research about female jazz musicians in history (see my essay “Women Instrumentalists in Jazz” ) and gender stereotypes in general. I interviewed 28 people of different ages, backgrounds, nationalities and gender identities and read many books and articles about gender, psychology, gender in music, sexism and women in jazz. This resulted in my presentation about “12 mechanisms that still form obstacles for women to pursue a career in music”.
My goal with this presentation is to create more awareness and understanding, to help musicians who suffer from these mechanisms to recognise them and others to be able to speak up when these mechanisms happen. The presentation leads to a very inclusive open discussion about possible solutions. With reaching especially musicians, programmers, music educators and parents of future musicians, I hope to be part of the change that I would love to see on jazz stages. It has been scientifically proven that mixed teams function the best, so we all have something to win when the jazz scene and music becomes more inclusive.
On the HU! Research tab you can find out more about this.
Musical concept & style
I translated these mechanisms into musical ideas and musical concepts. The titles of the songs reveal the content of the music. Who would like to know more can ask and maybe recognise things in the music. Who isn’t interested in the subject, can ignore the titles and just enjoy the music.
Style wise I draw a lot of inspiration from composers like Charles Mingus, John Zorn, Carla Bley, Matana Roberts, Henry Threadgill, Ennio Morricone and the Art Ensemble of Chicago.
The very first Try Out/ Work-in-progress of HU! took place on October 2nd 2021. Here I created a theatrical show.
Nowadays I focus more on a concert version for jazz venues and festivals. The most recent concert was on June 4th 2023 in café Roskam in Brussels. Next concert will be on March 22 2024 at Jazz Station in Brussels and more dates are coming up!.