Biography of harmonica-player Jan Verwey. (the Netherlands.)
Chromatic harmonica and jazz; as one of the few who dared to play the harmonica for their livelyhood, Jan is probably the only one who succeeded in creating his own style on this charateristic instrument.
He is, for instance, the only one who plays octaves on the harmonica. Also in his solo’s. Jan Verwey is very much a bebopper and an entirely self-taught one at that. Thanks to a very own developed instrumental technique, he boldy brings about his desired harmony and melody to his solo’s.
How exceptional his quality is can be seen by the fact that during his first visit to America (early autumn 1990), he was immediately rushed into the studio by top-producer Bill Goodwin (drummer for Phil Woods) to record the CD ”THE DUTCH CONNECTION” wich led to a performance at the “North Sea Jazzfestival” in the Netherlands.
In 1991 he was again in the USA as the only European to be invited to play at, among others, the festival “Celebration of the arts” in Watergap, as a soloist. He also gave a duo-concert with pianist Hod O’brien (known for his albums with Chet Baker) at the well-known Jazz-club “The Dearhead Inn”.
WAS PLAYING IN 2007 ON FESTIVALS IN MEDICINE HAT AND CALGARY (CANADA).
He also played in different locations in Europe. Recently he played in Copenhagen, Frankfurt and (at “Birdland ) Hamburg.
Different activities in his own country:
Nomination for the Pall Mall Export Award.
Guest soloist with the “ Metropole Orchestra”.
Guest in television- and radio-shows.
Composer for TV –series, documentaries and commercials.
1990 : CD “The Dutch Connection” (recorded in the USA,)
1992 : CD “You must believe in Spring” (Timeless), with : Jack van Poll(p) – Hein
van der Geyn(b) – John Engels(dr)
1996 : CD “The Miles Davis Project” (Willibrord Jazz) with : Peter Hertmans(g) –
Jos Machtel(tr.b) - Frans van de Hoeven(b) – Hans van Oosterhout(dr)
2005 : CD “Jan Verwey plays Thelounius Monk” ( Munich Records ), with : Olaf
Tarenskeen(g) – Sven Schuster(b) – Jasper van der Wilden(dr) and the
Gustav Klimt String Quartet.
As a sideman he played with many groups on CD’s in Europe. www.janverwey.com
Jan Rensen (NL) – jazz-critic, december 2007.