March 2019: Writing + Stadium preparations

 

 

Dear Visitor,

After an overwhelming start of the year with the almost traditional Vrienden Van Amstel concerts in January (where we all heard my dear friend Jelle Schouten play his last notes before his well deserved retirement ), I immediately traveled to Candy Dulfer in Miami to join her at the Blue Note at Sea Cruise. Man, that was something else! What a joy to perform and hang on a beautiful ship packed with some of the world’s best players like Wynton, Terrence, Christian,Dave, Marcus, and many many more. Immediately after this week I started to write again for new releases! You can check my Insta account for some great pics and posts about this trip.

Right now, we are in the middle of a tour with the brothers of Dutch rock band Di-rect, accompanied by 4 great string players: What a treat! Every evening seems to be a different trip, but it’s awesome to have so many colors available on stage to paint. I enjoy every minute of this tour!

And after that: When, More Di-rect, Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, New Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra, Special Request Horns. ( Some interesting topics coming up-stay tuned!), and last but not least: Marco Borsato live at the Rotterdam stadium. More news soon. Cheers!

 

Dec. 2018: Thank you for another amazing year

Dear all,

For the first time in many years I can’t recall a single moment, concert or day that represents all the goodness of 2018 for me. It was a year of progress, many new musical friends, challenges and happiness, and there’s nothing else I could wish for. Or maybe one little wish: A new solo album.

It is for sure a luxury problem not being able to finish my own recordings because of the many challenging invitations I get as a sideman or soloist, but I am starting to feel a certain urge now. But the good news is that I am currently writing new stuff and I still improve, and that’s what matters me the most.

And I kept my promises, because I did study Italian on tour, I think I will need another 2 years before I can order my own perfect pizza in Torgiano without a nasty Rotterdam accent…

2018 was also the year I started my career as a stadium player. Off course it all started as a joke while being on tour with German musical giant Peter Maffay, but looking back now, there hasn’t been a year other than 2018 with a comparable amount of arena and stadium performances so far, and with equal musical challenges for me.

It also makes me very proud and thankful that our Special Request Horns are currently in demand by so many (inter)national leading artists and creative minds. For many years our goal has been not to be the guys that you see in every band that needs some horns, but the guys you ask specifically for to provide a personal tailor-made musical addition to your music. We consider ourselves a band, not some professional horns. And it makes me damn happy to see that 2018 brought, and 2019 will bring us many musical cooperations with people we love to play and hang with, and spice up their compositions and live performances.

Writing about all these happy thoughts makes me realize there’s practically nothing to wish for. Or maybe…..yes: A happy new year filled with health, joy and good music for you all, and world peace please. Well OK, and maybe less selfish idiots, especially  in the banking and insurance industry. Lol.

Cheers! Jan.

 

 

 

Oct 2018: Returning to my birthplace

Dear reader,

The past updates were mainly based on insane crowds, stadium tours, foreign countries, champagne and mega stars. And to be honest with you: Nothing really changed the past months, ( just returned from the great Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival on Aruba with Di-rect), but this time I won’t waste your time with stories about my actual glamorous life, sandy beaches, chicks and glamour-jazz, even while I feel tempted to do so: NO! This time I will write about two even more important subjects: The joy of playing and my place of birth!

Finally, after years and years, these two subjects will unite when I hit the stage in Schiedam, my birthplace with the living legend himself: drummer John Engels! I am very pleased to be part of John’s ‘Dream formation’ which also features another dear friend: Benjamin Herman on alto sax!

My ultimate musical dream is to be able to play with the same joy and fire as I feel today for the rest of my life, and John is one of the very few people I know who does that. John might be 82 but he will never get old, and don’t let his age fool you, because he still kicks ass on stage and swings like no one else.

I really enjoy, after all those insane tours, concerts and recording sessions to finally play in Schiedam, because that’s the place where it all started for me. I remember my mother joining me to my first trumpet lesson at ‘the Blauwe Brug, (which is sadly demolished), playing songs for my neighbors, my friends shouting my name when they heard me play outside, the many practice sessions in my room, ( eventually I didn’t practice at all, but it all changed when I attended the’ Havo voor Muziek en Dans’, a secondary school for talented musicians and dancers. It just feels like yesterday.

Off course my parents, who are fortunately both in good health and even live in the same house where me and my sister grew up, will be our special guests. I can’t wait!

Oct 14  Live at the Music Distillery, Schiedam, John Engels dream formation, main stage 15:00

Home! June 2018

Dear reader!

Welcome to this fresh update.

