Zijn groeiende internationale reputatie blijkt uit albums met Amerikaanse musici zoals pianist David Hazeltine, drummer Clarence Penn en trompettist Jon Swana. Via George Benson ontdekt hij de jazz. In meldt hij zich bij het Hilversums Conservatorium, waar hij les krijgt van gitarist Wim Overgaauw, die hem vertrouwd maakt met de jazztraditie. Aldus vestigt hij zijn naam in binnen- en buitenland als een groot gitaartalent. Dankzij de prijs speelt hij veel met deze groep.
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Cerra, copyright protected; all rights reserved. One might even further suggest that there have been several key contributors to the jazz legacy who have come from foreign lands, thus leaving their own personal stamp on a music that now is multi-faceted and multicultural in scope.
Add to the list of distinguished European guitarists the name of Jesse Van Ruller, the first non-American to win the illustrious Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition and an Amsterdam native who is beginning to perk the interest of American audiences with his original style and talents as a composer.
Andrew Hovan, Jazz author One wonders, where does the Jazz path begin for a young guitarist born in Amsterdam in , who grew up in Bilthoven, a small village near Utrecht in The Netherlands? Next to drums, guitar is perhaps the most popular instrument in the world.
But one would think that contemporary youngsters who are interested in popular music, grow up dreaming of becoming a rock guitarist and not a Jazz instrumentalist. With Jazz radio and television broadcasts vanishing at hyper speed, where does a youngster even hear Jazz today? I started electric guitar at 11, and started improvising a little bit, without the harmony, but on one chord most of the time. When I was 14 and heard George Benson, who plays jazz harmony, but in a Pop way that I understood and was used to, I loved it immediately.
The jazz aspect was completely new and mysterious to me, the notes he played were so different than the notes you heard from Rock players, and I wanted to figure out how it worked. It was a new world. So I went to the library and found some of their records. Jimmy Raney was probably the first guitarist I heard who was not a Fusion or Jazz-Rock player; I love the way he outlined the harmony so tastefully within his very melodic lines.
And Pat Martino was a huge influence in terms of emphasizing notes or accents in lines and playing dynamically. I got a lot from hearing how he treated the tradition, taking the whole background of Wes Montgomery and George Benson and Pat Martino, and making his very own voice.
He confirmed that it was possible for someone closer to my age to play in the tradition, but still make your own music, have your own sound. Where I was learning, everybody had to play at least Fusion, everything new was cool, but you were considered old-fashioned and boring for liking music that had been played before, and it was hard to dare to play it.
Peter gave me hope. From that moment on, I made records, and I played a lot. Jesse is the resident guitarist with the Amsterdam-based, Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, and he and this excellent big band perform his original composition The Secret Champ on this closing video. Posted by Steven Cerra at.
Jesse Van Ruller
JESSE VAN RULLER
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