Playing two sold out shows in the Amsterdam Paradiso and Tivoli/Vredenburg Utrecht with the 'Celebrating David Bowie' projects was the best thinkable way to start 2018.

Gerry Leonard, David's last musical director, asked me to join in with a legendary line up of original 'Bowie musicians' and special vocal guests for the 2 shows they did in Holland as part of the European tour.

Besides Gerry I shared the stage with Mike Garson, Adrian Belew, Fishbone's Angelo Moore, Paul Dempsey, Joe Sumner, Angelo - Scrote - Bundini, Ron Dziubla, Carmine Rojas and Michael Urbano.
Playing this totally legendary music with these legendary and wonderful people was something I will not forget easily.

I am thrilled to have recorded for Bruno Mars in my homestudio through internationally acclaimed songwriter, producer and pianist Giorgio Tuinfort.
After recording sessions for Giorgio for the likes of Michael Jackson, David Guetta, Mr. Probz, Lange Frans and Suzanna Lubrano this is a new highlight in my recording career.
This version of 'Versace On The Floor' is a collaboration with David Guetta.
For me it is extra 'cool' to have recorded these percussion tracks in my 'Percussion Today Home Studio'.

Bruno Mars vs David Guetta - Versace On The Floor

Recently I recorded a bunch of tracks in my 'Percussion Today Home Studio' for Mezzoforte's own 'bad boy bass player' Johann Asmundsson's solo CD 'Floating'.
It is available in the iTunes Store now!

After having played hundreds of shows with Icelandic, and one of Europe's, most famous Jazz Funk Fusion band Mezzoforte in the eighties of the last century, it was an absolute pleasure to 'beautify' Joi's most recent music with my groovy and spherical 'rumble from the jungle'.

In the last couple of years I have worked on a 'Percussive Act'.
N.E.W.S. - 'North-East-West-South' - embodies drumming from all corners of the world.
Thank all of you who helped us out to bring this theatre act to the next level.

For more information, including bookings:
www.newspercussion.nl

 

Playing with our most famous rapper Lange Frans is another pleasure that came about in 2015, to be continued in 2016.
With his super 12 people funky band we grooved live like crazy a couple of times yet.
Also we did an early morning live performance in Giel Beelen's 'Giel 3FM' radio show.

 

I recently recorded, from the 'Percussion Today Home Studio' for the brand new Lange Frans album 'Zwart' ('Black').
On of the tracks, 'Op Zoek Naar God' ('Looking For God'), was written and produced by Giorgio Tuinfort.
This is the same man I recorded all percussion for on 'Love Never Felt So Good', the first track on Michael Jackson's 'Xscape' album.
You can hear and see Frans and band play 'Ik Ben Je Man Niet' ('I'm Not Your Man') live in the famous Wisseloord Studio for Giel Beelen's '3 FM On Stage' channel.
In the photo Lange Frans, band and Giel Beelen.

Lange Frans & Band + Giel Beelen

Some time ago I did 2 days of non-stop percussion session for Czech band Všichni Svatí - All Saints, with producer Gerry Leonard.

Gerry is an amazing guitarist, musician, producer who was bandleader for the late great David Bowie.
The engineer was Kevin Killen, one of the top engineers from The States, originally from Ireland, like Gerry.

The CD was released in 2016 and sounds absolutely unbelievable!
In a way it is not so much of a surprise if you realize that Kevin has worked with the likes of  Shakira, Peter Gabriel, U2, David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Kate Bush, Jewel and Bon Jovi.
But still, it was one of the best experiences in the last couple of years in terms of being 'a session player'.

 

 

Here you have an impression of our first of two Mezzoforte Shows at the Java Jazz Festival 2017 on the 3rd of March.
What a thrill to be back on the road again after almost 3 decades with these wonderful Icelandic musicians!
We rehearsed and played 2 shows in the Amsterdam Melkweg before taking of to Jakarta, Indonesia.
Amazing to see so many thousands of people loving this cool Jazz Funk Fusion vibe that has come out of this band that celebrates it's 40th anniversary this year.
Here you can see/hear one of our shows on youtube!

Mezzoforte Live Java Jazz 2017

2015 was a good year in terms 'Dutch Entertainment and Bongos'....

In March I played 3 sold out shows at the Ziggo Dome (17,000 seater) for the ‘Holland Zingt Hazes’ concept, a tribute to André Hazes, one of our most popular singers of the last decades who died in 2004.

