Wake up in Jazz 2014

Connected to North Sea Round Town (June 27 - July 13 2014), Hotel Rotterdam offered visitors of this Jazz-festival a personal match to a Rotterdam Jazz-artist. Overnight stay at the home/studio of the musician was included!

Eric Vloeimans

Vloeimans initially studied classical music at the Rotterdam Academy of Music. He switched to jazz and graduated with distinction in 1988 and continued his studies in New York.
He practices classical studies to keep his technique up to scratch; enabling him to shape his improvisational ideas; putting classical music at the service of jazz.

Besides being active with major Dutch jazz figures (including pianist Michiel Borstlap and cellist Ernst Reijseger) since 1989, Vloeimans has been involved in numerous international projects.

In 2003 he received the most prestigious Dutch jazz award, the VPRO/Boy Edgar Award. Two recent albums have won him the highest award for music in the Netherlands; the Edison Award.
Photo Maurits Giesen

Stanislav Mitrovic

Stanislav Mitrovic (1963) was born in Belgrado. He studied saxophone and bassclarinet at the Rotterdam conservatory from 1988-1995. He played with the 'Mijke Loeven band' 1994-2000 and won the first prize at the 'Dutch Jazz Concours 1996' with 'Double B' (together with Akos Laki). He composes and arranges for 'Double B' (CDs 'Cha-Chack Train' and 'Ethno Funk'). Stanislav played, among others, with 'Matilde Santing band' (CD's 'To others to one' and 'New Amsterdam'), with 'Klezmokum' (CD 'Le Dor Va Dor'), and with the 'Burton Greene Quartet'.

Nowadays Stanislav regularly plays in the Netherlands and abroad with his own jazz quartet (CD's 'Shades of Spirit' and 'Crossing the Border'), with 'Global Rebop' (international world music ensemble) and with 'CARLAMA ORKESTAR'. He’s also director of the 'Persie Swing Collection big band' (Steenbergen).

Tom Ridderbeekx

Tom Ridderbeekx (1993) started taking classical trumpet lessons at the age of 7. Since 2011 Tom Ridderbeekx has been studying at the Conservatory of Rotterdam (CODARTS) where he works with great teachers like Jarmo Hoogendijk, Wim Both, Eric Vloeimans, Ad van Zon, André Heuvelman and Simon Rigter. Furthermore he participated as Erasmus Exchange Student at the Conservatory of Berlin (GER) (Jazz Institut Berlin), studying with famous English trumpeter Gerard Presencer.

Since he moved to Rotterdam, Tom has played in many different bands including the CODARTS big band, the Royal Conservatory and Codarts big band, The Cannonball Legacy, L'Funk, the HKU big band and Re:Freshed Orchestra. Also he played in the Nationaal Jeugd Jazz Orkest (National Youth Jazz Orchestra), a prestigious dutch big band project for young musicians conducted by Eric Vloeimans. At the age of 18 Tom made his debute at the North Sea Jazz Festival. Photo Bart Slangen

Piero Bianculli

Born in the south of Italy in 1978, Piero Bianculli grew up in the South of France where he began his musical career studying with French jazz masters like Robert Persil. In 2003 Piero continued his musical studies in Holland at the Rotterdam Conservatorium CODARTS where he met musicians that became good friends and so the Bianculli Trio became a fact!

After a few years, the Bianculli Trio won the Jazz Award in Rome in 2010. The band, with one of the best Horn sections Holland has to offer, finally got the perfect sound combination between jazz, pop, soul and original Italian music. Since then the Bianculli Band created a general interest in their music all around Europe playing already in Dutch jazz clubs and jazz festivals (Dizzy Rotterdam, North Sea Jazz Around Town) and a small beginning in Italy (Perbacco jazzclub, Taranto).

Michel van Schie

Fortunately, his aunt pushed a guitar into his hands when he was 16. Later, his guitar-teacher introduced the bass guitar to him. (He never even saw one before) About 40 years later Michel van Schie is one of the top-musicians of the Netherlands. By colleague-musicians he was honoured with a ‘Duiveltje’ (Devil) for Best Bassist of the Netherlands.

