Félix Zurstrassen
© Ger Spendel

Félix Zurstrassen

Born into a family of musicians, Félix Zurstrassen has been immersed in music since childhood. He discovered the electric bass at the age of 14, rapidly developing a passion for the instrument. Jazz and improvisation quickly became an important part of his everyday practice.
 From 2005 to 2010, he studied under Michel Hatzigeorgiou at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels and graduated con laude. He then turned more particularly to the double bass for a few years. After a year studying under Jean-Louis Rassinfosse, he graduated in 2013 from the Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel in the class of the French double bass player Christophe Wallemme. 

 Félix Zurstrassen is a very versatile musician that can adapt easily to the specificities of many musical genres and styles. He quickly became part of the Belgian jazz scene as a sideman for numerous projects from different backgrounds. This is how he became one of the most appreciated Belgian bassists of his generation. As proof, Zurstrassen was awarded the Sabam "Young Talent" Jazz Award in 2017 "as he serves as a focal and rallying point for the entire young Belgian jazz scene by contributing to the main projects that carry it forward”.

 Félix Zurstrassen is currently the leader of NOVA, a prestigious international quintet of top European musicians with an artistically composed repertoire. He is joined by the Franco-Brazilian guitarist Nelson Veras, the Dutch alto sax player Ben van Gelder, the English pianist/organist Kit Downes and the Belgian drummer Antoine Pierre. The project kicked off in 2017 when Zurstrassen took the helm of a trio with Nelson Veras, one of the most fascinating guitarists on the European scene, and Antoine Pierre, a prodigious drummer with whom he has formed a remarkable rhythmic tandem for several years now. In 2019, the trio was joined by the internationally renowned alto saxophonist, Ben van Gelder from the Netherlands, who had been playing successfully on the New York scene for almost ten years. In 2019, Zurstrassen recorded a debut album that subtly mixes the trio and quartet formulas. The album "NOVA" was released on CD and vinyl on February 7, 2020 on the Igloo Records label. It was unanimously praised by the music critics of the Belgian and international press.

 The meeting with the English pianist and organist Kit Downes, signed by the prestigious ECM label and winner of the BBC Jazz Award, was a turning point in the summer of 2021. It didn’t take much for Kit to blend in perfectly with the musical universe of Zurstrassen. Over the years, encounters and musical love affairs have forged the colourful line-up of this avant-garde quintet. Situated at the crossroads of modern and contemporary jazz, NOVA offers sophisticated, melodious, and contemporary music that gives pride of place to the acoustic sounds of the instruments.

 In addition to his career as a leader, Félix Zurstrassen has participated in numerous artistic performances on the national and international scene in various formations ranging from jazz, to pop-rock, to funk. His main groups are/have been Antoine Pierre "Urbex" with Bram De Looze, Jean- Paul Estiévenart, Bert Cools and Frédéric Malempré; Typh Barrow; Fabrizio Cassol "Conference of the Birds"; LG Jazz Collective with Guillaume Vierset; Pierre de Surgères Trio with Teun Verbruggen; Pirly Zurstrassen 4tet with Erwin Vann and Dré Pallemaerts; David Thomaere Trio; Alain Pierre Tree-Ho!; and The KMG's with Piotr Paluch.

He has shared the stage and/or recorded with Magic Malik, Jozef Dumoulin, Reinier Baas, Teis Semey, Stéphane Galland, Nicola Andrioli, Maxime Sanchez, Alexandra Grimal, Bo Vanderwerf, Steven Delannoye, Toine Thys, Steve Houben, Robin Verheyn, Nicolas Kummert, Nathalie Loriers, Pascal Mohy, Alex Koo, Lionel Beuvens, Sylvain Debaisieux, Peter Hertmans, Frédéric Leroux, Lorenzo Di Maio, Alexandre Cavalière, Greg Houben, Lieven Venken, Igor Gehenot, Fabian Fiorini, Bruno Castellucci, Jasper Steverlinck, BJ Scott, Matthew de Puggy and many other musicians.