Belgian jazz musician Rony Verbiest passes away


Belgian jazz legend Rony Verbiest, known for his accordion and saxophone playing, has passed away at age 67.

Verbiest’s path in life was written in the stars: his father ran a café in Ghent named “De Accordeonist” (the accordionist), taking the stage at the tender age of six.

His world opened up far beyond that, however, as he discovered instruments like the harmonica, the clarinet, the drums and that timeless Belgian invention, the saxophone.

That’s a whole mix of instruments, and Verbiest liked to mix styles as well, whether it was folk, jazz or even classical music.

He cut his teeth at the conservatories of Ghent and Brussels and became a household name flanking musicians like Johan Verminnen and Jo Lemaire. Furthermore, he was the designated saxophonist for the Air Force Chapel and the Royal Guides Chapel.

With the passing of Rony Verbiest, Belgium loses a musical icon, but he lives on through his music.