"At the age of six, I started playing the drums. After a few years I switched to the clarinet, with the intention of getting a sax. It was clear to me that would be better for modern kinds of jazz. I played New Orleans/Dixie stuff with my dad, who plays the banjo. He took me along for my first taste of playing an audience.
My first sax guru was Jaap Arends. A great Indonesian guy old enough to be my grandfather, and in a sense he was. He gave me tapes with all kinds of sax plyers to listen to. Coltrane, Brecker, Ornett Colman, Ben Webster, Colman Hawkins, Parker, Cannenball, to name a few! I listened to it all. Some stuff I really didn’t understand. I told Jaap this and he just smiled. You will, he said.
As the years went by, I took some lessons from Piet Noordijk. Also, I started studying at the conservatorium in Rotterdam. My teacher was Dick de Graaf. Ben van der Dungen gave me ensemble lessons. This guy took up all my time,
resulting in studying my ass off for the ensembles. But also having fun in Rotterdam, what a city! As you can guess, this was a short adventure. But I just knew I would be playing this reed thing till the end!
After some years of gigging, working and getting generous support from my parents, I took a second try at the conservatorium, this time in Tilburg. I moved to Tilburg and started new groups like ‘Collective Color’ and ‘Post-Human Trio’ (PH3), and made my network there. After my study I started the group ‘The New Quartet’, together with my friend and double bass player Jurriaan Dekker. We did some great projects: TNQ meets and TNQ invites, in which we invited great jazz players from Holland to join us on stage. It was a great time and we learned many things. We played with some really cool cats; Tobias Delius, Wolter Wierbos, Martijn Vink, Ben van der Dungen, Angelo Verploegen, Yuri Honing and SFQ. They gave me lots of drive to write tunes that would fit the guest of the evening. And so I got the opportunity to really explore and devellop my own writing skills and direction."