Africa meets India

India meets Africa ”Muzikale cohesie die je niet mag missen.” Twee virtuozen, Derek Gripper (Zuid Afrika) en Niti Ranjan Biswas (Bangladesh), beide klassiek geschoold en beide op zoek naar de buitengrenzen van de gevestigde klassieke stijlen, troffen elkaar in Brussel en besloten om hun muzikale vocabulaire nóg verder uit te breiden door hun wederzijdse ervaringen in wereldmuziek, jazz, klassiek en pop uit te wisselen. Dit gaan zij nu doen in de vorm van concerten.   Derek Gripper, geboren, getogen en woonachtig in Kaapstad, bewandelde na zijn opleiding klassieke gitaar een onalledaagse weg. Deze bracht hem onder andere naar Mali, waar hij de kora (Afrikaanse harp) ontdekte. Vervolgens werkte hij tien jaar om onder meer stukken van de vermaarde kora-speler Toumani Diabate om te zetten voor gitaar en ook op notenschrift vast te leggen. Naast zijn reis in West-Afrika heeft hij ook het podium gedeeld met gitaarlegenden als John Williams en Debashish Battacharya. Bij eerdere zoektochten belandde hij in India, waar hij zich de beginselen van de Carnatische percussie eigen maakte. In 2017 keerde hij terug naar zijn basis in Zuid-Afrika, waar hij vervolgens vioolwerken van Bach bewerkte voor gitaar. Zijn bewerkingen worden momenteel vastgelegd op cd. Deze wordt later dit jaar uitgebracht.   Niti Ranjan Biswas, afkomstig uit Bangladesh en woonachtig in Amsterdam, startte zijn muzikale loopbaan op vijfjarige leeftijd. In 1993 ontving hij een studiebeurs, waarmee hij de mogelijkheid kreeg om aan de Ajrara Gharana oftewel “School Of Tabla” te studeren en les te krijgen van professor Sudhir Kumar Saxena in Baroda, Gujarat. Ook zijn studies met Pandit P.K. Shridhar en Pandit Yogesh Samsi hebben aanzienlijke invloed op... Lees meer

200 Years Dutch kingdom event

26th September How cool is this! I had been invited by my good friend and master drummer Lucas van Merwijk to participate in a composition he wrote for the celebration event of 200 years of Dutch Kingdom. The composition had to be played with 25 drummers. Now what is really cool is that I invited a former student of mine to also join us and she on her turn invited one of her students, so there we were, three generations of drummers studying the piece toghether and getting ready to perform for the Dutch king and queen on live TV. I guided a group of 5 young drummers, two where only 15 years old! I cant descripe how proud I am of my little group of drummers, how hard they studied on this complex piece and how they nailed it! The performance was set on a schaffolding built over the famous Magere Brug in the centre of Amsterdam. Together with many famous Dutch artists we were a part of this huge production and I must add that I’m honoured to have had been part of it, thanks to Lucas and all the other drumming friends. Click this LINK to see the... Lees meer

Dubble concert Snowy White & Peppino d Agostino

May 30th Whenever I get the opportunity to go die Gaste Garage in Germany to watch or participate in a concert either as photographer or recording engineer, I’ll do so. It’s so much fun working with these kind hearted people. The intimate envoirnment that has been created is exactly my cup of tea… This time I was asked by my good friend en great drummer Juan van Emmerloot, to record the dubble concert in which he plays for both Snowy White and Peppino d’ Agostino. All Juan’s typical jokes and pranks where pulled of course (no tour would survive without them), also his and the other members’ proffesionalism was a feast to be part of. We set up three camera’s and I recorded the whole concert on my Korg MR2000 DSD machine. Of course I can not reveal the whole concert we recorded without permission of the artists, but one composition I am able to share with you. This is Juan’s composition for drums only called “Noisy neighbours”. This performance shows who Juan is and how he communicates, but most of all his musicality, his composing skills and craftsmanship on drums. For me it’s alway a blast working with him and watching him doing his thing. Click this LINK to see what I’m talking about!... Lees meer

