Friday 29 April 2022 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Toots Thielemans. Born Jean-Baptiste Thielemans, he would go on to become a virtuoso jazz musician and harmonica player, renowned throughout the world. In 2001 he received an honorary doctorate from Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB). As a boy from the Marolles district of the capital, he demonstrated that the merging of language communities doesn’t have to make waves. Thielemans showed that music sees no differences and creates emotion without boundaries. Passion drives people to where they want to be, and humanism makes everything possible.
Toots Thielemans passed away on 22 August 2016. His memorial year will be celebrated extensively at numerous events.