Her talent for music has been nurtured at an early age. Her family played an important role in developing her talent. Her father, a well-known instrumentalist, was one of her biggest inspirations. Accompanying her grandmother to church and singing in church would form, unknown to her, the steps towards her current career. Born on the island of Curacao and raised on the island of St.Eustatius, she build her career as a musician in the Netherlands.
Her introduction to the Dutch music scene started when she was asked to become a backing vocalist of the group Tasha’s World. She moved on to performing, recording and touring with a wide range of artists from every genre. Chaka Khan, Michael Bolton, Metropole Orkest, Intwine, Extince, Wouter Hamel, Candy Dulfer, Alain Clark, Anouk, Glennis Grace, Randal Corsen, Tribute 2 Bob Marley, Carlo de Wijs. (Photo Thomas van Beek)
The compositions of Michiel Stekelenburg are known by their special character and tense structure: exciting music, dressed as swinging pieces, with lots of possibilities for improvisation.
Michiel studied at the Conservatorium in Tilburg, and was guided by Peter Mingaars, Ed Verhoeff and Peter Hertmans, he followed masterclasses of Nelson Veras and Anton Goudsmit.
He plays with various groups and musicians, like Michiel van Zundert and Spectalicious, Pascal Vermeer and Guus Bakker, BEAM, Eric Vloeimans, Tom Beek and Tijmen Zinkhaan and a project with American singer/songwriter Daniel Johnston. (Photo Bas Losokoot)
Laise, well-known as a member of 'Addlicious', is a singer/songwriter/entertainer living in the heart of Rotterdam. She made her debut as a 'backing vocalist' in 2002 with Tasha's World. At the age of 17 Laise was already travelling the world, gracing podiums in the cities of Africa, Europe and America with a plethora of national and international acts. Accompanying and collaborating with the likes of Chaka Khan, Michael Bolton, Bobby McFerrin, Wouter Hamel, Shirma Rouse, Giovanca, Do, Uniq, Winne, Kempi, Izaline Calister, Dina Medina, Boyge Mendes, Nelson Freitas and many more.
Last few years, Laise has slowly been stepping away from the 'backing vocalist' and making a jump start on her solo career.
“An intricate work of art, she exudes a passion for life, rejoices in the sound of laughter, and embraces the notion of everlasting love in universal music. Her persona steals you and leads you to her sound, her music - passionate, energetic, honest - fun!” (Photo Joke Schot)
Andreas Suntrop (1966) studied jazz/popular music at the Rotterdam Conservatory with Joe Pass, Jim Hall, Klaus Flenter and Ben de Bruyn. He plays in various jazz formations, including New Niks, Jasper le Clercq 4, Busy, Busy, Busy, GAP and Elizabeth Simonian 5.
Andreas has worked with Carel Kraayenhof, Eric Vloeimans, Jasper le Clercq, Pieter de Mast, Keimpe de Jong, John Buijsman, Mimezine, Oene van Geel, Arend Niks, Mijke Loeven, Vera van der Poel, Elizabeth Simonian, Maarten Ornstein, and Zapp4 .
He worked as a composer/musician for the RO Theater, Rotterdam Foundation The Connection, Theater Aluin, Growing Up In Public. John Buijsman, Keimpe de Jong and Andreas Suntrop made several musical theater productions. (Photo Cees van de Ven)
Diona Fox (born in 1989 as Karin Canters) started singing when she was 13 years old as a stand-in-backing-vocalist. She is now leading the 5 headed band 'Diona Fox & her Ragdolls'. They find their origin in their common love for old music styles. In their work Jazz and Soul are brought together. The lyrics are storytelling, the arrangements take you away. Their repertoire is both easy-listening and rousing, something recognizable but also innovating. During their act the band, dressed-up classy and stylish, creates a pleasant homey atmosphere, a warm gust of long-ago-but-wonderful-days.
In 2009 they released their first Selftitled demo. In 2010 the first EP called 'She's A Murderess', and in 2011 they released the EP 'Back Then' online. Their latest single 'Porcelain' was released in March this year, including video! Juli 12 'Diona Fox & her Ragdolls' will play at North Sea Round Town at 'RAAF', joined and supported by saxophone player Dick de Graaf. (Photo Sasha Ivantic)
Arend Niks (Schiedam, August 10, 1960) is a percussionist and composer who, based on a pop background and with a fresh vision, plays jazz- and improvised- music. He often collaborates with guitarist Corrie van Binsbergen, in groups as 'Corrie en de (Grote) Brokken'. He also formed his own groups, such as 'Niks', 'Niks Project' en New Niks. For those groups he writes most compositions, expressing his ideas about sound, shape, style and dynamic.