Photo shoot at the Jazz Museum Rotterdam 18-20th of June 2015

How thing sometimes just seem to happen… I walked by the entrance of the museum and ran into Wim van Zon, initiator of the Jazz Museum Rotterdam. After the usual “how are you” and stuff like that he asked me if was interested i filming and taking photo’s of some famous Dutch jazz musicians for DJAZZ.tv. Of course I was interested! The concept was that six different photograhpers would interview and film selected musucians through the eye of a photographer as their point of view is different to a cameraman on film. Also we had to choose an iconic photo to inspire our set up. I chose a Duke Ellington picture sitting behind the piano with only a spotlight on him. What inspired me on this picture was to see the vulnerabillity of a musician and the guts to open themselves up to an audience, as a matter of fact, people you don’t know, have never seen before and actually still don’t see as the theatre is completely dark as if you’re looking into a black hole. So I chose my studio set up to be black and use only one spotlight a little from the side to create hard contrasts and keep the focus on the persons expression as they tell their story. On Thursday the 18th of June I had the first five musicians in front of my camera. So interesting to talk to such a variety of personalities! Everyone with basically the same story to tell as I asked all of them the same questions, but all with a different vibe, so far apart that you wont be... Lees meer

CD release Luke Welch – The Universal Language

I am proud to announce that we will release Luke and my collaboration on the CD “The Universal Language” on april the 18th. It was a wonderful experience which took our friendship to a higher level too! I feel that this is only the beginning of a lot of creativity, good vibes and lots of fun to come! If you are able to come and to the release party, we would like to share the vibe we felt for the past couple of months in executing this project. To everyone involved in any way we would like to express our gratitude. Luke you are the best bro!... Lees meer

Debut CD Luke Welch

[:en]A couple of years ago, when I was still working in the WMDC, a student from the classical department came one Saturday asking for a room to study. His friendly smile and grateful attitude made me give him the best room with the best grand piano we had in the building at that time. Of course when he came down for a coffee break we had a some little small talk. Every now and then he came by to study or for a little chat. This went on till he graduated and not too long after that I had leave the WMDC to start working at the Circus department. Luke and I weren’t really like friends going out for a drink or so together, but it was in the back of my mind all the time. I started becoming more and more interested in recording on location in stead of the studio. Not that my passion for studio recording got less, but adding a new skill was just a new challenge for me. I started my research and by accident stumbled on an audio designer in the Netherlands who also happened to design his own microphones. After telling my good friend and partner in crime Alex Buurman who writes reviews about instruments and microphones after testing them, we went to interview Ad van Medevoort, the designer. I completely fell in love with these mics and bought the matched pair we tested there and then. While driving back from the interview I came up with the idea of recording a CD with only a grand piano. As you might have... Lees meer

Potatoes gig at a class reunion

Today Stef had a class reunion and he asked me if the Potatoes wanted to play on the venue. Of course we’re always in for some fun. As it’s been a while sin ce we had a gig, this was a good moment to get together again. We had a ball although musically we had to time to go on the automatic pilot. If was another great gig with the usual humour and lots of fun!... Lees meer

Drums United Germany tour 24-27 Apr. 2013

Being on the road with Drums United again, was some I’ve been looking forward to do again, as we haven’t toured for a while. We had to drive all the way to the South of Germany, a few km’s from the Swiss border. Bulu and I left Luca’s place at about 11:00 to pick up our light tech along the road and then drive for another 8 hours before arriving at the hotel in Reutlingen. After checking in, all e had to do was follow Bulu to lead us to a Chinese restaurant. How he does it, we don’t know, I’m not sure he even knows himself, but he always manages to find a Chinese restaurant near the venue! The next day after my morning jog, breakfast and some chilling out, we were off to the theater, which turned out to be a club with a very small stage. Some improvisation was needed to fit all the instruments and still leave some space for the musicians to move around. The show was good, not to many people in the audience, but as usual they were very enthusiastic and an overwhelming applause on the final song made the musicians return for an encore twice. Something I haven’t experienced with this band before. The next day, we had another two hour drive to Waldshut-Tiengen, which was even further South, close to Basel, Switzerland. It was quite a big hall, also used as a sporting facility, so there was no lighting ar audio equipment available. This had to come all the way from Holland which gave us a lot of stress as... Lees meer

Final master examn Miguel Hiroshi at Amsterdam conservatory 22-6-2012

Miguel… he started his education at Codarts when I started working at the WMDC. I know him as a brilliant and very musical percussionist overall. When he was studying at the WMDC he was one of the rascals in the building, bending the rules, always crossing lines and doing things that were just a little too much for my facility department to handle, still he knew just how far to go so we wouldn’t get really angry with him. But all in all, that’s exactly what proves one’s character in everything you do and achieve. This type of mentality got Miguel to reach beyond musicality that was presented to him by his teachers. After finishing his bachelor at the WMDC in Rotterdam he decided to continue for his master degree in Amsterdam, for two years, I lost track of his development. How impressed I was of his final presentation at the Amsterdam conservatory! In his two year study, he grew much more than I could imagine. For me it was a blast and kind of a special experience to having followed someone’s musical education from his first year and see him finish as Master of percussion. Miguel gave me that, and I’m proud of him, it kind of felt like he was a student of mine… Miguel… he started his education at Codarts when I started working at the WMDC. I know him as a brilliant and very musical percussionist overall. When he was studying at the WMDC he was one of the rascals in the building, bending the rules, always crossing lines and doing things that were just... Lees meer

