More than ever, the festival program of Amersfoort Jazz 2019 contains a great variety of virtuoso pianists from the Netherlands and abroad. Besides National Artist in Residence Jasper van ‘t Hof, several Dutch acclaimed masters like Peter Beets, Bert van den Brink, Karel Boehlee and Rob van Bavel perform at the festival. Dutch jazz pianist/singer Ruben Hein gives two concerts, one with the NJJO (National Youth Jazz Orchestra) on Saturday, May 25, another with his quartet on Sunday, May 26.
One of the notable international pianists is the Catalan maestro Marco Mezquida, who considers Amersfoort Jazz his second home, performing in duo with exceptional guitarist Chicuelo (ESP). but as a soloist as well. Then, there are three of the most outstanding pianists from Israel: firstly, the famous child prodigy Gadi Lehavi (*born 1996), who despite his young years is collaborating with some of the greatest musicians of our time: Avishai Cohen, Ravi Coltrane, Pat Metheny, Bobby McFerrin, Dave Liebman and Chick Corea. The latter considers Lehavi “a genius who brings fresh ideas, fresh creativity and an uninhibited way of thinking to the music.”At Amersfoort Jazz, the young maestro performs solo and with the duo Subtext on Saturday, May 25th, at De Lieve Vrouw. Gadi Stern is another gifted pianist from Israel, playing with Shalosh ft. Tula ben Ari on Saturday, May 25th, at De Lieve Vrouw. Finally, Amersfoort Jazz is happy to welcome young Israeli pianist Nuphar Fey, who gigged New York with her trio last year, at de Sint Aegtenkapel with her sister Telalit Charsky (cello/vocals) on Sunday, May 26. Amersfoort Jazz also presents piano playing international laureates, like Dmitry Ilugdin (RUS), a pianist deserving wider recognition, endorsed by the Russian partner of Amersfoort Jazz. Last but not least, Amersfoort Jazz is proud to present the highly influential British jazz-fusion keyboardist Bill Sharpe (known for his work with Shakatak, Gary Newman and Don Crusin).
But still, there is more. Jeroen van Vliet (Boy Edgar Prijs 2014), plays with awarded jazz singer Margriet Sjoerdsma; Amsterdam based Miguel Rodriguez (ESP) releases his new album and is also a member of the Spanish FiraB! Jazz Quintet (Accents in World Jazz from the Balearic Islands & Catalonia); Timothy Banchet plays with Eric Ineke’s ‘Tribute to Dexter Gordon’ during the opening night at the theatre De Lieve Vrouw (on Thursday, May 23). Juraj Stanik plays with Dutch jazz living legend Ack van Rooyen. Four brilliant jazz pianists, currently dominating the Dutch scene, who are being followed in their wake by a promising and upcoming next generation: Sebastiaan van Bavel, Koen Schalkwijk, Roel Hazendonk, Sjoerd van Eijck, Robert Koemans and the Amsterdam based Young-Woo Lee from South-Korea, all present in different configurations at this year’s Amersfoort Jazz festival. Furthermore, on the side of progressive World Jazz, Amersfoort Jazz presents improvising organist Jacob Lekkerkerker, who uses electronics (in duo with Oene van Geel) and Stormvogel, who explores the realm of analog synthesizer, hosting the young sitar maestro Shakir Kahn (IND) and freejazz saxophonist Adam Simmons (AUS), amongst others.