Niek de Bruijn
Despite of his age (22), Niek is a busy man playing with different artists in various styles and settings. Musicians prize him for his creativity and his energetic, dynamic playing. In 2013 he was the winner of the prestigious Erasmus Jazz Prize.
Over the past few years he has performed with artists and groups like The Metropole Orchestra, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Giovanca, Pete Philly, Re:freshed Orchestra, Kris Berry, Roby Lakatos, Marjorie Barnes, Ben van den Dungen, Frank Vaganée, Lars Dietrich, Jasper van Damme, Floriaan Wempe, Karel Boehlee, Ivan Paduart, Rob van Bavel, Miguel Rodriguez, Thierry Castel and many others.
Graduated with honours at the Hilversum Conservatory of Music, and awarded the American Degree 'Master of Music'.
Permanent member the Cubop City Big Bang, Gino Vannelli's Dutch Beat, Nueva Manteca, Bart van Lier/Ilja Reijngoud Quintet, Bart's Bones, Jasper van 't Hof Quartet, Pierre Courbois Quintet and The Dutch Jazz Orchestra.
Featured as guest with the Metropole Orchestra and at the prestigious festival of the I.T.A.
Member of the Board of Advisors of the I.T.A.
Teaches clinics and workshops worldwide, including Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Liechtenstein, Shanghai, Barcelona, New Orleans and at the Rotterdam & Utrecht Conservatory.
2009: Edison Jazz Award, for 'The Shakespeare Album' with Fay Claassen.
2004: Singer Laren Jazz Award & nomination for the North Sea Jazz Festival composition assignment
2003: Thelonious Monk Award for 'No Substitute' & dutch Deloitte Stimulus Award
Member of the a.o. the Princess Christina Competition, Risotti composition contest and the American Carl Fontana and Jay Jay Johnson Awards.
Worked with Pat Metheny, John Scofield, Maria Schneider, Bob Brookmeyer, Bill Holman, Toots Thielemans, Philip Catherine, Clark Terry, George Coleman, Kenny Werner, Jim Beard, Kenny Weehler, Vince Mendoza, Lester Bowie, Tom Harrell , Jerry van Rooyen, Rita Reys, David Liebman, Nancy Marano and Bert Joris amongst others.
studied Musicology at the Amsterdam University and trumpet at the Jazz Department of the Amsterdam Sweelinck Conservatory.
Trio Toïs: internationally released CDs : An Angel's Work Is Never Done and Forbidden Fruit. Provided the music for Samo together with Louis Andriessen, and for the movie "Wilde Mossels".
Amsterdam Jazz Trio : debute at 2001 Rotterdam World Port Jazz Festival and recorded the CD The Night & The Day Dreamer . North Sea Jazz Festival in 2004 and toured Japan, followed by the release of the album For The Time Being.
Executive Lounge: with van Vliet, van der Westen & van Hulten, initiated for a 2005 Bimhuis 'carte blanche'. Recording released on EWM-Music in 2007.
Performed and/or recorded with:
Frank Grasso Big Band, Maiden Voyage Big Band, Corrie en de (Grote) Brokken, Bik Bent Braam, The Groove Troopers, Splinks, Zut Alors!, Misha Mengelberg, Satoko Fujii and Natsuki Tamura, Transatlantic Jazz Orchestra conducted by Gunter Schuller , Bob Brookmeyer's New Art Orchestra, Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, Soo Cho, Tony Overwater Quintet, De Dijk, Candy Dulfer, Kim Hoorweg, Metropole Orchestra, Gerard van Maasakkers, Stef Bos and Gino Vannelli amongst others.
Produced most of the recordings of The Houdini's and furthermore internationally released CDs of Denise Jannah, Ronald Douglas, Leny Andrade, Lisa Michel, Heleen van den Hombergh, Benjamin Herman, Maarten van der Grinten & Jesse van Ruller, Wolfert Brederode-Eric Ineke 5-tet, Kenny Wheeler, Misha Mengelberg, Nimbus (with Dave Liebman), Bye-Ya!, Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw and the Holland Big Band amongst others.
Teaches at the Jazz departments of the School of the Arts Utrecht (HKU) and the School of the Arts Arnhem (ArteZ).
Artistic Director of the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw (2007-2008)
studied at the Hilversum Conservatory of Music from 1983-1988 with master pianists Jan Huydts and Rob Madna.
As the main composer, musical arranger and keyboard player of the band, Erwin has had a strong influence on the Houdini's-sound.
As a piano- and keyboard player, he worked and recorded with many great musicians and bands, including: Gino Vanelli, Candy Dulfer, Chance Howard, Tollak Ollestad, Kaz Lux, the Auratones and Thijs van Leer.
