Radio interview Mijke & Co Live

Radio6 logoLast Friday I was at the Radio6 studio to promote my new CD “Smalls NYC” that I’ll be launching next month. I felt very happy because the radio presenter Co de Kloet – who is actually a well known producer – knows a lot about music. This made the conversation very interesting. Of course we played quite some tracks from the CD, but Co by surprised me by playing an old recording of the KC bigband directed by Bob Florence (May 20, 1932 – May 15, 2008). To prove to the listeners that this year won’t be my first performance at the North Sea Jazz Festival, he and his team had found a radio broadcast from 1997 where I play a trumpet solo on “Laura”. I can’t believe it’s that long ago!

The interview (in dutch) is approximately an hour and starts around the 34th minute.

radio6 interview

Jazz Orchestra + Roberta Gambarini

In March I played at Java Jazz with the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebout. How nice it is to see there is some video footage of the concert we did with Roberta Gambarini! The band line-up:

  • trumpets: Loet van der Lee, Florian Sperzel, Gidon Nunes Vaz, Ellister van der Molen, Rodolfo Neves
  • trombones: Vincent Veneman, Lukas Jöchner, Erm Navarro, Erik van Lier
  • saxophones: Marco Kegel, Jasper van Damme, Caspar van Wijk, Rick Margitza, Juan Martinez
  • Rhythm Section: Peter Beets (p), Vincent Koning (g), Frans van Geest (b), Cees Kranenburg (d)


No rational person would ever become a musician.

I love dreaming. When I was ten I told everyone I would become a musician. Since my teens with every band or musician I would admire, I would dream to play with them.

Being a musician is harder then the dreams I used to have, true! But let’s face it: some of those dreams actually do come true! Nowadays I do get to play with incredible musicians, like the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, with whom I performed at the Bimhuis and at the Java Jazz Festival recently. Speaking of Java Jazz: how much fun those jam sessions were! Saxofonists James Carter, Justin Robinson and Jason Marshall, trumpet players Roy Hargrove and Maurice Brown, pianist Eldar, drummer Quincy Phillips…. to only name a few!

I am happy to share the videos with you, made by Caroline Schönfeld and Martin Cohen

Crowdfunding… some hard work!

Big news! For the CD recording of the Smalls NYC project next spring I am setting up a crowdfunding action. Soon you’ll be able to read all about it on the Voordekunst website.

Today we shot material for the promotion video. Me playing trumpet and telling my story at several spots in the city center of The Hague. Not the smartest day for filming outside: it was very cold and there was a considerate amount of snow covering town. At some point just all limbs go numb. But how funny and absurd the feeling was! Can’t wait to see the result!


Dublin part two

As much as Friday and Saturday had been about relaxing, Sunday was all about the concert and nothing but the concert. Alto player Laura MacDonald had arrived in the early morning from Schotland so we had all morning for playing throught the repertoire for the evening. Rehearsal was at the foyer of the National Concert Hall. Great to have a bunch of people that come to rehearsal well-prepared; we could get straight to the important stuff. Also great to find an alto player that is so easy to play together with! As well on musical aspects such as timing, tuning and phrasing as on a personal basis.

rehearsal in the lounge

rehearsal in the lounge

For the guys of the rhythm section this would turn out to be a very long day. They took part in all line-ups of the concert: quintet, chamber orchestra and bigband. And all bands had a rehearsal as well as a sound check. Kudos to them all! Phill Ware on the piano, Cormac OBrien on bass and Shane O’Donovan on the drums.

And then concert time! Nearly sold out; even the president of Ireland was in the audience. Several times during this evening the words of Kenny Werner played through my head. Being in space, that’s what it was indeed. I couldn’t believe it was 45 minutes we played; It seemed like only a short little moment. Very enjoyable indeed. This was definitely not my last time in Ireland :)

And of coarse should a good evening of music end with a good moment of relaxation. Hanging at a bar in Blackrock isn’t a bad thing to do; wow what a night!

After Hours in Dublin

After hours in Dublin

Dublin part one

I promised to write a daily update about my whereabouts in Ireland. The reason for me being here is a grand Noel Kelehan memorial in National Concert Hall tomorrow. Yesterday was my first day in Dublin, but – apart from the taxi driver having good memories of the club dates Kelehan would be playing fourty years ago – there isn’t that much of relevance to write about.

For that reason I’ll immediately skip to today, which was originally planned to be the big rehearsal day. In Ireland things never go as planned, so I was off all day, giving me time for a good workout and some socialising.

After that bass player and jazz educator Cormac O’Brian was as kind as to invite me to a Kenny Werner workshop. There were a few views that appealed to me very much. A lot of his ideas can also be found in his famous book ‘effortless mastery‘.

