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Take Five With Bob Wijnen

Take Five With Bob Wijnen
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Meet Bob Wijnen:

Bob Wijnen is a pianist of great sensitivity and depth. Much in demand as an accompanist, he is known for having some of the best ears around, as well as being an elegant and adventurous soloist who has absorbed a great deal of the history of jazz piano.

He has toured Indonesia (Java Jazz Festival), Michigan USA, and Iceland, and can be heard on CDs by Maygus (Double Moon Records), Sanna van Vliet 's Insight (Munich Records), Klemens Marktl Quartet featuring Jasper Blom's The Challenge (Jazz 'n' Arts), Triplicate, featuring Eric Ineke and Equinox with Dutch jazz giants Sjoerd Dijkhuizen and Marcel Serierse.

Wijnen continues to grow as a pianist. Furthermore he's increasingly concentrating on composing and arranging.

Instrument(s):

Piano, Fender Rhodes, Hammond organ, synthesizer.

Teachers and/or influences?

Frans Elsen, Rob van Kreeveld, Barry Harris
Barry Harris
Barry Harris
b.1929
piano
, Bill Evans
Bill Evans
Bill Evans
1929 - 1980
piano
, Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
b.1940
piano
, Nat "King" Cole
Nat
Nat "King" Cole
1919 - 1965
piano
, Brad Mehldau
Brad Mehldau
Brad Mehldau
b.1970
piano
.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...

Actually since I was nine, but for sure when I was studying law at the university.

Your sound and approach to music:

For me music has to sound natural and not forced. A natural swing, natural groove, natural dynamics, and a natural performance as well. Whatever natural means, that's up to you. To me it means not putting gimmicks in the first place. Music always comes first.

Your teaching approach:

Online piano lessons are great, but your computer will only give you one-way communication. Communication is most important. It's not about me telling the student what licks to play. It's about finding out all possibilities and building upon it, with the least amount of physical effort.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

This one still has to be released, but I'm very excited about it because everything just worked on the days we were recording. I'll post about it as soon as possible.

The first Jazz album I bought was:

Art Blakey
Art Blakey
Art Blakey
1919 - 1990
drums
, Live at Birdland.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?

From what I notice is that when people dig what I'm doing, they really dig it and it makes them feel good.

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

In general I have the idea that jazz is marketed in the wrong direction and thrown on this big heap of what people call world music, but there are great exceptions to it. The music of Peter Bernstein
Peter Bernstein
Peter Bernstein
b.1967
guitar
, Larry Goldings
Larry Goldings
Larry Goldings
b.1968
keyboard
, Bill Stewart
Bill Stewart
Bill Stewart
b.1966
drums
, James Farm, Snarky Puppy, Brad Mehldau
Brad Mehldau
Brad Mehldau
b.1970
piano
, Bill Charlap
Bill Charlap
Bill Charlap
b.1966
piano
, Sean Jones
Sean Jones
Sean Jones
b.1978
trumpet
, to name a few, gives me a good vibe that jazz will always stay.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

Education most definitely, so people can learn to grow into it. Jazz is not the easiest thing to immediately understand.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

"Don't Worry About Me," Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
1915 - 1998
vocalist
.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:

No clue. Either I would have finished law school or become a photographer.

Photo Credit

Courtesy of Bob Wijnen
Bob Wijnen
Bob Wijnen
b.1971
piano

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