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Vivienne Aerts’ third album:

Women and Chocolate

A musical exchange with female musicians to empower female cacao farmers of Virunga State Park Congo.

Pre-order my new album!

Pre-order my new album!

``Vivienne Aerts vocalist, performer & composer specializing in experience design is coming up with a new album that will consist of her original music and features over a hundred female musicians. Expect a mix of jazz, electro-pop, and improvised music. On top of that, with every CD you buy, you will receive a bar of Original Beans Femmes de Virunga, the chocolate that is truly an “all women chocolate”, and for every bar sold, a tree gets planted. So when you buy this album, you are not only getting all-women-music and a bar of chocolate, but you are also actively replanting trees and giving women in Congo a better future!``


This project has received funding through a grant from the Netherland-America Foundation and SENA production Fund.

One – note – video for International Women’s Day

For starters, I wanted to put something together that features women in music and celebrate International Women’s Day. So, I’ve asked all my female music friends to send me a video of themselves playing or singing one note, any note, any length. Then I used all these little clips of 40 women to create this piece that will be presented for #ChooseToChallenge and share your sound on International Women’s Day.

Latest review:

Mark Keresman in The New York Jazz Record wrote about Vivienne’s performance on Kenny Werner’s album with Dave Liebman, Terri Lyne Carrington and James Genus for NewVelle records:

Vivienne Aerts, who gives it a starry-eyed dryly heartfelt reading, her airy soprano relishing every syllable without a hint of pretense or being overly theatrical”.

About Vivienne

“I sing about water and soap, about roof gardens and musicians that met at a certain moment and time … As pure as it gets, a background in jazz, now trying to find the borders of the style. Intense as never before, it swings, crushes and touches. To find and experience total freedom.”

From the Netherlands, Vivienne Aerts studied on a Fulbright and graduated Suma Cum Laude at Berklee College of Music (Boston, USA) where she worked with renowned jazz artists such as Danilo Perez, Joe Lovano, and John Patitucci. Since, Vivienne has shared the stage with both national and international Jazz icons such as Lee Konitz, Kenny Werner, Chris Potter, Joe Cohn, and Florian Weber. Vivienne released her first album “Roofgarden” in 2009 and her second album “Polaroid” – a snappy Jazz a cappella EP in 2012. Vivienne has been residing in New York City since 2015 where she gave a debut performance at the Blue Note Jazz Club and is currently working on her third album. Besides this, she works with Kenny Werner and the Effortless Mastery Institute at Berklee.  Before moving to America, Vivienne graduated as a jazz/pop choir conductor and got a master degree in Clinical Psychology after which she worked several years as a psychologist, a teacher and a conductor of several choirs besides performing with different bands as a singer. Recently she spoke on the National Fulbright conference in Mexico, and recorded on Kenny Werner’s Vinyl with Dave Liebman, Terri Lynn Carrington and James Genus for NewVelle records.

Her music is available here and on Spotify, iTunes & Amazon.

Read more....


Played with…

Lee Konitz, Dave Liebman, Kenny Werner, Peter Erskine, John Patitucci, James Genus, Terry Lynn Carrington, Ari Hoenig, Florian Weber, Joe Cohn, Or Bareket, Nitai Hershkovitz, Danilo Perez, Ambrose Akinmusire, Chris Potter, Marcus Gilmore, Bob Moses, Jon Davis, Billy Drewes, Dan Block, Bob Mover, George Garzone, Dave Gilmore, Ratzo Harris, Danny Walsh, Jeen Rabs, Johannes Weidenmueller, Martijn van Iterson, Jason Lindner, Jernej Bervar, Robin Koerts, Vadim Nesselovkiji (among others)

Awards, prizes, and mentions

Fulbright Scholar (2012) / Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds (2014) / VSB fonds – Dutch study grant (2012)  / Co Verhoog Prize (2011) / Zoetermeer Jazz Award (2010) / Umbria jazz scholarship award (2007) / Book History Jazz Leiden, NL (2008) / Book Pictures Culture-makers (2012) / Picture Book Musicians Leiden (2017)

Multi-Sensory Edible Performance art

One of the projects Vivienne is involved in is called Vervool (formerly known as ChocoJazz) with her husband Ted Steinebach, who is an haute cuisine pastry chef with experience at three Michelin-star restaurant Eleven Madison Park. Vervool is a non-existent Dutch word, (representing Vivienne & Ted’s roots) which is a combination of ‘Feeling’ and ‘Fulfillment’; while Ted creates an edible painting using haute cuisine molecular techniques, he gets inspired by the soundscape created by Vivienne, who in her turn is improvising to his movements. Using her voice, loops, iPad apps, and a synthesizer she creates a full orchestra by herself, resulting in an ever-changing and newly improvised piece. The artwork is only temporary: it’s made to be eaten, giving the audience an essential role in the performance.
>> more info <<

Kenny Werner and Effortless Mastery

Effortless Mastery is a book by Kenny Werner for any musician who finds themselves having reached a plateau in their development. Werner, a masterful jazz pianist in his own right, uses his own life story and experiences to explore the barriers to creativity and mastery of music, and in the process reveals that “Mastery is available to everyone,” providing practical, detailed ways to move towards greater confidence and proficiency in any endeavor. Vivienne Aerts has been associated with Kenny and the newly found Berklee Effortless Mastery Institute since 2014 and has been working as a vocalist and psychologist for over 10 years. Her concept Mindful Improvisation felt so close to Werner’s teaching that he decided that she was meant to follow in his footsteps and be the first created Effortless Mastery teacher.



Currently, Vivienne teaches privately at home and online on a limited basis as well as workshops and masterclasses. Please reach out.

Areas of teaching: Piano & vocal lessons / Jazz Improvisation / iPad apps, loops and gear / Songwriting & recording workshop /  Mindful singing / Mindful improvising / Choir, band, high school workshops / Music Business / Private counseling / Emotion regulation / Effortless Mastery / Business excellence & advising / Leadership & Conducting.

Voice psychologist / coach

After graduating from my Masters in Clinical Psychology at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands in 2010  Vivienne decided to work as a therapist and worked in a private practice for several years. Other work would include music therapy at the local mental health institution where she led choirs of people with mental health conditions. The most recent projects were at Leiden University where she developed and taught summer courses in ‘Mindful Improvisation’ for musicians and non-musicians. She coaches privately at home and online on a limited basis, and occasionally there are workshops.

More info. 

Choir/band conducting and arranging

Vivienne got a degree in choir conducting from the Haarlem Conservatory in the Netherlands where she studied with Tijs Krammer, after which she worked as director of several choirs, and even big bands for over 10 years. Currently, she is mainly working as a consultant, arranger, and director upon request.

Example choirs: Dutch pop choir Leedvermaak, Girls Choir Leidse Sleuteltjes, Vocal group dames verband,  Shanty Choir Ringvaart Zangers, Jazz Choir Vocalzz, Dutch pop choir NME and Nics Bigband

“There’s a way of playing safe, there’s a way of using tricks and there’s the way I like to play which is dangerously, where you’re going to take a chance on making mistakes in order to create something you haven’t created before. “
– Dave Brubeck