Born: November, 1934 Primary Instrument: Piano
Jack van Poll was born in 1934 in Roosendaal, Holland. He started playing piano at the age of four. After the liberation of the Second World War in 1945, he discovered the first Bebop tunes on V-discs and on the American Forces Network Channel.
With his teen age trio The Rose Valley's, he took part in the Dutch Jazz Competition in Amsterdam in 1946. From the early Fifties on, he backed up single artists from the U.S.A., who performed in Holland and Belgium, like Don Byas, Ben Webster, Johnny Griffin, Clark Terry, Tony Scott, Ted Curson, Buddy DeFranco and many others. In the late seventies he opened the September Jazz Club in Antwerp, Belgium. In 1984 he founded the September Jazz Records label.
He joined the Lionel Hampton band on their East Coast Summer tour in 1985 and made his debut in Manhattan with Dee Dee Bridgewater that same year.
He performed at many International Jazz Festivals; Antibes, Pori, Prague, JVC Jazz Festival NYC, Cork, San Sebastian, Grahamstown, NSJF The Hague, Vienna, Comblain La Tour, Cracow, Berlin, Milano and Zurich. Apart from playing piano and tenor sax, he composes, writes lyrics, presents his weekly radio program, teaches music, is correspondent for a Flemish Jazz Magazine, writes Film Music and supports young musical talents.
In 1995 he and his wife Trudy moved to Cape Town, South Africa and he met a whole new world of interesting and hugely talented musicians.
Basil Moses is one of the best bass players around, he has a strong groove and is among the best upright bassists in the country. Next to Lulu Gontsana, Kevin Gibson is one of his favourite drummers. Winston 'Ngosi' Mankunku is his absolute all time favourite sax players, all time because he both plays mean in the Coltrane mode and the African Jazz Idiom. Singers are a pianist's best friend. Jacks great friend is the versatile Tina Schouw and Judith Sepuma is by far one of the greatest jazz singers he has played with in South Africa. The young and talented Nontuthuzelo Puoane, although still standing in the wings, will be among the next generation of rising stars. The new generation looks very promising. Chantal Willy, who studies the bass at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, Belgium, pianist Mark Fransman and Andile Yenana, composer Paul Du Preez, tenor sax player Buddy Wells, trumpeter Feya Faku and bass player Herbie Tsoaeli are just a few that have caught Jacks attention. He could write a chapter just about singers, but for the time being you'll have to do it with the names mentioned in his Discography.
Jack sadly has moved back to Belgium in 2003 but thankfully still pays regular visits to Cape Town.