Jan Smets was born in Tongeren in 1975 and started his musical studies on the euphonium, with Argo Penné, at the Tongeren music academy. He was laureate of many competitions from a young age.
In 1990, he was voted ‘brass player of the year’ at Jong Tenuto. In 1991, he switched to the tenor trombone. In 1993, he started his studies at the Lemmens Institute in Louvain with Michel Tilkin, where he gained the diploma ‘Master in Music’ summa cum laude.
After a short spell as a solo trombonist with the Flemish Radio Orchestra, he succeeded as solo trombonist with the orchestra of the Brussels Muntschouwburg in 1997 where he still works today. Jan is a popular soloist in the world of HaFaBra and has, for example, created the second trombone concert of Johan Evenepoel.
As chamber musician, he plays in the brass quintet of de Munt, the Prometheus Ensemble, I Solisti del Vento, the Ottone brass quintet and the brass band Gabriëli, with whom he released various CD projects. Jan is co-founder of Belgian Brass with whom he, together with Epsilon Brass, Spanish Brass, Penta Brass and Mnozil Brass, formed part of Eurobrass in August 2010.
Since December 2001, he has been trombone lecturer at the Antwerp School of Music. Jan has also offered his freelance services as trombonist at the Collegium Instrumentale Brugense, the Beethoven Academy, I Fiamminghi, and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Bernard Haitink and Valiery Gergiev.
Jan is co-founder of The Bone Project.