Trijntje Oosterhuis, Candy Dulfer, Jan Akkerman, Postmen, Erwijn Nijhoff, Flaming June, Schlatman, Anouk, Edsilia Rombley, van Velzen, Edwin Evers band and FULLDUPLEXX; only a few names of the many he played with. In the early eighties he studied at the Rotterdam Conservatorium. He lived on stage ever since, and played with numerous musicians. Besides this he also produces now and then, and teaches at the Rotterdam Conservatorium. Photo...

Akos Laki (Carlama)

He was born 1967 in Yugoslavia and studied classical clarinet, jazz saxophone and bass clarinet. He won several prices in Macedonia, Croatia, and Poland. In 1996 he was the winner of the Dutch Jazz Concours with his own Woodwind duo Double B. Akos plays tenor saxophone in Carlama. This Serbian word refers to a certain kind of wild dance as well as to a exuberant party. The musicians combine the rich Serbian brassband tradition with rhythms and melodies from all over the Balkan region, resulting in a steaming mix in which improvisation plays an important part. Hunting rhythms, furious trills, blazing ballads and a good sense of humour are the main ingredients in this group.

Currently Akos also plays in Laki Latino, Akos Laki Trio/Quartet, Double B and Double Band together with Stansilav Mitrovic, Klez-tetics, Global Village Orchestra and Panchito. In Rotterdam he's regularly involved in sessions in Dizzy, Bird en De Doelencafe. Photo Zsofi Bodnar 

Dina Medina

Dina Medina (1975) is a dutch Capeverdean singer, born and living in Rotterdam. Since she was 12 years old she played in several Cape Verdean bands. On her first solo album she plays with Hans Dulfer, Suzanna Lubrano, Grace Evora and the brothers Gil and Vado Semedo. Dina’s debut album "Passion and heart" grows out to be a hit in the Portuguese speaking Countries. Her second solo album (Separation, 1997) is also a big success. In 2004 Dina discovers the Morna, a music style that expresses the nostalgia for the motherland, the longing for love, but also the hope for a better future. She played with the Metropole Orchestra in 'De Doelen' Rotterdam, the 'Concert Hall' in Amsterdam and in 'Vredenburg' in Utrecht.

Nowadays Dina is regularly invited to participate in Morna related musical experiments, which resulted in tours, including the tour “CaboCubaJazz” with Nils Fisher and Carlos Matos. Photo Claudine Grin 

Pauline Koning (Refreshed Orchestra)

Pauline Koning began her violin studies at the age of 5. She graduated from Codarts (Rotterdam) in 2008 where she studied with Christiaan Bor. During her classical music education Pauline always had great interest in other musical genres which is shown by the projects in which she participates today; ‘The Re:Freshed Orchestra’ (NSJF 2013); ‘The Metropole Orchestra’ (replacing in the orchestra since 2009 and playing with artists like Asha Bhosle, Al Jarreau, Kurt Elling, Tori Amos and more); The orchestra ‘Il Novecento’ (The Night of the Proms in NL, BE, DE); ‘The Erato Trio’ (a classical string trio experimenting with the boundaries of classical music and thematical programming); and many more.

Pauline also writes and arranges music for several projects, has a Master degree from the Erasmus University and combines her musical work with the project management of the 'Storioni International Chamber Music Festival'. Photo MC Sharq

Quirijn Vos

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

Stephanie Francke

Stephanie Francke (1989) knew at young age that she wanted be a musician. She plays the alto- and soprano saxophone. She graduated from the conservatory of Rotterdam and won the Erasmus Jazz prize in 2012. She leads the Stephanie Francke Quartet, in april 2013 they released a debut album called Florigen, which is the name for the mysterious hormone that causes flowers to bloom. The album features Koen Schalkwijk as the piano player, Thomas Pol on double bass, Niek de Bruijn on drums and Stephanie on saxophones.