In April it was live TV with ‘The Passion’, watched by 3.6 million people on TV in Holland.
Thousands of people from Enschede attended ‘The Passion’ live on the city square.

In May I returned to our own Amsterdam (Ajax) Arena after 11 years to team up again with Rene Froger and band to entertain 5 times 65,000 people in his ‘Toppers’ concept.
Special guests were Golden Earring’s own Barry Hay singing ‘Radar Love’, and also the Village People, Clouseau, Edsilia Rombley and many other special guests.
It was great to be part of these 5 sold out massive 3.5 hour shows. (See the photo)

Early eighties of the last century I joined a fantastic Icelandic Jazz Fusion called Mezzoforte.
This was after playing in their support act in the Amsterdam Paradiso.
At the time they had a massive hit all over Europe and Japan called 'Garden Party'.
We toured all over Europe and further afield, did Montreux Jazz, Tivoli (Kopenhagen), Pori Jazz and 'Japan'.
Now, after almost 3 decades, they asked me to join in again for 3 shows, in the Amsterdam North Sea Jazz Club (28-02-17, sold out) and the Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia (03 & 05-03-17).
The band is still playing (since 1977!) with the 4 founding fathers, Eythor Gunnarsson, Fridrik Karlsson, Joahnn Asmundsson and Gulli Briem.
So I'll reunite with the guys I did hundreds of concerts with in our early twenties.
Photo is from the very first time ever we played together in Ronnie Scott's, one of the worlds most famous Jazzclubs, late 1983.

The 4 corners of the world represented by 4 percussionists: North - East - West - South.

N.E.W.S. was developed by the Global Performance Arts Group (GPAG) and myself to give new impulses to percussion as a performing art.

More information here, again, only in Dutch: www.newspercussion.nl (Sorry, in Dutch only)

 

The show is constructed  around the corners of the world:
North - North America and Europe performed by me.
East - Asia with a focus on Japan by Gen Hidaka of Yamato 'The Drummers of Japan'.
West - Caribbean and South America by Simone Sou.
South - Africa by Carlo Hoop.

Local drum bands or marching bands will be involved in the project.

During daytime the 4 percussionists work with the local bands on the same composition, each in his/her special way.
In the evening the results will be played to an audience in the local theatre.
After the intermission the 4 percussionists will play solo and together.
The grand finale will be with everybody together.

During the show images from each part will be shown in a film that was produced specially for the performance.

Here is a trailer: a show we did at a big drum festival in Eindhoven Holland in 2014.

 

Last November I played with the best youth bigband fromAmsterdam, The Jazz Focus Bigband, conducted by the wonderful Peter Guidi.
It was for the 25th edition of the Kennemer Jazz Festival in Beverwijk.
Special guests were Humphrey Campbell, one of our very best singers, old friend and master piano player Cor Bakker and spectacular artist Pink Oculus.
My company Baileo Music Productions also booked this main act on behalf of the festival.
Life is good when I am allowed to think conceptually, book and play with people (who's talent) I like at the same time.
In the photos you see, besides some of the fine young musicians and me, (above) Peter, Humphrey, Cor and (below) Pink Oculus, Peter, Cor and programmer of the festival Kees Koek.
www.baileo.nl

 

A few years ago I gave a master class at the  Bracuma Percussion School.

I was invited to spend a long evening in Johan Aben's Bracuma Percussion School in Eindhoven.
Prior to the masterclass we all had a nice meal and got introduced to each other.
After the meal we spend a wonderful evening with a bunch drummers and percussionists.
It was an honour to perform for and talk about my big passion to so many enthusiastic people.

Here is a movie that Johan Aben, owner of the school and great percussionist himself, shot and edited. (Sorry, in Dutch language) 

Here is a shorter movie by Johan with some playing and talking in English.

 

This July I was in Switzerland to visit the brand new 'Le Nest' museum with Ivo Witteveen.
'Le Nest' is a museum build on the birth ground of Nestlé in Vevey to commemorate the companies 150th anniversary.
Ivo composed most of the music that can be heard in 'the experience' part of the museum.
Here you are guided through past, present and future of this giant international company and it's challenges.
Last year I played just about all of the percussive grooves and sound effects that are part of the music in Ivo's studio in Amsterdam.
Obviously it was interesting to hear our work on 'the crime scene' itself.
And obviously it was good to pay a quick visit - just around the corner - to the Montreux Jazz Festival too!
(And the Patek Philippe museum Genéve.....)