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Meet Bram Stadhouders: Bram was born on 23 January 1987 (when it was freezing -18°C outside) in the city of Tilburg, which lies in Europe, The Netherlands, in the mystical, mysterious, legendary province called Noord-Brabant (some pictures of this area are in the pictures page). When he was zero years old, he already listened to jazz and classical music (thanks to his father who is guitar teacher and his mother who is piano teacher), and it has been said that his first word as a baby was Pat Metheny (great guitarist/composer). From day one it's been music.
When he was six years old his father started a long and intensive period of teaching him to play the guitar, until he was fourteen. In this time he got 2 classical guitar awards at the age of eight and nine, plus performing experience at a young age.
At the age of eleven he got his first electric guitar, with which he played in a rock band called Grab. With members of his age at that time, they played in important venues and festivals (like the biggest stage on Festival Mundial), and there were a few documentaries and TV shows about them, and some video clips, and they were in the local newspapers quite often. They played some original tracks and covers. It was fun to see, too. During that time, Bram also played with Noel Redding, the bassist of Jimi Hendrix, at the National Guitar Awards.
At twelve he totally got into jazz after seeing a video from the Pat Metheny Group. He started exploiting his dad's jazz vinyl and CD collection, and started a jazz band called Solar, with which he played a lot of gigs, jazz festivals, in the Heinken Music Hall, Jazz in Duketown, opening gig before Jan Akkerman and Russell Malone, then winning the Prinses Christina Concours at the North Sea Jazz Festival in 2002 and much more.
At seventeen, when the jazz band stopped, he played a lot on jam sessions and gigs with great Dutch jazz musicians like Harmen Fraanje and Hein van de Geyn. He had a lot of great experiences in the jam sessions in Tilburg, where there were always progressive musicians who were feeling the need to go further than standard jazz. In these times he recorded a soundscape-like record and a trio record with improvisations, all available in the sounds section.
He's also always been into electronics, recording his own music since he was fourteen, and seeking for other ways of playing his guitar. Now he's twenty, studying at the Utrecht School of Music and Technology (music production/composition/performance) in Hilversum, but he's living in Amsterdam. He's playing a lot with his new personal set of guitar and guitar synthesizer connected to his laptop, which provides a totally new galaxy of sounds.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.