She played at, amongst other places, North Sea Jazz, the Bimhuis, Lowlands, the International Jazz Festival Middelburg and LantarenVenster. Jury Erasmus Jazz prize 2012: “We were impressed by Stephanie’s enchanting sound and beautiful compositions. Stephanie makes music that leaves you longing to hear more”. Jazzflits 2013: “Francke is a name to remember!” Photo Hilde Hogendoorn 


iET (Lisa Van Viegen) is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. She began playing the Flugelhorn at age 9, and started writing songs at 14. She briefly studied at Conservatorium Amsterdam, but left to pursue her own style and productions. In 2011, she released her first EP, The Kitchen Recordings 1, written and recorded in her kitchen. In 2013, she released The Kitchen Recordings 2. For this project she collaborated with some of her favorite female songwriters. In 2013 her debut album 'So Unreal' was completed (made with producer Russell Elevado). 'So Unreal' will be released on vinyl worldwide on June 9th. Jazzism about 'So Unreal': "Dreamy warm melodies, strong lyrics, spacy echoes, exuberant backings & beautiful layering are the keywords of this album". Photo: Tarona

Her partner in life and music is Budy Mokoginta, guitar player, songwriter, producer, mix engineer/master engineer. At his studio 'Mokosound' he works for various artists like Shirma Rouse, iET, Jeruma Arnold and Nishe.


Dutch songwriter, producer and vocalist Jeruma has created his own blend of pop and soul music. He combines confessional songwriting with an intimate yet immediate vocal delivery without ever losing sight of the groove.

His latest EP “2″ was released during North Sea Jazz 2013 upon which the single ‘So Many Songs’ received generous airplay on Dutch national radio stations Sublime FM and Radio 6.

At the moment Jeruma is playing venues across the Netherlands promoting his last EP and test-driving new songs. He does so with his soulful quartet, playing keys himself, accompanied by drums, bass and guitar. Photo Marc Nolte

Laise Sanches

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

Niek de Bruijn

Niek de Bruijn(1991) is a jazz drummer from The Netherlands. He’s playing with different artists in various styles and settings. Musicians prize him for his creativity and his energetic, dynamic playing.

Over the past few years Niek has performed with artists and groups like The Metropole Orchestra, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Giovanca, Pete Philly, Re:freshed Orchestra, Kris Berry and many others!
He toured with the ‘Nationaal Jeugd Jazz Orkest‘,  JM Jazz World Orchestra, and played several times at the North Sea Jazz Festival.

Nowadays, Niek is the fixed drummer of ‘Stephanie Francke Quartet’, ‘Baer Traa Quartet’, ‘EDWIN.‘, ‘The Bianculli Band‘, ‘The Houdini’s’, ‘Bird Lives!’, ‘Marjorie Barnes’, and ‘Dany Mary’.

Last year, Niek was the winner of the prestigious Erasmus Jazz Prize. Photo MajankaFotografie

Maaike den Dunnen

Singer/composer Maaike den Dunnen gained a lot of international publicity even before her first cd was recorded. She performed at the North Sea Jazz festival in 2011 (the final of the European Jazz Competition), she got two honourable mentions in Downbeat Magazine (USA, 2011) and she represented the Netherlands at the European Jazz Orchestra 2009.
Her first cd ‘Arrival’, with her own compositions, got wonderful reviews both in the Netherlands and abroad. Her quintet, also playing on the cd-recordings, consists of international top musicians like Renato Chicco (pianist of Jon Hendricks) and Mario Gonzi (drummer of Art Farmer). She also organizes other projects like ‘Den Dunnen / DeRose DUO’ and ‘Jazzin’ Je Moerstaal’.
Her warm voice represents a fabulous singer with profound lyrics and strong compositions. "She is a formidable singer with international style!" (Fay Claassen). Photo Jan Hordijk

Joost Kroon

Joost Kroon (Numansdorp, 1981) is a gifted drummer living in Rotterdam. He is a regular member of 'New Cool Collective' and 'Sven Hammond Soul'. Currently he also plays with Ruben Hein and Tini Thomsen. He recently recorded and produced Tini’s debut album 'MaxSax'. He worked with Benjamin Herman, Candy Dulfer, Hans Dulfer, KANE, Ken Stringfellow, Carice van Houten, JB Meijers, Hans Teeuwen, Matt Simons and many more.
Joost has had the opportunity to play all over the world: from Senegal to Japan, from New York to Moscow, from tiny jazz-clubs to huge soccer stadiums.

