Extended biography

Saxophonist / composer / arranger / band leader Frank Vaganée was born in Mechelen on 19/03/1966.


Training and teaching

Frank Vaganée received his first classical music training at the Municipal Conservatory of Mechelen and went on to study at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp.
He received his first improvisation lessons from US jazz saxophonist John Ruocco (1983 to 1986), at the Antwerp Jazz Studio. From 1993 to 1995 Frank studied composition and arrangement at the Bob Brookmeyer Musikhochshule in Cologne (D). In 1998 he moved to New York to complete his training in the capital of jazz.

Frank taught saxophone at the Amsterdam Sweelinck Conservatory from 1992 to 1994 and saxophone and jazz ensemble at the Ghent Conservatory from 1993 to 2004.
Since 1993 Frank has been associated with the School of Science and Art Department of the Lemmens Institute in Leuven where he teaches saxophone, ensemble and composition.

Frank is regularly invited to teach masterclasses throughout Europe.


Small Bands

Frank Vaganée started forming his own bands in 1983. He was leader of Tough Talk, the Frank Vaganée Quartet, Trio and Sextet, Del Ferro Vaganée Group and The Acoustics. Frank composed and arranged for these bands, as well as playing alto saxophone.
He is currently much in demand as freelance sideman with international ensembles.


Large Bands

Frank's first professional experience as a musician in a large ensemble was as freelancer with the BRT Jazz Orchestra from 1986 to 1991. He then toured Europe and Japan with the Dutch Timeless Orchestra from1989 to 1993.
In 1989 he represented Belgium in the big band of the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) in Lignano Sabbiadoro (I).

In 1993 Frank founded the Brussels Jazz Orchestra with Serge Plume and Marc Godfroid and still holds the position of artistic director. Frank and the BJO have toured major venues and festivals throughout Europe, Africa and North America.



Throughout his career, Frank Vaganée has collaborated with almost all Belgian jazz soloists as well as an impressive list of international jazz musicians including Bert Joris (B), Philip Catherine (B), deFilharmonie (B), Dave Liebman (US), Wynton Marsalis (US) Tom Harrell (US), Vlaams Radio Koor (B), Michel Herr (B), Wallace Roney (US), Bill Holman (US), Maria Joao (P), David Linx (B), Bergalli Gustavo (ARG), Gianluigi Trovesi (IT), Zapp String Quartet (NL), Mike Del Ferro (GB), Tutu Puoane (SA), Chris Joris (B), Lee Konitz (US), Brussels Philharmonic (B), Kenny Wheeler (CA), McCoy Tyner (US), Phil Woods (US), Norma Winstone (UK), Kenny Werner (US), Maria Schneider (US), Toots Thielemans (B), ...



1991: elected most important jazz talent of the year by the Belgian press
1993: CERA 'Youth and Music' award
1994: Prix Nicolas d'Or with the BJO
2001: Django d'Or
2006: Flemish Culture Award with the BJO
2011: City Artist of Mechelen

Frank Vaganée performs exclusively on Yanagisawa saxophones, Vandoren mouthpieces and Vandoren reeds.

Nederlands - nl-NLEnglish (United Kingdom)