Born: December 1, 1996 Primary Instrument: Band/orchestra
AZURE In 2006, pianist Pierre-François Blanchard and guitar player Rogier Schneemann met by chance in a rehearsal at the Royal Conservatory and felt an immediate musical connection. They teamed up with drummer David Barker and bass player Eric Heijnsdijk and Azure was born. The quartet started working on original material. Azure made a first studio recording called ‘There Were Stars’ in february 2007, and will be releasing their official debut album ‘When She Smiles’ in april 2009, consisting entirely of originals. Azure played festivals like The Hague Jazz, Utrecht Jazz Fest and Jazz in de Gracht and is steadily gaining recognition for their unique sound, interplay, lyrical compositions and intense live performances.
Pierre-François Blanchard studied classical piano and jazz piano in Nantes and Paris, and played in bands like Sokyzoom, La Belle Vie Trio and the Bonobo Trio. He has received his Bachelor's degree in jazz piano at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, and is currently studying the second phase program (Master's Degree) at the Royal Conservatory. Rogier Schneemann started playing guitar at age 11, and enrolled the Royal Conservatory of The Hague in 2004. He has studied with Eef Albers, Toon Roos and Martijn van Iterson, and has performed with Peter Erskine, Dave Liebman, Benjamin Herman, Peter Beets, Simon Rigter, Rob van Bavel a.o. Rogier represented the Royal Conservatory of the Hague at the IASJ Meeting 2007 in Siena, Italy, hosted by David Liebman. In addition to playing with Azure, Rogier plays with the Charli Green Big Band. Eric Heijnsdijk has received Bachelor Degrees for playing double bass as well as trombone. He studied at the Alkmaar Conservatory and later at the Royal Conservatory, with a.o. Hein van de Geijn, Frans van de Hoeven, Martijn Sohier and Arthur Moore. Eric has played with Gary Smulyan, Jazzed To The Max, Jatof Swing Orchestra, the Mike Zinzen Quartet, Das Jazz Band and the Dual City Concert Band. David Barker has toured with the European Youth Jazz Orchestra and has played with musicians like Michael Brecker, Kurt Rosenwinkel and artists such as Rob Van Kreeveld, Bert Joris and Eef Albers. David studied jazz drums at the Royal Conservatory with Erik Ineke and Stefan Kruger (Zuco 103). Davids plays with Thinktank, who have just released Pek Dek, their debut album on the O.A.P label. In 2007, David won the 1st prize at the 29th Jazz Hoeilaart competition as a member of the Pierre Anckaert Trio.
When She Smiles
Tracks: When She Smiles; RnP; B-Y-You; By Heart; Inmost; Azur; Ballade Pour Une Paquerette; A Mon Amour; Berceuse pour Maëlise.
Personnel: Pierre-François Blanchard: piano, Rogier Schneemann: guitar, Eric Heijnsdijk: bass, Antonio Pisano: drums.
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