For those of you who might be interested in following my daily musical adventures, please find me on instagram as @jvanduikeren . I’ll try to post daily footage there, but please be informed: I don’t like to post pictures of mouthpieces only, I have many more things that I’m interested in  to share on Instagram.

So, the title says it all…HOME!

Finally, after 15x Ahoy, 7 weeks Germany with the Peter Maffay MTV Unplugged tour, Ziggo dome with Bløf, and tours with Di-rect and Marco Borsato I’m finally back home after 6 months. It was the longest period of successive touring ever for me, but I’m extremely thankful for the many many great concerts, the stadium experiences I gained and the new friends for life  I made during the tours.

But now I’m happy to be home again, reunited with my family, friends and finally able to take some time to think about future plans. It has been a while since my latest release and I actually can’t wait to lock myself up for weeks with just a piano and a trumpet to actually start writing again!

But despite not being able to write as much as I intended to do during the tours, I did many things I usually don’t do, like : Sporting, learning to speak Italian and finally watch Das Boot, in a luxury hotel room with a good bottle of champagne and good company. I visited Museums, Wrote a few tracks and played my ass off, so life has been very good to me after all!

The next couple of weeks I will spend mostly writing, playing with Di-rect, the New Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra and the Jazz Orchestra of the concertgebouw, and in between: Sipping some bello vino bianco and enjoy my life to the max. You can find a more detailed touring schedule in the agenda section.

Have a wonderful summer, I hope to meet you somewhere at one of the many festivals where we play.

Cheers! Jan.

Feb 2018: Arena tour with Peter Maffay!

Dear visitor,

Welcome to the March 2018 update about my life on the road. 2018 will be a bit different than many other years: From January until June I will mainly be playing Arenas with different acts, which is a weird thing to say for someone with a jazz background.

After a successful edition of 14x Vrienden Van Amstel in Ahoy, Rotterdam ( Home !!! ), I’m now on the road with German Superstar Peter Maffay, joining his MTV Unplugged tour as a special guest with his amazing band.

And now, while the whole world is watching the Olympic wintergames, I’m quite occupied  with my own olympic musical matters: Playing and recording live for 15000+ people, day after day.

This is something else man!

Even though I feel blessed so far with a career I even didn’t dare to dream about, playing with the most incredible players on the planet;  being able to get my Arena-chops together tuns out to be a very valuable element in my everlasting search to improvement.

You can put me in any place or situation and ask me to play a solo, and I would love to do that, but putting me in a packed arena with some difficult sheet music is another thing, and it’s great to be able to train it day after day.

To me, some of the different parts feel probably the same as walking naked through a warehouse while shouting to the surprised customers what their fucking problem is. That kind of attitude is exactly the attitude I also have while playing jazz, without being aware of it, just enjoying the playing…. So it’s simply great to be able day after day, week after week to get used to this stuff and deliver! It was great to feel the nerves  the first couple of days, which all turned out to be great concerts, putting me in a position where I can actually enjoy the shit out of every minute on stage. Which is a good thing because we will still be touring with this circus for more than a month from now, followed by 2 tours in the Netherlands until June.

For more pics/ stories and footage of me, proudly receiving a platinum album award for selling already more than 200.000 copies of the Maffay MTV Unplugged album, (which also features me in the beautiful song Nessaya, with Peter and Katie Melua,) please feel free to follow me on Instagram or Facebook.

Enjoy the rest of my sate, see you soon for the next update.

Love, peace and music.

Jan.

Bye bye 2017!

Dear visitor,

Welcome to my site! I hope you will enjoy this little update about my musical life.

December is the month of looking back, and while looking back, 2017 seems to have been my most productive year ever! Not in terms of solo work, but the number of releases and live recordings I made as a guest musician/ co-writer / co-arranger are simply insane, and  afterwards I have no idea how we made that happen without major incidents or fuck-ups!

And I absolutely enjoyed the variety of people I worked with, and the different musical background they represent.  That’s the reason I wanted to be a musician: Make as much beautiful music with as many beautiful people possible.

Only a few releases that just passed my thoughts while thinking back: Di-rect Ladies of Soul, Marco Borsato, Candy Dulfer, Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, 3J’s Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra, Steffen Morrison,  Trijntje Oosterhuis, Peter Maffay, Katie Melua, Bløf…etc,etc.. Man, what a year, and what a wonderful time I had with all those unique personalities.

Most of the recordings this year were made together with my buddies of the Special Request Horns, Louk and Guido. We never had so many recordings/ arrangements and concerts together in the past 16 years of our existence. However: It feels just like the beginning. More and more people find their way to us to spice up their music with our flavor, or even ask us to be part of their band. I am very thankful for that, proving to me that quality and character do matter, like they matter to me!

