NOVA is an international quintet led by Belgian bassist Félix Zurstrassen. He is, in many ways, an artist apart. His rare virtuosity combines the extreme demands that his music requires and the way in which he offers it to the public: like a clear, collective and generous adventure.


His demanding approach can mostly be seen in the way he gathers around him exceptional musicians who, without him, might never have crossed paths. Alongside him, we find:



  • the Franco-Brazilian Nelson Veras, undoubtedly one of the great inventors of the guitar today. He radically redefined its foundations and pushed the limits very far.
  • Ben van Gelder, a Dutch saxophonist and long-term NYC resident, whose grounded discourse in tradition is elaborated with an extraordinary sense of the moment, so drawing the contours of a bright future. This approach does not contradict the adage of Gustav Mahler, which could concern all the members of this exceptional group: "Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.”
  • Antoine Pierre is a Belgian drummer-composer who embraces styles with ease. His playing is imbued with a very particular concentration and an indisputable sincerity. He has been one of Zurstrassen's long-standing partners.
  • His sessions reveal the many facets of British pianist and organist Kit Downes through their recordings for the ECM label, his immense culture - which places Jazz and classical music at the same level of excellence - makes him an essential catalyst for this music in perpetual motion. 

As the leader of the group NOVA, Zurstrassen stands nobly in the right place to showcase compositions full of surprises and detours, specially designed for his brilliant companions through subtle bass playing - like delicately directed whispers. Here, he acts like a stage director that chooses and reveals talents, without necessarily choosing to say much; his music speaks for itself. 


Immersed in music since childhood, Félix was exposed to the complexities of rhythm and harmony at an early age. Nourished by these elements, he has created a world whose melodic force offers listeners the perfect sesame. They are then swept away by a music made up of surprises, like so many decors to be discovered, flabbergasted by so much invention, carried away by the masterful cohesion of an ideal European group of staggering maturity. 


ElusiveNOVA's new album was released on February 09, 2024 [Igloo Records]

Available on CD, LP, download and streaming.

« Although he draws on classical and contemporary music, Félix Zurstrassen's jazz is above all melodic and organic, with shifting and surprising forms that make it a veritable living substance. [...] The result is an enthralling piece of work that demands the utmost respect for its depth and rigour. »

⭑ Félix Marciano, Jazz Magazine (FR)


« The marvellous chemistry between these musicians produces an album of great class. Everything sounds so natural, so joyful, so detached, so free. It's hardly surprising that these musicians continue to come together for new projects or groups, such is their chemistry. Elusive is great 'European' jazz. »

⭑ Dick Hovenga, Written in Music (NL)


« This is an exciting album: jazz, real jazz, that swings, grooves, energises and sends you into the clouds. The melodies composed by bassist Félix Zurstrassen are fantastic. And the way the five musicians treat them is beyond description. »

 Jean-Claude Vantroyen, MAD Le Soir (BE)

Booker • Manager

Félix Zurstrassen

+32 (0)496 03 26 38


Press Igloo Records

Hélène Defosse


Photo © Gaël Maleux