Kenny states it’s the thing to focus at one thing at a time and stay with that until you really master that. Don’t aim for the mediocre, but for real quality, even when it’s about only two bars to start with.

Also, teach yourself to practice with focus. In other words: quit as soon as your concentration is lacking so you won’t get used to an unconcentrated practise routine, but instead will learn to stretch the amount of time being focused.

Any chord with any bass note can resolve to any other chord with any other bass note. As long as the voice leading is right. It helps broadening your creativity to get some random elements into your improvisation. If you would practise just two of those chord progressions every week..

About patience: don’t expect anything to happen within a week, think months and persevere! It would be a terrible shame to quit only one day before breakthrough ;)

And finally: you can think of practising as a square turned on it’s side. At the top stands effortless (read the book) then the other corners are perfect, right tempo and the whole thing. Effortless is always there, and from the others you can drop one for practising purposes. So you play the whole two bars you are working on perfectly but slow. Or perfectly and in the right tempo, but only the amount of notes that you can play effortlessly. Maybe that’s just two notes! Or you play all in the right tempo, but allow yourself to be sloppy.

Good ideas to work with! So now for a good night’s sleep before tomorrow’s rehearsals and concert. Looking forward!

On the radio

At this very moment I’m listening back the radio broadcast radio maker Casper van Eick sent me of his program ‘Jazz op de Dijk’. He plays tracks of dutch jazz musicians including Sanna van Vliet, Yuri Honing and Triplicate :)

Radio 6 logoLast week I could be heard on radio station “radio6″ with the “E.J. de Graaff Group”.  The stream can be found on Scrolling to 02:37:40 will lead you to “just one of those things”.

Next Tuesday another Triplicate track will be on the air at Arrow FM hosted by Rolf Delfos and Bart Wirtz. Tune in at 22.00 I would say!

March 11th I’ll be back at “Jazz in the Morning”, Radio6. They’ll be playing one or more tracks from the Triplicate cd, and I believe even some music from the latest cd of the all female band “Alice in Dixieland”, in which I have been taking part since 1998.

Update: the broadcast of “Jazz in the Morning” can be heard through

Review time

Ellister with the Rein de Graaff trio
picture by Jos Knaepen

I didn’t really get to making end-of-the-year-lists last year, but if I would have, certainly the tour with Rein de Graaff trio plus Sam Most would have had a promintent place. Fortunately the concerts didn’t go unnoticed. In the weblog Draaiomjeoren Eddy Determeyer wrote the following (you can click here for the whole article):

Als tweede blazer had De Graaff trompettiste Ellister van der Molen uitgenodigd. Een goede keuze: deze dame behoort inmiddels tot de top en bewees dat met een fraai en logisch opgebouwde solo gelijk in het eerste nummer, ‘Take The A-Train’. Als collega Valaida Snow nog had geleefd, zou ik de respectieve middenriffen van de dames wel eens aan een vergelijkend warenonderzoek hebben willen onderwerpen.

(As second hornplayer De Graaff had invited trumpet player Ellister van der Molen. A good choice: this lady nowadays ranks among the top and proved so with a nice and logically built up solo directly in the first song ‘Take the A-Train’. Had colleague Valaida Snow still been alive, I would have liked to compare the two ladies’ abdominal muscles.)

Another nice review was written by Hans Koert in his Keep (it) Swinging weblog. He writes about Chris Peeters‘ cd ‘My name is Chris’, one of the cd’s that I have had the pleasure of contributing to. The whole story, plus nice pictures and a little youtube video of Chris can be found here.


CD presentation Dim Kesber

Dé reikt het eerste exemplaar uit aan DimToday before playing I was a bit sceptical: with all busy schedules we didn’t get to rehearse till the afternoon itself. But the concert was one big adventure. In a good way. Everyone played with their ears wide open and with a hard driving swing. Party!

As soon as I know how it works I shall post the new cd (and Chris Peeters’) on my discography section.

Three Triplicate gigs in a row

Such a joy! Three weeks in a row playing with Triplicate is really getting us somewhere. I truly had a blast yesterday with Bob, Johnny and Eric in Dordrecht. A wonderful audience and crew, too!

From the Triplicate concert last week, which  was almost just as exciting, I just found a little review from a very enthousiastic listener.Triplicate HeemstedeIn between those gigs there was also the concert of the New Generation Big Band plus Anton Goudsmit at Pulchri Studios, The Hague. Some hip cat that Anton is! Really a pleasure to play with. It was pretty hard to play in a loud sounding room such as Pulchri. Nonetheless I think we did a good job.