He worked on several occasions as a musical arranger with amongst others, the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, the Schonberg Ensemble, the Noordpool Orchestra, the Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy and the Magogo Orchestra.
Erwin owns his own recording studio in Rotterdam, where he produced amongst others 2 albums with his daughter Kim, released on VERVE.
In addition to the Houdini's, Erwin is band leader for Kim and a permanent member of New Niks and Bongomatik.
Graduated with honours at the Royal Conservatory The Hague.
His playing is inspired by Paul Chambers, Ray Brown, Sam Jones and Ron Carter.
Permanent member of the Beets Brothers and the Rein de Graaff Trio and shared the stage with jazz-celebrities James Moody, Bud Shank, Johnny Griffin and recorded with Herb Geller, Dave Liebman, Ronnie Cuber and Jeff Hamilton.
Also worked with Rita Reys, Greetje Kauffeld and Deborah Brown and played in big-bands The Skymasters, The Metropole Orchestra and The Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw. Member of the teaching staff of the Codarts Jazz-academy Rotterdam.
He is a jazz producer, composer and musical arranger with his own recording studio.
Graduated classical saxophone at Royal Conservatory the Hague and jazz at the Rotterdam Conservatory.
Artvark saxophone Quartet
: internationally released CDs in 2008 & 2010 Truffles
Project with Martin Fondse and Peter Erskine
: internationally released CDs: No clubs in town and Omnipotent
: internationally released more than 4 CDs, the fifth with Dutch legend Thijs van Leer (Focus) will be released in summer 2011
Licksandbrains: Leader and arranger of this groovable big band: two releases, last one summer 2010: The Road.
: combination of samples with bass lines together with live drums, piano and horns. Third album '3' released autumn 2010
Performed and recorded with:
Cubop City Big Band, Peter Erskine and Ndyrose, Gino Vannelli, Kim Hoorweg, Alain Clarke, Anton Goudsmit, Denise Jannah, Ugly White Belly, Beets brothers, Ester Hart, The Quiet American, Audio Graffiti, Boulevard of broken dreams orchestra, Frank Grasso Big band and Lois Lane amongst others.
As a freelancer and soloist involved in many projects since 1986.
On more than 30 albums besides a saxophonist responsible for compositions and arrangements.
Master classes on improvisation for jazz musicians as well as classically trained musicians.
Teaches at Royal Conservatory the Hague and ArteZ Conservatory
Headlines - that's what the Dutch hard bop sextet The Houdini's made in the national and international jazz press after having played the prestigious 1989 North Sea Jazz Festival. The authoritative American jazz magazine DownBeat even proclaimed them 'equals of the young jazzers of New York', words of praise summing up their capabilities rather nicely. Re-evaluating that first album and their sophomore effort
, the 21st century jazz buff really gets a blast from the past. The Houdini's played hard bop as if they had invented the genre – and they still do so.
It was Gert-Jan Blom – nowadays artistic producer of the renowned Metropole Orchestra – who 'invented' the hard bop sextet for the 1987 Canada tour of the Boulevard of Broken Dreams Festival. Back in Holland The Houdini's start gigging and recording in the original line-up consisting of alto saxophonist Rolf Delfos, tenor saxophonist Boris Vanderlek, trumpeter Angelo Verploegen, pianist Erwin Hoorweg, double bass player Stefan Lievestro and drummer Pieter Bast. Subsequently the band released the debut album
Live at the Paradox
, an overpowering example of the group's energy and creative power. In 1992 The Houdini's, in their new line-up with bassist Marius Beets and drummer Bram Wijland, cross the ocean to record Headlines in the temple of jazz: Rudy van Gelder's studio in Englewood Cliffs. Their second New York album
Kickin' in the Front Window
followed in 1993. During both visits to the Big Apple the band successfully played the NY club circuit, an exceptional feat for a Dutch ensemble. Soon after the recording Vanderlek left the band and was replaced by Barend Middelhoff, with whom they recorded their Challenge debut
, highlighting the forward looking single
No more Yesterdays
. Next to 'radio friendly' jazz The Houdini's also explored the more serious side of business. Collaborating with the Amsterdam New Sinfonietta Orchestra the band presented an ambitious
Porgy & Bess
program in Dutch theatres and concert halls. With George Gershwin's genius fresh in mind they decided to consecrate a full album to the five gods of the Great American Songbook: Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Richard Rogers, Jerome Kern and, of course, George Gershwin. Once again they departed for the United States to present
The Houdini's Play the Big Five
to American audiences in New York, Birmingham and Alabama. By the mid nineties the Houdini's performed all over the globe. During their tour of Australia and Tasmania they played 21 gigs in a month's time. To give an impression of their electrifying performances down-under we included three no-nonsense live tracks recorded on that tour. Their tenth-anniversary-album Cooee marks a moment of reflection, with a more contemporary-improvised-music angle. With the 1999
Stripped to the Bone
album The Houdini's are back on the hard bop track with a major change in the horn sound: after Barend Middelhoff's relocation to Paris, the band opted for a trombone in the front-line, a role for Martijn Sohier and, later, for the current trombonist Ilja Reijngoud. Meanwhile the band engaged in numerous musical adventures. The sextet performed an original live soundtrack accompanying the screening of the Buster Keaton movie The General, recorded the platinum selling album Strange Fruit with the Dutch top vocalist Trijntje Oosterhuis, hosted matinees at the famous Amsterdam Concertgebouw, collaborated with classical greats like the Schönberg Ensemble and composer/conductor John Adams, played with the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw and so forth, and so on. Recently they recorded an album with the very talented jazz singer Kim Hoorweg, the young daughter of piano player Erwin Hoorweg. As a fourteen-year-old teenage prodigy Kim recorded the Ella Fitzgerald album
Kim is Back!
