Picture by Lenny Oosterwijk
'' During the first years of me playing the piano I was drawn to swing, boogie woogie and blues, especially from New Orleans. The thick and full sound of pianists from the New Orleans piano tradition was satisfying both aurally and physically when playing. I spend the first years mainly studying the styles of James Booker, Fats Waller and most of all Dr. John. Starting out in the blues idiom proved very advantageous for me, from early on I got an idea how music can be a sort of raw and primal outlet of feeling.
From early as fourteen years old I started to regularly accompany singers, initially starting out in the local music school as well as in the background music gigs I was doing. Playing duo with singers has become one of my favorite activities, finding a balance between taking liberties and providing a strong and reliable background never seems to lose my interest. Especially during my years at the conservatory I managed to get a lot of experience by working extensively with both vocal students and teachers. During the lessons and masterclasses I accompanied I got a lot of information on how to handle melodies, lyrical flow and when to breathe which can also be applied directly to any instrument.
In fact great melodists have become leading in shaping my musical taste, writing and playing. For me the greatest goal is to play ‘singable’ at all times. This is what connects Chopin to Frank Sinatra and the Beatles to Tord Gustavsen for me.
October 2017 proved to be an artistic turning point for me. I visited Trondheim (Norway) and got introduced by a friend to the music that comes from Northern-Europe, of which a great deal is also covered on the ECM record label. The spacious, melodic, spiritual music I heard during that week combined with the Norwegian landscape influenced me in my compositions and playing style.
To illustrate all the above, I created a Spotify playlist with the music that inspires me the most. ''
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