Three years of teaching at Tune-up (Haarlem)

photo by: Ingo Caly | design by: Jeroen Duijvestijn

After three years of teaching (and learning!) in this wonderful small scale but versatile school - hanging out in its stimulating teaching environment, spending many hours with enthusiastic students (and some with my colleagues as well of course) - I finally made it... I'm on the cover of the new brochure ;-). Check out the website for next season's courses and options, and come for a trial lesson in the new year. We're happy to have you! 

A musical adventure in Mumbai

May is dedicated entirely to musical adventures in the amazing city of Mumbai. The first half of my stay here has been great already (the nick-name "Maximum city" is definitely in place). This is what's coming up in part #2:

Duo set in the Bandra base

Duo set in the Bandra base

Master class on duo-playing at the True School of Music

Master class on duo-playing at the True School of Music

Workshop at the Bandra base

Workshop at the Bandra base

A song for Eindhoven's city poet Merel Morre

This Friday Merel Morre, the official poet of Eindhoven city, will present her brand new publication "Dons op mijn tanden" in the 'Parktheater' in Eindhoven. I have the honor to present one of her poems in the form of a song that I wrote for this occasion in the past week. I can not reveal anything of the poem that I used yet (until Friday), but as a glimpse of the content I can tell you that it's about seemingly insignificant encounters between people that can purport entire stories that might or might never happen..  

p.s. I will be performing the song solo. This is a premiere for me (on official occasions, since high-school), but it might be the start of something new.. ;)

Sietske & band live in Amsterdam - Back to square one

This is where it all started, the first song ever written for this project! A passionate piece composed by Dirk with lyrics by me about "starting all over again". This song is not on the album. More video's from this concert coming up..

Live at the Comedy Theater, Amsterdam (oktober 26, 2014).
Line up: Dirk Balthaus - piano / Eran Har Even - guitar / Marco Zenini - double bass / Efraim Schulz-Wackerbarth - drums / Sietske Roscam Abbing - voice

Student presentations

The last week before the Christmas holidays the vocal students of music school Tune-up (Haarlem) sang their hearts out at the presentation of their first trimester. Together with my colleague Julia Oschewsky I organize a gathering where our students can share what they've been working on to inspire (and surprise) each other and us with their song and honest performance. It's wonderful to be a part of the musical development of these great young people.

If you are interested in vocal lessons (in Amsterdam or Haarlem) don't hesitate to contact me and I'll tell you about the possibilities (all ages, all levels. All styles of popmusic and crossover styles.  Personal lessons, but also duo - or group lessons, choir and/or courses on a specific topic are all possibilities; contact me to discuss your wishes.

SRF2 Kultur (Swiss radio) feature with interview

"One of the most refreshing voices I've heard in the past weeks". Here's the clip of december 16th's broadcast of the show Jazz Aktuell at SRF2 Kultur featuring music of "Where it starts again" and an interview. Presentation is in Germain with fragments of the interview in English. (Presentation Jodok Hess).

Here's a transcript of the sproken parts translated in English. 

[Audio: "A day like this"]

No wonder she’s laughing, Sietske Roscam Abbing, here in Jazz Aktuell at SRF2Kultur – after all she’s just about to make a good name for herself, even abroad.
"Where It Starts Again", that’s the name of her new CD, and on it, her and her pianist Dirk Balthaus‘ songs are interpreted by an ideal band: a band, that is, which constantly creates some creative interference. This way, Sietske’s songs never sound too sweet. Almost a way of auto-correction favourable to her, it seems, for sweet things always have appealed to her, she told me, even back in the days when she was mostly listening to singer-songwriters.

[Audio: about Sietske, 00:00:24,37]

Pretty soon jazz came into the picture, however, and Sietske used to travel half an hour by train to get to a jam session where, one night, she met, jammed and had a great time with pianist Dirk Balthaus. Little did she realize that she was soon going to meet him again, this time at Amsterdam conservatory as her piano teacher.

[Audio: How Sietske met Dirk, 00:00:21,93]

Dirk Balthaus and Sietske Roscam Abbing start working together and composing, sometimes as a team, sometimes each for him/herself. And the way Sietske writes music actually reminds me of a director more than a composer. She would always try to make a picture of what the music was going to be about, she told me. All I Need, for instance, is a song about being lonesome in the midst of many people. So she started by thinking about how somebody would feel in this particular situation: what are the sounds, the smells? What does it look like? And all these impressions together would then result in this specific chemical reaction making the music sound. ..

[Audio: "All I need"]

(thanks to Jodok Hess for the translation). 

Radio 6, Mijke & Co live!

On november 26th the band was invited to play a part of our release tour program at Radio 6, their weekly live show presented by Mijke van Wijk (Mijke & Co Live!). We had the honor of sharing the stage with a.o. Texan trumpeter Roy Hargrove and Ben Herman, one of Dutch most active saxophone players. It was a full house and a great vibe! Here's a a compilation video of this evening.  

Fragmenten van de show van Mijke en Co live - at the Sugarfactory. More info www.radio6.nl