The first half of 2018 will look a bit like 2017: Massive tours with Marco, Di-rect and Vrienden van Amstel… but also new appearances with the New Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra, and a massive German MTV unplugged-tour with me as a musical guest of German superstar Peter Maffay and his incredible band.

No bad news at all? Well…..the only problem with this massive touring schedule is that it takes more time than expected to make new SOLO-recordings… There’s plenty of tracks and plenty of ideas, but simply no time to plan a decent recording session.

But I will promise you, and myself, this will happen in 2018 too!

I wish you a lovely, healthy, safe and musical 2018. Whoever you are!

Cheers, Jan.

October 2017

Dear all,

Welcome to my monthly update.

The past weeks felt like sitting in a rollercoaster, driving thru many different musical flavors in 5 mins. Something like that…

First of all, it was marvelous to join Peter Maffay and his world class band to be their musical guest on the soon to be released MTV-unplugged recordings! It was a treat to featured in the duet of Peter with katie Melua, and in between the solo’s I had a great time with my world class horn colleagues Benjamin Herman and Frank Mead. Only disappointment was their lack of humor…….

It was great to hang out with the crew, I’m still surprised about how many new friends I met, and I still have many of the german lyrics in my system….6 weeks later….

Another very popular singer, Marco Borsato, recently worked on some new stuff! And I co-wrote and recorded two of the brass arrangements for him, which was an honor. I will never forget how I was blown away by him, his great band and incredible horn section back in 2000, when I visited his famous stadium gigs in Rotterdam, and today I am  proud to be part of his band, both as a player and the one responsible for the horn sound in his music, performed together with my homeboys The Special Request Horns.

Jazz news?  Yes! Of course! Lots of Jazz news this time!!

First of all, while I am writing this update, I am still recovering from our last gig with the JvD4 @DJS Dordrecht. Man, I am so happy to play together with Karel Boehlee, Aram Kersbergen and the one and only drum legend John Engels…. At 82, this gentle giant still kicks anyone’s ass including mine! What an energy! Our next concert at Jazz in Oudorp on saturday Oct 14 has already been sold out….too bad for those of you who were planning to see us, but a huge milestone for the founder of Jazz in Oudorp, Alexander Stegeman. This is his first concert as a promoter! Well done Alexander, we are looking forward to play in the beautiful church in Oudorp!

More Jazz news? OK! We just recorded the music of the Rotterdam Suite with the New Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra. All original compositions about Rotterdam, mostly written by our own band members and performed by the NRJO. I wrote a song about Rotterdam myself too. It’s called Oso, which means home in Surinam, and it is a tribute to the surinam society in Rotterdam in general, and particularly to all the beautiful flavors and influences which makes Rotterdam the unique melting pot I love so much. To be continued……!

Next time I will tell you about the upcoming recordings with the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, how we prepare the massive upcoming gig at the AFAS Live with Di-rect,  the upcoming shows with Marco Borsato, and many more things, so please stay tuned? And in case you would like to catch me at one of the many live happenings, please feel free to visit the freshly updated ‘activity’ section of this site.

Peace! Take care.

Jan.

NEW RELEASES

Dear visitor,

This month’s update will be mainly about my recent collaborations with some highly respected Dutch artists, and they are all about to release their album at the same time.

First of all, my dear friend Candy Dulfer will (finally!) release her new album “Together” on April 18! We had so much fun during our recording sessions, and after almost 20 years of playing together we almost become one instrument while playing. My first recording with Candy was back in 1997, for the album “For the love of you”, and I played on every album after that until today, except only one album. There’s more funny news: Most of my solos used on Candy’s records were the first take, and most of our horn parts were played while giggling around, because we always try to distract each other while recording. Again, this album is very special to me because as a musician and friend Candy means a lot to me and it always makes me happy to play and write together. We co-wrote most of the horn arrangements together with the Special Request Horns.

The second collaboration I would like to mention is the new album for one of the most successful and respected groups in the Netherlands: BLØF. Lately we found out we go back together for about 25 years, I even played with them as a special guest in Ahoy Rotterdam in 2002, and today, finally I can tell you that I am thrilled to be on their 2017 album, called ‘Aan”.

I co-wroted some of the arrangements together with Dries Bijlsma and Louk Boudesteijn, and we recorded the tracks at my studio together with Dries, who did a great job as producer. I am really looking forward to some live performances later on.

And last but not least: The ladies of soul, live at the Ziggo dome 2017!

