Born 1943, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Classical piano education (4 years) starting at 10. When I was 14 I started to play (classic) jazz with my younger brother Fred (trumpet/cornet/reeds). We formed in 1965 our first real band (after schoolbands, etc.): The Court Town Rhythm Kings. The band played authentic old jazz in the way of Oliver, Morton, early Armstrong, Williams, Beiderbecke and Half Way House. The band broke up in 1972 due to moving members - ready with their studies - and my own resettling from The Hague to Amsterdam. There my brother and I founded in 1973 Madam Zenja and her Jazz Horns, together with singer Zenja Damm. That was a very succesfull combination for several years, that made two very well selling LP's (Changes and Was it a dream). That period (1974/1980) I also was President of the oldest and famous Jazzclub in Holland: the Haarlemse Jazz Club, where many of the great American musicians who came to Europe, performed. I married in 1972 and finally settled in a little village between Amsterdam and The Hague, Leiderdorp. When my career (in advertising and public relations) became less hectic I started a jazzclub as well as a new band in Leiderdorp: Jazzclub De Wagenschuur (1984-1994) and Swingin' Crash that started as a little swing ensemble but grew within a year into a small big band. So I had to learn myself the writing of scores
You have to have guts when you're an amateur band to recreate the music of Duke Ellington, but immediately by listening to the first track you know, these guys can play it.
Wonderful that such beautiful music has been recorded and released again in 2009.
(Doctor Jazz Magazine no. 206, Holland)