Nabou Claerhout

Nabou Claerhout is a versatile trombone player and composer considered as one of the new stars in Belgian jazz.

Known from her signature projects N∆BOU, the 8-piece Trombone Ensemble, the trio CLAERHOUT/BAAS/PEET and her duo with Lynn Cassiers, next to a diversity of other projects as side woman (AM.OK, LOD Muziektheater, Les Sheikhs Shikhats & B’net Chaabi, Free Orleans Rebel Band, ...), Nabou fastly made name over the last years. Nabou also performs solo sets.

Nabou Claerhout (°1993, Antwerp) took a brave and unusual leap to learn to play the trombone at the age of 9. Nobody could have imagined then that, years later, she would land in the middle of the contemporary jazz scene. Today, Nabou is one of the most promising and innovative jazz trombonists of the Benelux.  

With Fred Wesley and Mark Guiliana in mind, the young Nabou went from Art High School Brussels to Codarts Rotterdam, with among others Bart Van Lier and Ilja Reingoud as her teachers. From an early age onwards, Nabou got the chance to play together with internationally renowned artists like Bert Joris, John Ruocco, Dave Holland, Dave Douglas, Evan Parker, Jim Black, Charles Tolliver, Martin Fondsen, Jules Buckley, Jeroen Van Herzele, Andy Hunter, Bert Boeren, Akua Naru etc.  

After a stop at the Royal Academy of Music in London (2017), Nabou graduated from Codarts in 2018. Since then, she taught at the Kortrijk Conservatory and the music academies of Wilrijk and Sint-Agatha-Berchem, and has been working as a researcher at the Arts & Research Institute in Antwerp. Currently, Nabou is one of the master coaches in the classical course at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp.

Her quartet N∆BOU and the band’s debut ep ‘Hubert’ (2019) made her without any doubt one of the pillars of the new jazz generation in Belgium, both as a soloist, bandleader and composer. In 2021, the band topped their own early success with the debut album 'You Know', released via Outnote Records and praised internationally.

After winning the 'Jong Jazztalent Gent' prize in 2021, Nabou founded her own Trombone Ensemble. In 2023, that collective released the album 'TROMBONE ENSEMBLE NABOU CLAERHOUT' on W.E.R.F. Records. It became a unique project where Claerhout wants to transfer the love for the trombone even more strongly to the listener. With no fewer than five trombonists, a three-piece rhythm section and Robin Eubanks as a guest, she succeeded with verve, according to many rave reviews from audiences, press and professionals.

Claerhout also continues to experiment with different line-ups. In recent years, as a band leader, she also put together the trio CLAERHOUT/BAAS/PEET with two of her favourite Dutch musicians, and the free/impro-duo with singer Lynn Cassiers. In Lynn Cassiers & Nabou Claerhout, you are invited on a trip where trombone, vocals and a whole lot of effects take centre stage.

Nabou also earned her spurs with a range of other projects: the Ghent Youth Jazz Orchestra, National Youth Jazz Orchestra (winner of the 2016 ‘Zilveren Notenkraker’ Award), Young Metropole Orchestra, Federico Calcango Octet, AM.OK, Ghost Trance Music & Toolbox, ICTUS, Ellen Arkbor & Johan Graden, Jokke Schreurs Septet, Azbeul, Pompelomina, Tadpole Evolution, Muze Jazz Orchestra feat. Lennert Baert and Het Gezin Van Paemel Theater.

In season 2021-2022, she was artist in residence at Rataplan (Antwerp). In 2023, as artist in residence for Flagey's Brussels Jazz Festival, she was given the chance to create new projects. It was there that CLAERHOUT/BAAS/PEET was born and the Trombone Ensemble feat. Robin Eubanks to play for a sold-out Studio 4.  

For some time now, Claerhout is no longer to be found in only the music scene: she has also taken a few steps in the theatre world. She collaborated on the production of the children's play Hey Meredith (Zonzo Compagenie) and is touring Flanders in 2023 & 2024 with the monologue Adjusting Hope (Woodman/Het Laatste Bedrijf), together with Dirk Roofthooft, and with the youth performance FRAMED by Het Paleis.  

In addition to that, Claerhout is the youngest new creator at LOD Music Theatre in Ghent. There, as LOD's in-house composer and artist in residence, she will create her first own music theatre production in 2026.

Nabou’s stage career is already impressive as well, with shows at festivals such as North Sea Jazz Festival, London Jazz Festival, Gent Jazz, Jazz Middelheim, Brussels Jazz Weekend, Dranouter Festival, Like A Jazz Machine, Jazz à la Villette, Edinbirgh Jazz Festival, Jazz in Duketown, Salzburg Jazz Festival, Berlin Jazzfest, Darmstädter Ferienkurse, Festival ECLAT, Alternatilla Jazz Festival, Gateshead International Jazz Festival, Gentse Feesten, … and in venues such as Ancienne Belgique, Bimhuis, De Roma, LantarenVenster, De Handelsbeurs, Flagey, Concertgebouw Brugge, and on tours in Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, UK and Japan.  

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