He enjoys working with dancers and actors, for example with the group 'Geen Deel', and 'Orkater', with whom he worked at two productions for the traveling theater festival 'De Parade'. (Photo Cees van de Ven)
Ai Ming Oei
Ming (1985) is a Dutch singer and songwriter. Her music goes by the name of Ming's Pretty Heroes. So far Ming's Pretty Heroes released Ep Cut of from Gravity (Jan 2008), debut album Ok Mr. Mix (Sept 2009) and album Karma (Sept 2011).
Following the release of her debut album, Ming toured though Germany and China and was awarded the Music Matters Award. This award made her Rotterdam's Music Ambassador for 2011 and provided the financial aid to start recording second album "Karma". In April this year they toured through China. From March to May Ming’s Pretty Heroes toured with modern dance company Conny Janssen Danst. Especially for this show called "Meer Ruis", music of the Karma album was rewritten and rearranged. After over 40 shows in the Netherlands and in Switzerland, this summer "Meer Ruis will be performed again at theater festival de Parade as well as on Lowlands. In the meantime Ming is working on a new album: Roots and Bones, brought to you, hopefully, in the fall of 2013. (Photo Wim Barzilay)
Omri Tindal (1986) is a phenomenal talented singer/song writer, composer and dancer, born and raised in Rotterdam. Starting at the age of 16 he worked for 5 years with the close harmony group “Delighted. During this time he also performed with international singer/song writer and producer Bilal and worked with top producer Giorgio Tuinfort. In his early 20’s Omri became part of the theatre group “Soul Brother”. They toured around Holland for two years, performed at Holland largest locations (Carré and Heineken Music Hall a.o) and appeared on national TV. As a performer Omri made an appearance in the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Spain, Turkey and Atlanta (USA).
Recently Omri participated in a Dutch live TV show called “The Voice of Holland”. He was also at the Dutch TV channels Nederland 3 (DWDD), TV Rijnmond, RTL5 (Killer Karaoke), Radio538 and FunX. (Photo Wim Barzilay)
Julia Reinhold, performing as 'Lenya', is a dedicated singer, songwriter and musician. Contributing her creativity and wide musical skills to a diversity of pop- and folk-bands, art-projects and music for commercials. EP ‘Backwoods’ (2012) received praiseful reviews and shows a fine prelude to a debut album that is currently being undertaken.
She started as a student in Musicology at the UvA. A persistent urge to perform made her switch to the Rotterdam Conservatory to study Pop Vocals. After her graduation in 2008 Reinhold developed her repertoire and musical skills at her homestudio; composing, arranging, playing and recording. Julia Reinhold teaches vocals, e.g. at the Herman Brood Academie. “Specifically ‘The Collector’ proves that Lenya has great qualities, both as a songwriter, as well as a singer.” (3voor12) “Here we have a varied, convincing piece of work from a promising artist” (MusicZine). (Photo Ton Delfos)
Rik van den Bergh
Rik is one of the few Dutch baritone saxophonists who dedicated himself to the baritone only. His playing is rooted in that of Pepper Adams, Harry Carney and Charlie Parker. He won the Japanese Kobe Jazz Award in 1999 and toured in Japan. In Holland he toured with the legendary Teddy Edwards and joined the Young Sinatras and the Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra. He played with the New Cool Collective Big Band and is a regular sit-in with the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw. He led his own quartet Swingmatism with whom he recorded several cd's. ReSerge is his latest recording and a tribute to Serge Chaloff.
At this moment Rik has a quintet with the Dutch trombone player Bart van Lier. The Rik van den Bergh / Bart van Lier 5tet will release their first album this November. Rik is also active with Triple Word, a trio in wich Rik is playing baritone, clarinet and bass clarinet. (Photo Govert Driessen)
Music and theatre have always been Melissa's first loves. That's why, in 2007, Melissa made a bold move to give up her steady job as a social worker. By being active as a professional actress, drama teacher, singer, songwriter and MC, Melissa hopes to inspire people with her skills and trigger them to go after their dreams like she did. As a professional singer Melissa has been active for over 10 years. She has had the chance to work with various famous national and international artists. Her Cape Verdian roots brought her in contact with a.o. Boy Ge Mendes and Sara Tavares.
