Next stop: Toots Thielemans

If you check Brussels’ public transport lines, you will surely notice that some stops celebrate important Belgian people, famous for their success and achievements. For example, the metro line 5 dedicated two stops to Eddy Merckx and Jacques Brel, respectively an incredible cyclist and a worldwide famous singer.

From 2019, a new Belgian icon will be added to the list: the pre-metro stop Annessens, in fact, will be re-named Toots Thielemans, to honor the Jazz musician Jean-Baptiste Frédérique Isidor, Baron Thielemans, who died last August. The musician was commonly called by his nicknamed, Toots Thielemans, and was famous for his harmonica playing, as well as his guitar, whistling skills, and composing. He performed so well with his harmonica and worked so hard to integrate it in his pieces, that he eventually significally contributed into making the harmonica one of the main jazz instruments.

Jean-Baptiste grew up and lived in the Marolles area and always kept a strong connection with that side of Brussels; he witnessed the changes in the city during time and the introduction of new elements, such as the new metro line. For its inauguration, Thielemans created a new piece, called “Metro”.

The re-naming of the station wants to honor one of the city’s most relevant figures, who became famous internationally making music for people and with people. It is a perfect way to commemorate one of Brussels’ most known artists, giving his name to a station so close to the neighborhood where he lived, and remembering once again his commitment and talent.

The re-naming will also coincide with the renewing works of the station, built in the 1970s. The space will include an exhibition area for artistic projects and better disabled access, and it should form part of the route of new metro line 3, which will link Albert in Forest with Bordet in Evere via the Gare du Nord.