for the prestigious Verve label, a feat that made her the youngest female artist in the label's history. With her father's Houdini's she presented the Peggy Lee tribute
Why Don't You Do Right
. Tracks like
It's All Right with Me
Shady Lady Bird
uncover the vigour she has brought to the band. While re-inventing fifties jazz, the now twenty-year-old singer and the twenty-five-year old band establish a genuine hand-in-glove chemistry. It's a blast from the past that still makes the headlines and deserves a big future.
The three original horn players Angelo Verploegen (trumpet and flugelhorn), Rolf Delfos (alto sax and soprano sax) and Boris Vanderlek (tenor sax), started working together in 1986. That's when they recorded the soundtrack of the Dutch movie 'Blonde Dolly" (WEA 242 084-1). In 1987 they joined the Boulevard of Broken Dreams Orchestra with which they recorded the album "Dancing with tears in my eyes" (Idiot records 832 714-1) and toured through Europe and Canada.
It was the musical director of this orchestra Gert Jan Blom (nowadays artistic producer of the internationally renowned Metropole Orchestra) who came up with the idea of putting a hardbop-sextet together for the 1987 Canada tour of Boulevard of Broken Dreams and named it THE HOUDINI'S. Back in Holland a new rhythm section joined THE HOUDINI'S consisting of Erwin Hoorweg: piano and keyboards, Stefan Lievestro: double bass and Pieter Bast: drums. In this line-up THE HOUDINI'S started playing Dutch jazz-clubs and festivals like HEINEKEN JAZZ FESTIVAL in Rotterdam and NORTH SEA JAZZ FESTIVAL in The Hague and appearing live on the radio-shows JAZZSPECTRUM and TROS SESJUN.
The sextet performs in domestic as well as international clubs and festivals. The band records their first CD 'Live At Paradox' (Timeless Records) and plays at the North Sea Jazz Festival. The American magazine 'Down Beat' reports about that performance: “The Houdini's, as good as a band of young jazzers as the young jazzers of New York.”
In its new setup with Marius Beets on bass and Bram Wijland on drums, the band visits New York for the first time, to perform at the Visiones club and to record the CD 'Headlines' (Timeless Records) in the famous Rudy van Gelder studios. The title song becomes a hit with WBGO radio in New York.
During their second New York city trip, the band plays at the 29th Street Cafe and Visiones and the CD 'Kickin' in the Frontwindow'(Timeless Records) is recorded at Rudy van Gelder's studio. A report of this visit is made by the renowned magazine 'Down Beat'. Somewhat later in 1993, the Houdini's collaborate on the Frank Boeijen album 'Jazz in Barcelona'. Boris Vanderlek leaves the band.
Together with the release of the album 'Hybrid' and the single 'No More Yesterdays', the Houdini's debut on Challenge Records and they present their brand new tenor player Barend Middelhoff. They tour a lot in Germany, visit festivals in Munich, Hannover, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Paderborn and cooperate on the Christian Willisohn CD 'Heart Broken Man' (Enja Records).
In February of this year, the Houdini's perform with the strings orchestra New Sinfonietta Amsterdam, at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw (their first Saturday matinee covered by radio and TV), followed by a concert tour visiting all large concert halls with music from a.o. Porgy and Bess. A live-CD is released on Channel Classics Records.
The following project is a program called 'The Houdini's Play The Big Five' (Challenge Records), a tribute to the music of Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter and Richard Rodgers. With this program they visit the USA again: New York City, the Birmingham Festival of Arts and Alabama with a concert in the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.
The band tours Australia and Tasmania. They perform 21 times in 4 weeks. The Houdini's are performing amongst others on the Melbourne Montsalvat Jazz Festival, the Perth Festival and the Queensland Jazz Festival in Brisbane. Later this year, they play the Montreal Jazz Festival in Canada.