Since 2008 Melissa has been working with her producer Sebas dos Santos. 2013 brought Melissa the fruit of her labours. She presented her dreamy debut single, 'Lullaby'. When you ask Melissa what kind of feeling she'd like to bring across with her single she answers: "Sunny saturdays & Lazy Sunday mornings". So if you're looking for darkness, keep on looking, Mellisa Fortes is here to bring out the sun! (Photo AW Fotoprodukties)
Yannick Hiwat (1988) began playing the violin at the age of six. He studied at the Rotterdam Conservatory and at the Conservatory of Tilburg. Yannick was captain of the Dutch Student Orchestra 20, Primarius of Farfalla String, Captain of the Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands, Captain of the Euregio Youth Orchestra and concertmaster of the Sweelinck Orchestra. He studies jazz violin at Tim Cliff House, and is busy with his own concept, the Yannick Hiwat Quartet (s). He is the permanent violinist of the Re:Freshed Orchestra, and in addition to his work in classical music, Yannick is also a well asked session musician for light music.
He worked with Ronan Keating, Sabrina Starke, La Rouge, Renee Flemming, Pan Afrikanz, Phatt, Gerard Joling, Pete Philly, Zap Mama, Renee Neufville, Karsu Donmez, City Safari Blue and many others. His broad musical training in many genres has brought him to major concert halls in The Netherlands, Belgium, Mozambique, South Africa, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, Spain, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Finland. (Photo Monteiro Fotografie)
‘For me, music is emotion. It needs to be so touching that it brings tears to my eyes… I want it to make me shout and simultaneously silence me. What is more beautiful than to be able to arouse those feelings myself?’
Singer-songwriter Linda Kreuzen evokes with her powerful voice a wide range of emotions: strength and optimism, sadness and despair. Her soulful performances and raw sound betray a certain amount of life experience and make the songs and stories even more authentic. She's been compared to Melanie and Janis Joplin. In the summer of 2012 Linda took part in the national television show "The Best Singer- Songwriter of the Netherlands". Since then she has performed on many stages in the Netherlands and Belgium, even appearing in Thailand and Malaysia. In October 2012, she released her debut EP containing four original songs. In February of this year Linda released the music video for her song 'Run Run Run'. (Photo Hugo Goudswaard)
Thomas Pol (22 April 1989) started playing the violin at the age of 4 and moved on to playing the bass when he was 10. He played at the North Sea Jazz Festival, IJazz, Breda Jazz Festival, Amersfoort Jazz Festival and at various famous jazz clubs like the Bimhuis, the Goals and Paradiso, and with people like Ellis Marsalis, Herlin Riley, Ed Petersen, Steve Masakowski, Johnny Vidacovich, Victor Atkins, John English, Hans van Oosterhout, Jasper Soffers, Ack van Rooyen, Simon Rigter, Juraj Stanik, Peter Beets, Paul van der Feen and Ben van den Dungen.
In 2011 he won the Erasmus Jazz Prize and was in the final of 'The European Jazz Contest' in Italy. Currently, he plays a lot in the Dutch Jazz/Pop scene. Among others with Caro Emerald, Jula Aimée, the Joris Posthumus Quartet, the Buzz Bros Band, Benjamin Herman, Jasper Blom, Gregory Porter, Zara McFarlane and Shirma Rousse. (Photo Jan Hordijk)
Maaike den Dunnen
She composes, writes lyrics and arrangements, leads her own projects, plays the piano now and then and…. sings! With one foot solidly rooted in the jazz-tradition, she explores new paths with the other. She delivers any kind of music with an infectious energy and a fair amount of vocal improvisation. She worked with a.o.: RTV Big Band (SI), the European Jazz Orchestra and the North Sea Jazz Festival (2011).
She founded her own group Maaike den Dunnen European Quintet and 'Jazzin’ Je Moerstaal', a project with original music that creates an cross-over between jazz and the Dutch language. She participated in various masterclasses and private lessons with guest teachers such as Jay Clayton, Jim McNeely, Deborah Brown, Darmon Meader and many more. In 2010, den Dunnen travelled to New York (USA) to take lessons and sing at various jam-sessions (in jazz-clubs such as Smoke, Smalls, Fat Cat, etc). To learn more about the musical projects that den Dunnen is leading and participating in, please check her site. (Photo Jan Hordijk)
Isabella Scholte, singer with a wide repertoire; from classical music to Jazz! She's part of singers acts like 'The Choochoos', and 'Noblesse goes Swing'. The Choochoos were at tv show 'De Wereld Draait Door' in November 2012, and just released a cd. Isabella performed for the Royal family, Kofi Annan and Johan Cruyff at places like 'De Rode Hoed', 'The Grand' and at the Côtes d’Azur. She has worked with a.o. Karin Bloemen, Marco Bakker, Huub Oosterhuis, Joke de Kruyf and Pieter Nieuwint.
