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Hans van Leeuwen
Django
uploaded on
12/25/07 @ 06:45 AM     post a comment
viewed
14,810 times
duration
03:33
category
Music
description
Tribute to the unforgettable Django Reinhardt. I added a flamenco-like introduction
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BIO
My roots are in the 50's when players like Barney Kessel, Tal Farlow, Jimmy Raney, Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, paved the way for later generations of jazzguitarists. Now, 40 years later, I conclude that these players are still standing! Although many great talents appear nowadays, and styles are changing and developing to the highest musical standards, we may never forget the work of these early pioneers.

I started playing in 1954, inspired by guitarists Les Paul and Django Rheinhardt. The late Wim Overgaauw (godfather of jazzguitar in Holland) encouraged me to start listening to guitarists like Barney Kessel and Tal Farlow and to specialize in what was then categorized as "modern jazz" (now mainstream or "bebop"). In those days studying jazz guitar meant painstakingly listening to records and finding things out yourself. My efforts resulted in the first prize at the Loosdrecht Jazzconcours in 1962. This in turn led to my first appearance abroad after an invitation of Rob Pronk for a solo concert with the famous Kurt Edelhagen Orchestra in Cologne/Germany.
During the 1960's I was active as a pro, doing a lot of jazz gigs with many well known Dutch jazzmusicians. It was pianist Frans Elsen who taught me the basics of big band-arranging. To my surprise I actually managed to sell some of my arrangements to well known radio orchestra’s like The Skymasters and Boy's Big Band. I also wrote for my own sextet and did some teaching. Unfortunately during that same period the public interest in jazz started to decline. It was the time of the Beatles, flowerpower and hippies. Therefore I took up my chemistry studies again in 1969. To expand my musical horizon I studied flamenco guitar and lute. But of course the jazz guitar remained my main interest and in 1980 I took the initiative for the first Dutch jazzguitar workshop in Rotterdam. Every now and then I play in jazzclubs again, joining the many great talents that appear nowadays.
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