NYC March 2014

2014-03-02 21.38.17There comes a point that I really need to go to NYC. Sometimes that city will mix you up and you’ll always get some new inspiration. I wanted to see my friend Joanne, and guitarist Joe Cohn, and my Parisian friend Felix Lemerle (who will study guitar on a Fulbright in NYC next year!)

Also there were some Dutch people in the City I would try to meet, Hans Mantel, Mirjan van Leijenhorst and Ahmet Polat. They were on a trip for Jazz festival Delft to meet some people for their project “ the jazz dream“ connecting renowned artists with young talents. (

The plan was to stay with Joanne, but I hadn’t clearly communicated my stay, so on saturday afternoon I needed to find a place to sleep, but, its NYC, anything could happen. I went to have a coffee with Sajda, a friend that studies art philosophy in NYC, then went to the after diner hang with the Dutch jazz – peeps and Mirjan told me (thank the lord!!) that she had a hotel room with two beds, and I could just stay there 🙂 …

I went to the concert of Joe Cohn in a sushi place where I met Felix and after hanging with Joe for a bit I went with Felix to another jazz – restaurant where we sat in, singing a bit.

The next morning it was really nice to have breakfast in the hotel with Hans Mantel and catch up a bit. Then I talked for a while with a art journalist from the Gardian (UK) which was really interesting. I went to see Joe Cohn’s concert in Brooklyn and had an amazing diner in that place. That evening I would stay at Joe’s place so we went to his house to drop off my bag and make some music. Joanne was performing in this acrobat show in Brooklyn and it happened to be a really cool show, people juggling, trapeze, aerial hammock, aerial straps, Chinese pole and fire eating … wow.. .that was really something else!

Here some pictures 🙂

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Duke Ellington playing baseball

Screen Shot 2014-05-17 at 1.34.45 PMLast semester I took a class with Greg Hopkins about arranging for large ensemble. Earlier I have been writing about how fantastic of a musician and teacher Greg is – click here to read more about him 🙂 …

In the ‘writing for large ensemble’ – class we studied the music of Duke Ellington, his way of composing and arranging. I must say that I already was a big fan of his music, but now even more. What a legacy!

Noteworthy to mention is that the Smithsonian Institution in DC holds the Duke Ellington Archive/library with an enormous collection of original scores of Duke. And, you can visit this library by appointment! But there is a lot information on the website of the Smithsonian. Here something fun I stumbled upon 🙂

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Here you will find the website with video of Ellington playing baseball!!

Berklee Concert – Celebrating Blakey: A Jazz Messenger Reunion

October 10th there was a concert by the Messenger Legacy. This band is an elite lineup of former members of one of jazz’s most influential bands, Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. This configuration features bassist Reggie Workman, alto saxophonist Donald Harrison, trumpeter Brian Lynch, tenor saxophonist Billy Pierce, pianist Donald Brown, and drummer Ralph Peterson. They wish to preserve, protect, and honor the legacy of a man who was much more than a bandleader to all of them.

Since Berklee is so busy and there is a lot of concerts going on all the time, I didn’t have a chance to get a ticket, but I really wanted to go. I met my teacher Marco Pignataro in front of the BPC (Berklee Performance centre) and he told me he had a spare ticket!!

After the show I went backstage with Danilo Perez and Marco Pignataro and two of my fellow students Milena Jancuric en Angi Santos. Danilo was talking to Donald Brown, who was his first piano teacher. Here some pictures from that meeting.

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The concert was amazing, I’ve been listening to a lot of the Jazz messengers, and it was really fun to see them perform in the spirit of Art Blakey. Ralph Peterson is a drum teacher at Berklee, and he played with Art Blakey and the Jazz messenger orchestra. The oldest member of the group was Reggie Workman on bass. I found a really old recording of him playing with Art Blakey in 1963…

More about the group;

About forming the group, Peterson said, “Every time I play the drums it is in tribute to Art, but I wanted to do something that goes beyond me, beyond any individual. I wanted to pay tribute in a way that was authentic, genuine, and meaningful not just to a few, but to every person he touched through his music.” In an age when cover bands and tribute acts are commonplace and contrived, this band proves to be the exception. “Having multiple generations of Messengers represented in this band, this is the closest you can get to the source,” Peterson said through his raspy chuckle. “This is the real deal.”

Jong jazz blog… Berklee recital

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Mijn eerste recital in Berklee was tof, allemaal eigen nummers met een zevenkoppige band. Daarnaast was er een beamer presentatie met stopmotion video’s die ik had gemaakt. Ik heb hierover een blog geschreven voor Radio 6, JazzJong.

Lees het hier:

De filmpjes van het concert zijn hier te zien: