"The Optimist is soulful, lyrical and harmonically rich, not to mention the quality improvisations. /.../ This music is going to appeal to many jazz fans, especially those of us in the African continent." - Murimi Eston, the Nairobian, 2019
Toine Thys is bold and reckless musician, a central figure for saxophone and bass clarinet in Europe, with a warm tone. He is active as a leader of his own projects, and a much demanded sideman through Belgium, France, Netherlands. He can be heard as well in Western Africa, South-Korea and Canada.
Toine Thys leads the TOINE THYS TRIO with Arno Krijger (NL) on Hammond organ and drummer Karl Jannuska (CAN). Both records The End of Certainty and GRIZZLY where awarded « Révélation» in French JAZZMAN, « découverte » in Jazznews, « Must » on TSF Jazz). They third cd THE OPTIMIST is released in 2019 on Igloo Records, featuring international stars SAM YAHEL (Joshua Redman, Bill Frisell, Norah Jones, Steely Dan) on Hammond, HERVE SAMB (Youssoun Dour, Lisa Simone, David Murray, Salif Keita) on guitar and drummer KARL JANNUSKA.
He leads also ORLANDO, a project with drummer Antoine Pierre and french musicien Florent Nisse (bass) and Maxime Sanchez (piano), as well as new group OVERSEAS, together with egyptian oud player Ihab Radwan, Annemie Osborne (cello), Zé Luis Nascimento (percussions) and Harmen Fraanje (piano).
As a sideman, he is playing with formations Antoine Pierre’s URBEX, Afrikan Protokol (Burkina/Belgique), Bounce Trio (FR), Ed Verhoeff 4tet, Alain Pierre Special Unit (B), Ben Monder (USA), Andrew D’Angelo, with african griot Zouratié Kone (Burkina Faso), Barm Weijtezrs CRAZY MEB, Laïla Amezian Fatma’s…
Together with trumpetist Laurent Blondiau, and supported by the French Speaking Governement of belgium, he founded in 2013 a wind instrument school in Burkina Faso : « Les Ventistes du Faso ». He is very involved with musicians rights (www.facir.be). This concept is meant to be extended to ther african countries, like DRC (Congo Kinshasa) and Benin.