I haven’t updated this page for much too long, but now it’s time to get back to it.
The past 2 years have been very exciting and interesting for me.
As part of my master studies in the Netherlands I was given the opportunity to live in New York from august 2014 until march 2015.
It’s been a truly live-changing experience and I have experienced many great concerts and lessons.
My trombone teachers for the most part have been Elliot Mason, Michael Dease and John Mosca. I have also had lessons from Art Baron and Vincent Gardner.
I have many great memories from that time and will try to write about it a little bit in the future.
After that I came back to europe, graduated and moved to Hamburg last summer.
Having studied for a couple of years the freedom I experience now is amazing.
The level of musicianship here is high and there are many opportunities to play for me as well.
One of the many perks of being done with studying is finally having time and a chance to practice what I want for extended periods of time.
Recently I had the chance to play with the Fette Hupe Bigband featuring Klaus Heidenreich, a german trombone player.
Klaus is a very young guy ( just a few years older than me) and already really succesful.
He plays with the NDR Bigband of Hamburg and also has his own Quartet with which he just recorded his second CD.
Klaus is a masterful trombone player, very melodic with great technical abilty and great taste overall.
Besides that ( and most importantly) also a very friendly, humble guy.
If you like beautiful music, check him out !
Another benifit of having moved to Groningen is that it is quite a bit closer to germany.
Therefore, suddenly my rate of concerts in germany increased a lot.
Some of these gigs have been with a Hannover-based bigband called Fette Hupe.
It is a young, pretty new bigband ( 5 years old) that has been able to establish itself very nicely over a short amount of time.
Its members ( even though slightly changing every time) are all professionals who come mostly from the north of germany, namely Hannover and Hamburg.
Also some players from Cologne, Berlin, or the other bigger cities.
The concept for many of their concerts is one set of traditional jazz music, one set of modern stuff my contemporary composers.
I really like the idea, because celebrating the greats of our artform and presenting the future greats at the same time is a nice idea.
What is also nice is the approach of the band’s leaders to really change things politically, get government support, grants, etc..
There are a lot of great jazz musicians, but not many stand up for a better political situation and a good public picture of jazz.
Hut ab, guys !!
Unnessesary to say that the concerts with this band have been a lot of fun.
When I came to Groningen, I immediately joined the Stageband, a very nice bigband in town.
It is conducted by Steven Sluiter, a great Tenor player and great conductor.
The guys in the band are mostly students and professionals and some of the best amateurs I have heard so far.
This band plays really good and its great to work every week with a band of this degree ( rather than projects every now and then, which I do mostly).
Recently we recorded a CD with compostions of some members and ex-members of the band. Great stuff, and very varied in style.
I enjoyed the recording and am looking forward to the result.
Interesting: The CD was financed by Crowdfunding, meaning a lot of people all over the world who like the idea gave money.
Modern times, I guess…
After my bachelor studies in Rotterdam, I decided to continue with masters.
I decided to go to Groningen. Groningen ??? You might think, and so did many others.
But there are a few reasons why I decided to go there.
In the second year Ill go for one semester to NYC, where I can basically take lessons from whoever I want, and the Groningen conservatory will pay for it.
Right now my plan is to take lessons from Conrad Herwig, Elliot Mason and Michael Dease, some of my favourite players.
While being in Holland, I also have the chance to get lessons from some nice guys: My trombone teachers here are Jilt Jansma and Robin Eubanks, two accomplished trombone players.
Also I have a nice amout of lessons I can take from whoever I want, either the americans staff of the school, or even outsiders.
So far I took lessons from Alex Sipiagin, Freddy Bryant and David Berkman, which was very inspiring.
Yes it is a small city, but I think I can learn a lot here.
Also I am doing a master research here. My topic is something like “What are the tools of contemporary jazz composers and how can I use them in my own compositions?” or something like that.
Maybe I am going to elaborate on that a little more in the future.
Another positive aspect about this: I got a teaching job at the conservatory for solfege lessons. Nice !
Earlier this year, I applied for a project called “world youth jazz orchestra”.
This is a project by jeunesse musicales, trying to bring together great young musicians from all over the world.
75 people applied, the selection was made through written application, recordings and skype session.
The result was a super nice bigband consisting of people from Austria, Denmark, Italy, Croatia, France, Belgium, Holland, USA, Spain, and Poland.
I was selected as lead trombone player, yay !
One of the ideas of this project is that it happens in a different country each year.
This year it happened in belgium, which was a very nice experience. I have never been there before.
The band was conducted by Frank Vaganée who is also the conductor and lead alto saxophone player of the Brussels Jazz Orchestra.
Therefore, we played music by the Brussels Jazz Orchestra.
Frank is a tremendous guy, an amazing musicians and beautiful human being.
The first few days we were rehearsing in Brussels, also with the help of some players of the BJO.
For trombone section rehearsals we had Marc Godfroid.
Mark has a big name in the trombone world, especially in europe.
It was fun to work with him, and he gave us some good advice.
After rehearsing for a few days in Brussels, we moved to the ardennes to play our first concert on the …festival.
We played a nice gig and the atmosphere was very energetic.