In addition to playing and recording, he also teaches at the 'Pop Department of the Conservatory of Amsterdam'. He lives together with Faye Ellen, who works as a project manager at Mothership.

Melissa Fortes

Music and theatre have always been Melissa's first love. 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 for 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 together with her producer Sebas dos Santos. After working closely together, 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'd answer:"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 AWFotoprodukties

Nils Fischer

Nils Fischer is crazy about percussion! He works constantly with his groups CaboCubaJazz & Timbazo, with Latin-jazz mainstay Nueva Manteca as well as with many other international projects. Nils played on countless festivals and venues all over the world, and he has performed with legends like Orestes Vilató, Pío Leiva, Armando Peraza, Paquito D'Rivera & Chocolate Armenteros. His debut CDs with Timbazo (¡Gracias Joe Cuba!) and CaboCubaJazz (‘Rikeza y Valor’) received worldwide plaudits. Both bands play internationally at important venues, one of the highlights so far: Timbazo at North Sea Jazz Festival, mainstage.

Right now, Nils is about to finish his second CD with Timbazo, which will feature an array of luminaries such as Lucrecia, Changuito, Alexander Abreu, Shirma Rouse, Carlos del Puerto, Calixto Oviedo, Alain Perez, and, and, and... Besides that, Nils started already to work on the next CD with CaboCubaJazz. Nils teaches at Codarts [Rotterdam Conservatory]. He also gave masterclasses in many countries. Photo: Andres Jimenez

Alessandro Fongaro

Bass player Alessandro Fongaro won the Erasmus Jazz Prize 2014 earlier this year. According to the jury of the prize, Fongaro makes you ‘start sitting on the edge of your seat’. A solo of Fongaro is ‘like a novel you can’t stop reading’.

Fongaro came to the Netherlands as part of an exchange programme and decided to stay. ‘There’s a lot happening here!’ Rising star Fongaro finishes his study at Codarts this year.

P.J. Visser about a recent performance with Thomas Maasz (piano), Donald Simoen (sax), Atilla Gyarfas (drums) en Federico Castelli (guitar): “His unique and creative compositions give the other bandmembers the necessary freedom. A ‘must listen’! “

Dick de Graaf

Tenor-and soprano-saxophonist Dick de Graaf has a long and impressive record. He played with musicians like Chet Baker, Misha Mengelberg, Jasper van ’t Hof, Kenny Weeler, Tom Harrell, Benny Golson, Billy Hart, Toumani Diabaté, Jeremy Monteiro and Erkan Ogur and toured festivals and clubs throughout the world. As a bandleader, composer, arranger and self-managing artist dedicated to jazz – in his definition “a host of elements from all kinds of music that surrounds us”- Dick de Graaf recorded and produced more than 25 CD’s that received positive response by both public and press.

Being an advocate of classic meets jazz (witnessed by critically acclaimed projects Schubert Impressions, A Touch of Bela and more recently Bach Reflections), Dick is currently re-working themes by J.S. Bach for a unique event in September 2014: the Clazz Ensemble will perform Dick's pieces at the third edition of the Internationale Bach Festival Dordrecht. Photo B. Leijdekkers

Andreas Suntrop

Andreas Suntrop (1966) studied jazz/popular music at the Rotterdam Conservatory. 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)

Andreas lives with Gabby Bakker who teaches actors in training at the HKU, DOX and Codarts. Besides her theater-activities she sings in/with different formations and bands: gabby-bakker.squarespace.com

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

Arend Niks

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', KNVB and CRAM.
He also forms his own groups, such as 'Niks', 'Niks Project' en New Niks. For these he writes most compositions, expressing his ideas about sound, shape, style and dynamic. He enjoys working with dancers and theater, for example in the group 'Geen Deel', and 'Orkater', whit whom he worked on two productions for the traveling theater festival 'De Parade'.

Omri Tindal

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).

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, and he will be playing in awarded musical sensation ‘Jersey Boys’ with music like Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons. Photo Wim Barzilay

Linda Kreuzen

‘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

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