In February, the Houdini's host the second Saturday matinee in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. This time with members of the Schönberg Ensemble in a Duke Ellington and Miles Davis/Gil Evans program conducted by John Adams.
Honoring the band's 10th anniversary, 'Cooee' is released on Challenge Records. The recordings were made in the Frits Philips Music Centre in Eindhoven. The hard bop has been replaced by more stylish and improvised jazz. The band goes on their anniversary-tour, which includes a performance at the North Sea Jazz Festival.
Challenge Records releases the album 'The Best Of – Live At The Kiama Jazz Festival'. This record was recorded during the Australia tour. The CD reaches the #5 position on the best sold jazz CD chart in the USA.
The band is ready for its third Saturday matinee. This time with members of the newly formed Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, conducted by Henk Meutgeert, performing work by Duke Ellington and Louis Andriessen.
After tenor player Barend Middelhoff's departure to Paris, the band decides to change the horns sound. The Houdini's record the 'Stripped to the Bone' album (Challenge Records) with trombone player Martijn Sohier on the frontline.
The Dutch composer Jacob ter Veldhuis writes 'Heartbreakers' for the Houdini's, in which piece he uses voice samples of a.o. the Jerry Springer Show. This work is performed several times and is released as studio album called 'Heart breakers' (Emergo Classic, later re-released on Basta Records). Mete Erker was merged with the band for this production.
In the mean time, Ilja Reijngoud has become the new trombonist of the sextet. In the summer, the Houdini's are invited by the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and the Film museum, to provide for the musical accompaniment for the classical silent movie 'The General' (1927) by Buster Keaton.
The band chooses to create their own compositions inspired by the 1920s swing, over an arrangement of the original film score by Carl Davis. The sound track is released on cd, titled 'Chasin' The General' (Munich Records).
The Houdini's play the 'Billie's Blues' program with Trijntje Oosterhuis and New Sinfonietta during a big concert halls tour. Arranged by members of the Houdini's, new life is breathed into songs by Billie Holiday and George Gershwin.
Titled 'Strange Fruit', by Trijntje Oosterhuis with The Houdini's and the Amsterdam Sinfonietta a live-registration is released on the world renowned jazz label Blue Note. This album reaches platinum status in a very short time.
During the 5th edition of Jazz and Beyond, the Houdini's go back to their roots on February 11.
Verve releases 'Kim is Back' by Erwin Hoorweg's fourteen year old daughter Kim; this is Kim's first jazz album, inspired by Ella Fitzgerald and mainly her interpretations of The Gershwin Songbook.
The Houdini's album 'Unleashed and Remixed' comes out. The record reflects the energy from the live- performances and contains remixes by a.o. Natural Self, Diesler, Nostalgia 77 and Buscemi.
During the double-concert series for Jazz-Impuls, the Houdini's accompany in theaters the legendary silent movie by Buster Keaton from 1927 'The General', together with singer Esther Hart.
Erwin Hoorweg and the Houdini-Horns are approached by internationally renowned singer Gino Vannelli for a concert series.
Erwin Hoorweg and the Houdini-Horns cooperate with Canadian superstar Gino Vannelli on his new album "A Good Thing", and on the second album by Kim, released on Verve. Latter not only features the Houdini-Horns, but also Trijntje Oosterhuis, Chance Howard and Candy Dulfer. They perform with Gino Vannelli on the North Sea Jazz Festival that year.
The "Tribute to Peggy Lee" program premieres in theatres across the Netherlands, featuring vocalist Kim Hoorweg. Kim is the young and talented daughter of pianist Erwin Hoorweg. She released 2 CDs on the Verve label, by Universal. Each CD release is followed by a tour across theatres, festivals and various jazz stages.
Kim and the Houdini's sign with Challenge Records International. The CD titled "Why Don't You Do Right" and the video clips "Shady Lady Bird" and "Where Or When" are released. The CD is very well received by the press: 5 stars (out of 5) by 'Jazz Nu', 4½ stars (out of 5) by 'Vrij Nederland'. The 2011 highlights: a performance in the packed 'BIM huis' jazz stage, a special performance during the nationwide broadcast TV show 'Kunststof TV', radio recordings by 'VPRO' broadcasting during the Tonejazz festival, 'CD of the Week' with Radio 6 broadcasting and a live-performance during Giel Beelen's 3FM radio show.
"Why Don't You Do Right?", the 3rd album of jazz-singer Kim Hoorweg, recorded with The Houdini's released in Japan.
Since March of this year, the sextet is touring festivals and stages with new compositions. The CD-release "The Houdini's In Time" in the sold-out BIMHUIS with raving reviews.
The album was compiled by Ruud Meijer creating a beautiful overview of the past years. A unique compilation CD for all fans.