After that, we moved to germany, where we played outside in the ruins of an old castle in the beautiful Rheinland region of germany.
Did I mention the atmosphere in the band was really friendly and fun all the time with this band ?
After that we came back to Brussels. Here we played a great gig outside on a big jazz festival in the middle of the city.
Brussels is such a beautiful city with a long history, when you ever get a chance to go there, go !
After that we spend a day in a big broadcasting studio, recording a CD with some of the pieces.
Its always great to get more recording experience, especially with such a great band.
The result was pretty nice. There is also a trombone solo my friend …. played on one of the tracks. I think he did a pretty decent job !
The last gig was in …. ?. We played in a tiny jazzclub in the middle of this nice little city.
Being really really close with the band ( literally… i think there was like 2cm between me and my neighbours in the band, and maybe the saxophone guys where 50cm from the audience !)
is always a great experience. The band played superb and the crowd enjoyed it.
Later on it turned out one of my favourite composers and trumpet players, Bert Joris, was in the audience !
Great way to end a nice tour.
If you get a chance…. apply !!!!
Unfortunately I did not find much time to update my website in the past few months. Sorry !
A lot of things happenend and are still happening, and I hope that I’ll find time to post some articles or music again soon.
My study in Rotterdam came to an end. To be prepared I cancelled stuff and tried to find some time to focus for my final exam.
I wrote a couple of songs, all of of them for septett, recruited some of my favourite players from rotterdam and started rehearsing.
I was very happy with the result at my final exam. The band played great and I gratuated with a very good grade.
The final exam poster.
With my two super lovely Rotterdam jazz trombone teachers: Ilja and Bart
After things were finished, I went to Hannover to play the final exams of two friends: Thea Soti and Jonas Pirzer .
Both are great at composing, performing and leading a band and I really enjoyed working with them. Beautiful music.
Check them out !
The coming week I will be rehearsing with John Ruocco and Bigband featuring Anet Cohen, a clarinet and saxophone player from New York. We will play at the North Sea Jazz festival, and I am sure it is going to be a lot of fun.
In august, I will spend some time in Belgium with the JM World Jazz Orchestra. This is an international bigband. 18 people coming from 12 different countries. Should be fun !
And even more news: While preparing for my final bachelor exam, I also auditioned for master studies in a couple of different cities. After the really hard-to-make decision I decided to go to Groningen.
There I will receive lessons from Robin Eubanks, Jilt Jansma and Ilja Reijngoud for 3 semesters, and spend 1 semester in New York City with different teachers.
A quick update ? A new chapter, Id rather say !
A few years ago, when I was still living in germany, I used to listen to lots and lots of Hank Mobley.
Ed Kröger, my former teacher, gave me a few of his recordings which got my interest started.
Now, a few years later, I finally recorded a video of myself, playing a transcription of a Hank Mobley solo.
It was originally recorded on “The Jazz Message of Hank Mobley”, in february 1956 in the legendary Hakensack-Studio of Rudy van Gelder.
Mobley is not as famous as other saxophone giants as Coltrane or Parker, but he is definitely worth checking out.
The Original: ( solo starts 0:12)
The last 2 weeks i have been on the road.
It is always a nice experience to go to other countries and play concerts.
This time a went with a bigband to Italy. More precisely sicily.
We had a few gigs which were actually a lot of fun.
The italian people love music so much, I was really amazed by that.
Whenever we had a concert, even when we sometimes did street music just for fun, people were immediately clapping their hands and dancing and singing along.
And of course, the food was amazing. Incredible !
I also enjoyed the beautiful city of Palermo a lot. Whenever you get a chance to go there, go !
A completely knocked out trombone section at 6pm. We missed the soundcheck. Touring can be really tough & exhausting.
Our basstrombonist after one gig, with a lot of fan-kids. Now who said jazz is no music for kids ?
Yes. November in sicily. Almost as beautiful as Rotterdam.
Right after we came back I went to Engers in Germany.
There I tought the trombone sections of the state youth bigband.
Also I conducted the tutti of the second bigband.
I had so much fun doing that ! Conducting and leading a bigband is great.
The difference after the rehearsals was overwhelming, the band already sounded a lot better, really good actually.
A few weeks ago I was offered to substitute in an Opera.
I accepted and went to Austria 3 weeks to rehearse and perform “Der Wildschütz” by Albert Lortzing.
Besides the fact that it made me decide to not eat any Wiener Schnitzel or Berner Würstel for the next 5 years,
it was a great experience.
Conductors were Sebastian Weigle, who usually conduct at the Opera Frankfurt and his assistant, Aurelien Bello.
Both very nice guys with amazing ears and a very positive attitude.
The trombone section with Sebastian Weigle
The soloists came from europe’s finest opera houses.
I was impressed not only by their singing, but also by their acting.
At first I was a bit puzzled with the storyline but the more often we performed it, and the more I discussed with my colleges, the more I understood.
After all, I think its a compositionwise very nice piece with a lot of hidden criticism and funny jokes.
If you should ever have a chance to see it, read something about the story and background first, otherwise you will probably not enjoy it so much.