Besides being a host for Wake up in Jazz, Isabella also organizes a special evening with music (by Isabella) and food (by Mucho Gusto). This event will take place during North Sea Round Town. Book for this dinner/music evening at firstname.lastname@example.org
Quirijn Vos started playing the trumpet when he was 8 years old. At the age of 14 his talent was noticed by his teacher Andre Heuvelman, who invited him to come to the Rotterdam Conservatory. He graduated Cum Laude in 2012. Among his private teachers: Eric Vloeimans, Simon Rigter, Marvin Stamm, Wim Both, Ad van Zon, Andre Heuvelman and Jarmo Hoogendijk. In 2008, 2009 and 2010 he has played at North Sea Jazz. In 2009 he and his band Raw Kandinsky won the Blue Note Demo contest and in 2010 the XL-jazz concours in Brussels. In 2011/12 he studied in Graz Austria with Jim Rotondi & Tobias Weidinger.
Currently, he plays with numerous artists: Blaudzun, Maria Schneider, Bryan Lynch, Ack van Rooyen, James Morisson, Bart van Lier, Izaline Callister, Hans Dulfer, and plays in clubs with DJ's like Hed Kandi (live), Erick E, Gregor Salto, La Fuente, Lucien Foort, Ziggy Stardust, Ricky Rivaro and Roog. (Photo Kurt Vandeweerdt)
Gabby Bakker (1968) graduated as an actress at the 'Utrecht School of Arts' in 1992. After a few years she decided to study at the Conservatory of the University of the Arts London, vocal, light music. Since her graduation, she worked as an actress in several (music) theater productions. Bakker played for a long time in theater Alum in Utrecht. Currently she is a regular guest at the orchestra Affiliate. Bakker also writes and directs music theater for herselve, and occasionally for small performances with young artists. Bakker worked with Erik Fast, Jan Ritsema, Helmert Woudenberg, Monique Corvers, Peter Kramer, Loes Luca, Harry Piekema, Keimpe de Jong, Daphne Brown, Paul Feld and Ramses Graus.
For a while now, Gabby Bakker teaches actors in training at the HKU, DOX and Codarts. Besides all the activities in the theater she sings in/with different formations and bands: frau bakker, The Great Gallery and Stetson. She works with Andreas Suntrop, Jasper le Clercq, Keimpe de Jong, Roel Spanjers and Zangmakers.
Ron-Le-Bass presents Pure Groove. The founding father of Ron-Le-Bass is bass player Ronle Rouse, who toured many years with several reggae- and pop artists. He felt it was time to follow his heart and return to his first loves: soul and funk.
Pure Groove takes you on a journey through the 80’s and 90’s with a mix of funk, soul, R&B and hiphop. Pure groove is also a gathering of 20+ musicians and artists, who wanted to share their love for pure music. The message of Pure Groove is to bring people together through music: Music makes the world go round. (Photo Jaden Reed)
Keimpe de Jong
Keimpe de Jong (1957) is a saxophonist, composer and conductor living in Rotterdam. In 1981 he graduated from the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. He plays his saxophone in the pop and jazz circuit, but also in the world of harmony & fanfare. De Jong has a passion for projects in which these two worlds mingle. With a variety of horn players from all over the world, especially from Suriname and the Antilles, he formed 'de Nazaten'.
The name of this orchestra echoes the music of the European harmony and fanfare bands. The repertoire stems from and elaborates on the many forms of world/windmusic, in which improvisation and dansability prevail. Music of which the origins cannot clearly be determined, and that came into existence thanks to the adultery of our royal forefathers, finding its prize on the dance floor, where love dawns, friendship is celebrated and differences in colour, status or origin don't matter.
(Photo Eddy Westveer)
Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing (1987) is a singer/actress. She is born in a family of musicians. Both her father and mother are passionate musicians. Yootha followed in her parents footsteps in 2006 when she debuted on the soundtracks of the dutch movie 'Kicks' and has since then started to work on her own music, varying from old soul to the heavier rock stuff. Blame Jimi. In 2010 she went on tour as a support act for Postman, a defining moment in the beginning of her career.
In 2012 she graduated in Social Science, only to pursue her real dreams even further. At the moment she's just finished shooting the the motion picture "the Price of Sugar" (Directed by Jean van de Velde; "All Stars", "De Kleine Blonde Dood" and Wit Licht) in which she landed the lead part, while recording her debut EP. It may seem impossible, until it's done! (Photo Eric van Nieuwland)