Clinic and cymbal presentation 20-6-2012

Another clinic with Juan van Emmerloot, this time in Rotterdam at Peter Verpuy’s music store. Actually it was more about presenting a new line of low budget cymbals from Paiste, one of Juan’s endorsements. Knowing Juan, of course the audience got more than they bargained for. Again the energy and openness that Juan provides had the audience listening and participating with full attention, also their questions were answered with more than a few words, naturally… Looking back on it, it was another successful mission we accomplished. Another clinic with Juan van Emmerloot, this time in Rotterdam at Peter Verpuy’s music store. Actually it was more about presenting a new line of low budget cymbals from Paiste, one of Juan’s endorsements. Knowing Juan, of course the audience got more than they bargained for. Again the energy and openness that Juan provides had the audience listening and participating with full attention, also their questions were answered with more than a few words, naturally… Looking back on it, it was another successful mission we... Lees meer

Drums United Luxemburg 10-6-2012

Again a show with master drummer Lucas van Merwijk and his band Drums United. This time it was off to Luxemburg. It has been a while since I toured with them as stagehand, so I was looking forward to hanging out with the guys once again. Bulu and I went ahead in the van as usual and had a great time talking about our passion, music, studio’s and sound techniques. As usual the audience were treated with a show that takes them across the world of percussion in such an energetic way that only these musicians can provide. Man it’s great to be part of this!Again a show with master drummer Lucas van Merwijk and his band Drums United. This time it was off to Luxemburg. It has been a while since I toured with them as stagehand, so I was looking forward to hanging out with the guys once again. Bulu and I went ahead in the van as usual and had a great time talking about our passion, music, studio’s and sound techniques. As usual the audience were treated with a show that takes them across the world of percussion in such an energetic way that only these musicians can provide. Man it’s great to be part of... Lees meer

CD release Autumn Girl

FINALLY!!! After two years of draining our creative minds, we finalized the CD Autumn Girl. The songs composed by my cousin Stef and arranged by two good friends Alex and Rob resulted in a statement that I’m very proud of. I can’t recall a single moment of hopelessness or any other negative emotion concerning this project even though it took two years to get the job done. Two years ago Stef and I were in the care as he let me listen to some of his homerecordings. One song in particular drew my attention, this also became the first song on the album. I went to Alex, my partner in crime with whom I run the studio. He also was triggered by Stef’s edgy lyrics and before we knew we found ourselves involved in a project that finally would have an ending instead of just creating beautiful tunes with interesting harmonies, rythms and so forth. As for Stef, he plays guitar and writes lyrics, so in that respect you can call him a singer-songwriter. In another respect he has no theoretical knowledge of music therefore, he’s not restricted to any taught boundaries. It was up to us as musicians with more theoretical knowledge to shape the songs in such a way that the songs became musically acceptable to the broader audience without sanding down the interesting sharp edges. If you listen to the album you will be set on the wrong foot every now and then because of an odd beat here and the in some songs. This was unavoidable as it had to match the lyrics, on the... Lees meer

Final exam Jeroen van Santen

Final exam Jeroen van Santen After four years of putting up with this big guy, not only in posture, but also at heart, it was time to see what he has learned at the institute where I work as facilities manager. Of course as a drummer you tend to have just a little more interest in your fellow drummers than the other students. No extra privileges towards them against the other students of course, it’s just that you know a little more of what they are made of… As for Jeroen, of course his main subject teachers are some of the best you can get, extreme high level men of their trade and excellent tutors. For this I was not worried that Jeroen would not present himself well enough to show that he’s ready for the big world out there, I was more curious about the concert he was about to give and how he takes care of business as a band leader. Knowing him as the friendly giant, I was overwhelmed by the energy this guy puts out on stage, all positive! He showed a wide variety of styles he could play, very tight on the click track and backtracks he played along with and his sound was huge! Well chosen buildup of the show and choice of musicians. This resulted in a final mark of 9 out 10!!! Jeroen, congrats!!! I hope your time in my home country, South Africa will be as wonderful as the show you gave during your final exam!... Lees meer

