Nathan Daems is a Brussels based musician who is proficient in the nuances of jazz and has knowledge and experience in several “oriental” genres. As a jazz musician he is also driven by a longing to dive into oriental and African genres. Today he excels in combining a profound oriental vocabulary & melancholy with the improvisational earthbound power of afro grooves and jazz.

Composition for bands & sound tracks, band leader & side man, studio work.

Knowledge of repertoire and/or improvisation skills in the following genres: gipsy (influenced) music from Bulgaria/Macedonia/Serbia/Romania/Greece/Turkey, jazz, classical Ottoman music, North & South Indian classical music, Greek rembetika, reggae-dub-ska, Ethiojazz, afrobeat, Brazilian & West African trance rhythms, Jazz Manouche, maloya (from Réunion Island), rock, ambient and hints of Arabic, Kurdish & Azerbaijani music.

  • Soprano saxophone
  • Alto saxophone
  • Tenor saxophone
  • Baritone saxophone
  • western classical flute 
  • Turkish & Bulgarian kaval flutes
  • Turkish ney flutes
  • Ethiopian washint flutes
  • Nyahbingi (Jamaican percussion)
  • Synths & effect pedals

Nathan_Bio4_resizedCollaborations with Ibrahim Maalouf, The Gaslamp Killer, Bojan Z, Theodosii Spassov, Danalogue & Betamax (The Comet is Coming), Tcha Limberger, National Orchestra of Belgium, Brussels Philharmonic, Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, Alain Pérez (bass player of Paco De Lucia), Warhaus, Lander Gyselinck (STUFF), Smokey Hormel (guitar player of Tom Waits, Johnny Cash,…), Stef-Kamil Karlens (dEUS), Lady Lynn, Myrddin, Dirk Brossé, Madhup & Sawani Mudgal, Marko Markovic, Aynur Dogan, Dick Van Der Harst, Sylvie Kreusch, Pantelis Stoikos, Christos Barbas, Andrea Piccioni, Shahab Azinmehr, etc.

Nathan Daems begins living with music at the age of two, when his mother and him play the violin together following the Suzuki method. At the age of ten, he chooses his instrument, the alto saxophone. However, the teacher and the teaching system leave his musical hunger dissatisfied and at one point he is fed up playing the saxophone. But his obsession with music cannot be harmed and he turns to studying classical & electric guitar giving rise to his first band, playing rock music. In the beginning of his twenties he rediscovers the saxophone and now that he can pursue his tastes and talents in a self-determined way, his live career immediately begins to blossom.

After having played in reggae and afro bands and after five years of intensive jazz study at the Ghent Conservatory, he plays soprano, alto, tenor & baritone saxophone, flute & he composes. The following ten years many travels to the East follow, in search of the best music teachers that the East can offer: Ross Daly, Nedyalko Nedyalkov, Ömer Erdoğdular, Harris Lambrakis, Christos Barbas, Evgenios Voulgaris, Arslan Hazreti, Sinan Celik, Ufuk Simsek, Sandip Banerjee, Pantelis Stoikos, Moufadhel Adhoum, Senih Ündeğer, Ross Daly,… Jazz he learned from countless teachers in Belgium, to name a few: Bert Joris, Bart Defoort, Dieter Limbourg, Frank Vaganée, Pierre Vaiana, …

After his first jazz band, the Nathan Daems Quintet, he initiates BLACK FLOWER, a project that gained international reputation with five full albums (Ethio & world Jazz) and with collaborations with The Gaslamp Killer and Meskerem Mees. This is the band where Nathan`s compositions found their true home. Among their faithful admirers are The Gaslamp Killer, LEFTO, Alabaster dePlume and  Gilles Peterson (BBC) who has praised the band and their releases several times as “brilliant” on his weekly BBC radio show. Black Flower has been since its first album in high rotation on FIP radio (all French speaking countries).


Nathan’s second main project is Echoes of Zoo, animal inspired psychedelic jazz with heavy sufi material from the east and voodoo rhythms from Brazil and West Africa.

Nathan’s third project is Trance Plantations. An electro-acoustic duo with multi instrumentalist Falk Schrauwen. Being both oriented towards trance music and (spi)ritual music from all over the globe Falk and Nathan want to paint new colours with the most important parameter of music: sound / sound color / texture. The trio collaborated as well with Danalogue & Betamax from The Comet is Coming and Soccer96.

Composition is certainly one of Nathan’s favourite disciplines. When an idea takes hold of him, it won’t let go anymore until it is developed and written out, and played and arranged in the specific group that it is meant for, until now twice also for movie soundtracks. Thank God it’s Friday (Jan Beddegenoodts), a documentary, set in a small Palestinian village on the West Bank and the Palestinian movie Love, Theft & other Entanglements (Muayad Alayan, Berlinale film festival 2015).

As a band leader Nathan also gave birth to Bazaar d’Orient (instrumental Roma music from the Balkans & Turkey), Collective N Trance (mystical ritualistic music) and the Ragini Trio (Indian classical jazz trio with the breathtaking Lander Gyselinck (Stuff) on drums & the charismatic and exquisitely playful Marco Bardoscia (Paolo Fresu) on double bass. The trio became a quintet with the last album Peace the new Jazz, starring one the world’s leading jazz piano players Bojan Z and Indian classical singer Sawani Mudgal. A new album is to be expected in 2024 or 2025. An interesting long lasting collaboration is going on with MYRDDIN, and sometimes with dancer Ana Llanes, Alain Perez (Paco de Lucia’s bass player), & Alicia Carrasco (vocals).


In the margins Nathan Daems also created the Karsilama Quintet (traditional music from Greece and Turkey) with the world renowned violin & guitar player & singer Tcha Limberger and with renowned musicians from Belgium (Tristan Driessens), Greece (Dimos Vougioukas) and Bulgaria (Niki Aleksandrov).

A bit later the trio Nathan, Tcha & Vilmos started. A high level improvising trio around Manouche, Sinti & Rom music (gipsy swing & several styles of Balkan music) where Tcha Limberger and Hungarian Csikos Vilmos (double bass) explore their musical Roma heritage together with Nathan.

Meanwhile Nathan played as a regular side kick in numerous bands and projects, to name a few: Antwerp Gipsy Ska Orkestra (balkan fusion), Dijf Sanders (Indonesion Psychedelics), the cumbia band Maguaré, several projects with the eccentric genius composer Dick Van Der Harst… Nathan once was asked by two friends (Stavroz) to record a very long solo on their minimal house track, called “The Finishing” which has propelled the band into world fame. It has more than 50 millions plays on Spotify, YouTube and SoundCloud together, with literally thousands of people commenting enthusiastically on the sax playing. Nowadays more and more projects and collaborations are happening, like the Balkan Jazzovic Quintet with musicians from Belgium and the Balkans, among who the truly legendary Bulgarian kaval player Theodosii Spassov, the Indian classical trio with Asad Qizilbash (sarod) and Simon Leleux (percussion), the experimental meditation/concert concept called Floresta by Hans Beckers and the Persian poetry project with Shahab Azinmehr & Farnoosh Khodadadeh. Guest appearances on numerous recordings, the story doesn’t seem to be finished yet.

Nathan believes in an open mind, and in studying musical gem stones in this historical age of intense cultural encounter and exchange. Throughout the years, his jazz education combined with his passion for authentic Oriental roots music and for music from Brazil and West Africa. While still managing to stay grounded in his Occidental roots he gradually shaped his own recognisable and ever evolving voice, dialect and vocabulary. Several journeys and tours in the East, in South America and of course  in Europe have left their old traces in his contemporary improvisations and compositions.