Italian culture, in its material and immaterial declinations (from cuisine to design, from music to cinema, from family habits to literature) is always highly cultivated, protected and celebrated by Italians in Belgium, but also in Europe, and it fascinates and attracts local communities with whom Italians interact in everyday life. Hence, the need to create something that enhances Italian culture, makes it known in local communities and feeds that sense of community that Italians abroad look for, involving people in achieving a goal, engaging in a dialogue and entertain on the footsteps of the enormous cultural heritage that the Italians carry with them when leaving their country.
The universal language of music can be used as a tool to achieve all this. This is why the Orchestra Italiana Bruxelles was founded in 2013 from the idea of Maestro Angelo Gregorio. The heart and core of OIB’s repertoire is this historical moment of the Italian Music that the Maestro calls “Golden Era”.
This period goes from 1930 until 1970 and represents one of the most productive moment for “Il Bel Paese” in terms of songs and beautiful melodies that will become well known all over the world. The aim of Angelo Gregorio through the Orchestra is to connect audience and musicians of different musical, artistic and cultural taste with with Italian Culture.
A significant aspect in tune with the times is the fact that the OIB is composed not only of Italians but also of musicians of other nationalities such as French, Belgian, Cuban, Portuguese and Uruguayan. This multicultural environment enriches the entire OIB’s repertoire by introducing a new key that is poured into the solos of every single musician and again in the whole orchestra that through the music and the cultural differences of its performers succeeds in creating the union in diversity.
The OIB is the first and only orchestra/jazz band specifically devoted to the promotion of Italian “golden age” repertoire in Brussels and Belgium. Angelo Gregorio together with the musicians of the OIB, is re-elaborating in jazz and swing style old time Italian repertoire songs that are likely to be forgotten by the new generations.
This initiative is about bringing the tradition and culture of a member state (Italy) in the heart of another member state (Belgium) by involving immigrants from many different countries within and beyond Europe both within the orchestra as players and in the public as audience. In fact the orchestra features members coming from Italy, France, Belgium, Cuba, Portugal and Uruguay.
The audience reflects the internationally diverse population living in Brussels and Belgium. The target audience of the orchestra is also very diverse not only in terms of nationality but also in terms of age. In fact, while concerts are open to people of all ages, at most concerts free musical workshop are organized specifically for children in order to get future audience in touch with traditional Italian culture and music and at the same time to give a message of respect, freedom and unity.