25 years Indian music at Codarts conservatory Rotterdam

29th May I had the privelage of being the photographer of an extraordinary well organized and musical event in the building where I’m proud to be the facilities manager: WMDC (World Music and Dance Centre) in Rotterdam. Today was the celebration of 25 years of the Indian department at Codarts. It’s not everybodies privelage to get to know such wonderful musicians, not only by skill and musicianship, but also as people. People like the great Hariprasad Chaurasia, Niti Ranjan Biswas Marianne Svasek and Henri Tournier, all wonderful people and great teachers. Like I said, I’m proud to be part of this. As you can see on the pictures, the presentations given by students and teachers and the final concert by Hariprasad, Niti and their students was almost out of this world, just mind blowing! The audience were treated by outstanding Indian classical music, followed by swinging Bollywood as a final. I hope this department will keep on sharing it’s knowledge with new students for at least another 25 years or more… 29th May I had the privelage of being the photographer of an extraordinary well organized and musical event in the building where I’m proud to be the facilities manager: WMDC (World Music and Dance Centre) in Rotterdam. Today was the celebration of 25 years of the Indian department at Codarts. It’s not everybodies privelage to get to know such wonderful musicians, not only by skill and musicianship, but also as people. People like the great Hariprasad Chaurasia, Niti Ranjan Biswas Marianne Svasek and Henri Tournier, all wonderful people and great teachers. Like I said, I’m proud to be... Lees meer

Drummerie Eindhoven

May 20th A good way to spend your Sunday could be visiting an Ikea store or the zoo, something like that, but I liked going to the Drummerie, hosted by Drumstation in Eindhoven. A whole day of drummers and other musicians playing, giving clinics, exposing instruments they represent and of course people coming to watch and enjoy the whole event. Some get to talk with their idol, some meet people from long time ago. We all know the world of musicians is a smaal world and again this was proven as I met some people I haven’t seen for ages. Of course I was here with Juan as he also had to give some clinics. My job as one of the clinic team was to take pictures of the event. I really enjoyed doing this as it felt like about 20 years ago when several music stores organised events in the same way. Unfortunately this died out due to money of course and maybe some other reasons. I hope this event is a kick off for a restart… May 20th A good way to spend your Sunday could be visiting an Ikea store or the zoo, something like that, but I liked going to the Drummerie, hosted by Drumstation in Eindhoven. A whole day of drummers and other musicians playing, giving clinics, exposing instruments they represent and of course people coming to watch and enjoy the whole event. Some get to talk with their idol, some meet people from long time ago. We all know the world of musicians is a smaal world and again this was proven as... Lees meer

Drum clinic Ittervoort

May 12th Early morning 6AM, I hear the typical Iphone marimba telling me to wake up. Today was the day for another clinic performed by Juan van Emmerloot in our clinic team series. I was to meet Juan at his place at 8AM for antoher 1,5 hour drive. Arriving at his place he was already doing some warming up. I can’t believe this energy!! Good mooded as usual we hit the road to Ittervoort. A coffee on the road and enough to chin-wag about made the travel seem a blink of an eye. Building the drumkit went smooth as everything was prepared well by Juan, the way I’m used to. 🙂 Unfortunately there was not much audience, but the people that were there seemed to have a good time and learnt a lot about techiques, rudiments and tuning the drums. A job again well done by Juan and the team… May 12th Early morning 6AM, I hear the typical Iphone marimba telling me to wake up. Today was the day for another clinic performed by Juan van Emmerloot in our clinic team series. I was to meet Juan at his place at 8AM for antoher 1,5 hour drive. Arriving at his place he was already doing some warming up. I can’t believe this energy!! Good mooded as usual we hit the road to Ittervoort. A coffee on the road and enough to chin-wag about made the travel seem a blink of an eye. Building the drumkit went smooth as everything was prepared well by Juan, the way I’m used to. 🙂 Unfortunately there was not much audience, but the... Lees meer

Recording drums

April 29th Lucky guy as I am, today was my day being the instrumentalist. A had the opportunity to use Juan van Emmerloots set of drum microphones to do some more recordings on Stef van Viegen’s songs in our little studio in Delft. After setting up everything, it didn’t take long to make the sound with mics like these. I’m really happy with the result. There’s still a lot to be done, so I’m going to end this blog and start working on CD again 😉 We did set a deadline in September to present the CD. Keep ya posted!!! April 29th Lucky guy as I am, today was my day being the instrumentalist. A had the opportunity to use Juan van Emmerloots set of drum microphones to do some more recordings on Stef van Viegen’s songs in our little studio in Delft. After setting up everything, it didn’t take long to make the sound with mics like these. I’m really happy with the result. There’s still a lot to be done, so I’m going to end this blog and start working on CD again 😉 We did set a deadline in September to present the CD. Keep ya... Lees meer

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