Remembering Pol (Pol Jazz) Lenders


Pol Lenders, whose real name is Leopold Lenders, known for a long time as Pol from the Pol's Jazz Club, born in 1917 and died on August 2, 20001, was a Belgian and Belgian jazz personality who opened several clubs in Brussels.


Pol's memory lives on in a cabinet
at The Jazz Station in Brussels

Pol Lenders was the son of a flower vendor who worked in the Place Rogier in Brussels. During his youth, already a fan of American rhythmic music, in connection with his red hair, he was nicknamed "Rosse Polle" ("Paul le Roux" in brusseleer *). He quickly became a figure of Brussels folklore.


In the 1960s, he was a doorman in several trendy clubs in the Belgian capital, such as Les Cousins near the Grand-Place, Le Ben-Hur, rue du Marché aux Fromage, or La Frégate rue Neuve. Then, he opened several jazz clubs, the "Carton Club", the "Victory Club", the "Pol's" rue du Marché au Charbon, the "Pol's Jazz Club" rue de Stassart, and in Ixelles and the "Bierodrome" place Fernand Cocq also in Ixelles.


Pol Lenders invited the biggest names in American jazz, blues and swing, such as John Coltrane, Count Basie, Dexter Gordon and many others. In 1985, he also helped to create the "Saint-Jazz-ten-Noode" in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, where he lived for a while in the rue de Liedekerke.


The commune where he lived, after his death in 2001, named a street after him in his honour.


(Note: I wonder when London will get around to naming a street to commemorate Ronnie Scott?)


* A dialect used in what was primarily a working class district of Brussels: La Marolles. Brusseleer is essentially is a Dutch Brabantian dialect incorporating many words of French origin as well as a sprinkling of Spanish dating back to the rule of the Low Countries by the Habsburgs (1519-1713).