A birthday bash with friends

The 85th birthday of jazz legend John Engels deserves a big party with beloved friends from Dutch music joining him on stage. His love for ballads will shine through in the quartet with Rob van Bavel, Jan van Duikeren and Aram Kersbergen, plus strings led by Vera van der Bie. Together they will perform a selection from their upcoming album, both new compositions and old favorites.

For the second set, John has picked material of The Diamond Five, which will be enlivened together with Benjamin Herman and Ruud Ouwehand. When you see him on stage it will be hard to believe that he has reached the respectable age of 85. Still, the drummer with the unbridled energy has actually been born in 1935. The impressive list of collaborators goes back to 1953 and includes Pia Beck, Chet Baker, Toots Thielemans, Stan Getz, Nina Simone, Woody Shaw, Louis van Dijk, Hank Jones, Jimmy and Percy Heath, Ron Carter, Joe Zawinul and many more.

Even more impressive is the amount of people he has influenced and has touched with his characteristic, open style of playing. ‘He’s modest and self-willed at the same time. A creator of music. He continuously reacts to the other players. With the energy and reflexes of a young lion. Still, John Engels makes others sound good, while sounding great himself at the same time’ (de Volkskrant).