the well-known Belgian jazz musician who still played at Jazz Middelheim after he turned 9 years old is credited as one of the greatest harmonica players of the 20th century. He was a member of Charlie Parker’s All-Stars, George Shearing Quintet and worked with Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Stephane Grappelli, Peggy Lee, Quincy Jones, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder and many others.
He touched many lives with his music, and still does.
Jos Knaepen, born in Belgium and commonly referred to as "The Jazzman," started his professional career in the early '70s. "To me, the most important thing is to hold that special moment when everything on stage is in balance--when the musician is in total harmony with himself and his fellow musicians. One can feel it, see it--the goose-bump moment!", he says. He is the official photographer for the Blue Note and Middelheim Jazz Festivals and is routinely commissioned to exhibit his photography at cultural events, such as the Flemish Center for Jazz and the Blue Note Jazz Festival or the Antwerp Photo Museum. Gaining quite a reputation in the U.S., his photography is commonplace in Down Beat and Jazz Times magazines. Impressed with his art, the IAJE director of education invited Jos to cover their 2007 New York events…and the Smithsonian Institute used his photography to illustrate their special anniversary feature on Wynton Marsalis. His photos have also donned posters for Carnegie Hall.