Pianist Harmen Fraanje was born in 1976 in Roosendaal (The Netherlands). The Nederlandse Jazzdienst and the North Sea Jazz Festival granted Harmen the Composition Assignment of 2004. Harmen played on the North Sea Festival with his quartet (Nelson Veras, Hein van de Geyn and Matthieu Chazarenc) plus the Zapp Stringquartet (with Oene van Geel, Jasper le Clercq, Friedman Hitzer and Emile Visser). Harmen has his own quartet with the Brazilian guitar player Nelson Veras, Hein van de Geyn on bass and the French drummer Matthieu Chazarenc. They released their first CD, Sonatala (Challenge Records) at the North Sea Jazz Festival 2003. The dutch newspaper NRC called the quartet the revelation of the North Sea Jazz festival 2003.This year they'll record their second album with Magic Malik on flute as special guest.
He is a member of different groups of Boy Edgar Prize and Bird Award Winner Eric Vloeimans (trumpet). Harmen played on the new recording of Eric Vloeimans for Challenge Records. (Boompetit, released in February 2004 with Eric Vloeimans, Ernst Reijseger and Anton Goudsmit). Harmen is a member of the Nelson Veras Quartet, with Magic Malik (flute, voice), Stéphane Galland (drums) and Nelson Veras on guitar. The French Label-Bleu will release their first album in september 2004.
Harmen is also playing in Par 4 Chemins, a French group with Toma Gouband (drums) and Brice Soniano (Bass). Their first CD will be released in 2004 by the french label Cristal Records. At this very moment Harmen is forming a trio with Jasper Blom (sax) and Hein van de Geyn (bass) Besides this he is a member of Nils Ostendorf Quartet, Gèzz (their first album will be released in spring 2004 by A-Records), a new group of Wim Bronnenberg (with John Ruocco), a new project of Dick de Graaf (with Hans van Oosterhout en Jos Machtel), the Robin Verheyen Quartet and a new project of Stefan Lievestro (with Jesse van Ruller).
During the last years Harmen has been performing on festivals and clubs all over Europe, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Ethiopia, Kenya and Thailand.Last years he played on international festivals in Paris, Essen, Berlin, Roma, St Petersburg, Oslo, Bangkok, Cap Breton, Vienna, Kosice, North Sea and Budapest. This year he'll play on festivals like North Sea, La Roche-sur-Yon,Cap d'Ail, Viersen, Budapest, Antwerp, Reykjavik, Kosice.
In 1999 the group Blink in which Harmen plays piano won the competition of the Breda Jazzfestival. Harmen was awarded the prize for Best Musician of the competition. In 2000 the same band won the Jazzprize of Dordrecht.
Harmen studied jazz piano at the Conservatory in Tilburg with Willem Kuhne and later at the Conservatory of Utrecht with Bert van den Brink. In 2000 he graduated from this school suma cum laude. Harmen went to the USA in 2001 to study with Clare Fischer, Fred Hersch and Kenny Werner.