Some people find their challenge in climbing the great wall of China while others prefer the Iron Man contest. Well, we have the Ladies of Soul: 3 hours of pumping medleys with a kick ass live band for 17.000 people with live broadcast and audio/ dvd recording, 3 days long. My upper lip looks like the Grand Canyon after those 3 days, but I wouldn’t miss it for the world. It’s just such a pleasure to see so many close musical friends back every time again, all giving it a 200%. And I am very pleased with the results of this year’s edition.

There’s much more to come, for example: right now we are recording some very nice new tracks with our friends of Di-Rect. We just finished a massive-classic-sold-out-venue-tour, filled with beautiful audiences, vodka battles on stage and naked guitar players. I love ’em, please check the activity-page on this site to see where we will be playing this month, you will love them.

 

Have a great day! I will be back with new updates by next month!

Cheers, Jan!

 

Special Request Horns 15 years!

Dear visitor,

Welcome to my should-be monthly update!

Probably a bit disappointing news for the most hardcore jazz fans here, but the first 3 months of 2017 it’s manly big arena shows with the Special Request Horns. The good news is that I really enjoy these concerts, ( a totally different playing experience with some nerve wrecking passages in front of 15.000 + people with some of my best friends playing next to me). And thanks to these concerts I’ll be able to make new records with my own projects too.

The Special Request Horns are Guido Nijs, Louk Boudesteijn and yours truly, and this year we will celebrate our 15th anniversary. Started as the horn section for dutch reggae band Beef, our group turned out to be one of Holland most successful horn sections nowadays, recording and touring with bands and artist in practical every musical genre, including Joe Jackson, Bløf, Caro Emerald, Sheila E, Candy Dulfer, Marco Borsato, The Ladies Of Soul and many many more.

We will celebrate our anniversary with music! We are actually planning a concert with some of our closest musical friends so please stay tuned for more information about this later on!

Besides the Ladies of Soul, Vrienden van Amstel and the upcoming EP release with our friends of Di-rect, I’ve got some good news for the jazz fans too. Here’s some dates which might be interesting for you:

Feb 5:  Jazz afternoon concerts together with Candy Dulfer @Cafe Dauphine, Amsterdam

March 16: Huiskamerconcert with John Engels, Leiden!

March 18: Guest soloist with the Big band of the Koninklijke  Nederlandse Marechaussee.

March 26: Special guest with the Tim Langendijk trio.

That’s all for now!

Have a nice day and please feel free to check my updates regularly.

Kind regards,

Jan van Duikeren.

Happy 2017!

Dear visitor,

Welcome to my freshly updated website! It took a while because of the ridiculously busy schedule the past months, but I didn’t want to end up wishing y’all  a happy new year by next April, so here I am: WISHING YOU ALL  A HAPPY, HEALTHY, PEACEFUL 2017 FILLED WITH LOTS OF BEAUTIFUL MUSIC! No matter what your gender, colour, religion, political preference etc. etc. etc. may be. F*ck all that bullshit. No matter what happens in the world, my biggest goal in life remains to play with as many possible beautiful fellow musicians around the world for as many lovely audiences in the world. And the more neglecting idiots will appear in both media or politics, the more I will play! So once again I wish you ALL a happy 2017!

I am truly grateful for the many highlights in 2016. The first things that come to my mind now are the concerts with Dr. Lonnie Smith, dr. John, Georgie Fame, Candy Dulfer, Kenny B and many, many more. The countless arrangements I wrote and recorded with my buddies The Special Request Horns, for bands and artists with different musical backgrounds, Such as, Fresku, Marco Borsato,  Di-Rect, The Ladies of Soul, Raccoon, Bløf, Brownie, Steffen Morrison, Writersday, just to name a few; and last but not least the release of our album with the JVD4: Dear John, and the lovely concerts we had!

There’s a few things I am already looking forward to in 2017:

  • The upcoming flamingo concerts together with my long time friend and ace guitarist Tino van der Sman next Jan 14 and 15.
  • The upcoming album of Candy Dulfer, with lots of fresh new horn arrangements.
  • The upcoming album of my dear friend Lodewijk van Gorp……finally!!
  • Celebrating 15 years Special Request Horns, and our upcoming tours with Di-rect and Marco B.
  • My new writing/ recording studio!

– Writing new stuff, finally…….

That’s about it right now. If you have any idea for a name of my new studio, please mail me! I will keep you posted about my upcoming tours, releases and media as soon as possible. Please enjoy the updated agenda and I hope to see you again next time.

Cheers!

Jan