Erik van der Luijt

Erik van der Luijt

Infobox Person
name= Erik van der Luijt

caption= Erik van der Luijt
"(photo: private collection Erik van der Luijt)"
birth_date= Birth date and age|1970|8|22|mf=y
birth_place= The Hague, The Netherlands

Erik van der Luijt (born August 22 1970 in The Hague) is a Dutch jazz pianist / keyboard player, arranger, composer, producer and band leader.


Erik van der Luijt started playing the piano at the age of four. He studied jazz piano with Rob van Kreeveld and Rob van Bavel at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, where he participated in master classes with Michel Petrucciani and Barry Harris.

His concert performances have taken him to Sweden, France, Belgium, Indonesia, Germany and the United Kingdom. The album "The Sweetest Sounds - Ilse Huizinga Sings the Songs of Richard Rodgers" (2001), to which he made a major contribution as an arranger, producer and pianist, resulted in his wife Ilse Huizinga's first nomination for Holland's top music award, The Edison Award.

In August 2004 he was a finalist at the Deloitte Jazz Award 2004 at the Bimhuis cultural centre in Amsterdam. In the same year he conducted a series of masterclasses in Indonesia, at the invitation of the Conservatory of Rotterdam.

In 2004 he also released the privately produced and critically acclaimed album "Express Yourself", consisting exclusively of his own compositions and on which he is accompanied by Branko Teuwen on double bass and Victor de Boo on drums. Van der Luijt quotes the fact that two members of the trio had recently married and all three had recently become a father as the drive behind the album. An increased sense of responsibility made them search more than ever for a distinctive style in order to draw more attention to themselves. Three days before the original recording date he decided that recording standards was not the best way to do this and began writing his own compositions. The album "Express Yourself" was hailed as "a masterpiece" in the press and compared to landmark albums by Tommy Flanagan and Bill Evans.

In 2005 Erik founded a new band called VEGAS based on his compositions featuring guitar player Anton Goudsmit. Erik plays keyboards in this formation and trio members Branko Teuwen (double bass) and Victor de Boo (drums) complete this quartet.

Involvement for Hurricane Katrina Victims

In September 2005 Erik van der Luijt and his trio played at a charity concert at the Concertgebouw to raise funds for New Orleans after the city was hit by Hurricane Katrina. "Dutch Jazz for New Orleans" also featured performances by Greetje Kauffeld, the Dutch Swing College band, Hans Dulfer, Laura Fygi, Trijntje Oosterhuis, Ramses Shaffy and Louis van Dijk.


Critics have praised Erik van der Luijt's talent for melody and the classical influences on his work. His style is likened with the subtle cohesion of legendary Bill Evans with his trio of the late 1950s, also in its fresh chord voicings and harmonic phrasing. Others have called him "the Dutch Oscar Peterson".

:"Van Der Luijt reflects a bit of a Keith Jarrett influence, particularly when he reaches for some wide gospel chord voicings. Essentially, however, he's his own man, with a muscular, surging swing and a powerful left hand. Van Der Luijt doesn't quite sound like anyone else out there, which is certainly an asset. He's also an engaging, witty composer." - []

Collaborations with other artists

Erik has contributed as a pianist, arranger and producer to six albums by his wife, the jazz singer Ilse Huizinga. He regularly accompanies and supports singers from various musical disciplines such as Rita Reys, Madeline Bell, Joke Bruijs, Joke de Kruijf, Pia Beck, Denise Jannah, Greetje Kauffeld, Heddy Lester, Gerrie van der Klei, Marjol Flore and Edwin Rutten. As a pianist, arranger and producer Erik has contributed to numerous projects, including the Metropole Orchestra, the Jazz Orchestra of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Ferdinand Povel, Piet Noordijk, Ruud Jacobs, Frits Landesbergen, Bernard Berkhout's Swingmates, the Royal Military Band, the Dutch Swing College Band, musical and cabaret productions and CDs by leading Dutch jazz musicians.

Personal life

Erik van der Luijt's father was a talented clarinetist and baritone saxophonist in the now defunct Royal Military Band of the Dutch Grenadier Guards and the Randstad Saxophone Quartet, and a teacher at the Utrecht Conservatory. Erik met the jazz singer Ilse Huizinga when her regular pianist fell ill and he stepped in at the last moment before a performance in Amsterdam. They married in Leiden in 1998. Their daughter Ellen was born on April 1, 2000.


* Keytown Swings - Volume 3 (NVGCD 01091, 1991)
* Good Enough To Keep, Bernard Berkhout's New Thundering Swingmates (Polygram / Jazz Behind The Dikes, 1996)
* Out of a Dream, Ilse Huizinga (Own production, 1997)
* Voices Within, Ilse Huizinga (Own production, 1999)
* Erik van der Luijt - En Blanc Et Noir 2, Erik van der Luijt (Challenge / Daybreak, 1999)
* The Sweetest Sounds - Ilse Huizinga Sings the Songs of Richard Rodgers, Ilse Huizinga, (Challenge / Daybreak, 2001)
* Erik van der Luijt - En Blanc Et Noir 7, Erik van der Luijt (Challenge / Daybreak, 2002)
* Rainshine, Onno Voorhoeve (Own production, 2003)
* Easy to Idolize, Ilse Huizinga (Challenge / Daybreak, 2003)
* Express Yourself, Erik van der Luijt (Own production, 2004)
* Beyond Broadway, Ilse Huizinga (Maxanter Records, 2005)
* The Intimate Sessions - Volume 1, Ilse Huizinga, (Own production, 2006)


* "Passion" (2006)
* "Ilse & Ellen" from the 2005 album "Express Yourself"


* "A masterpiece. One of the most interesting piano CDs of this year, played by a piano giant." - Klaas Koopman, De Gooi- en Eemlander.
* "Hauntingly beautiful... "Lyrical" describing a musician's style, is overused, but it certainly applies to Dutch pianist Erik van der Luijt's on his new CD "Express Yourself". With great help from bassist Branko Teuwen and drummer Victor de Boo, he expresses a wide range of feelings using varied tempos and styles, sensitively rendered. The seamless interplay makes the listener eagerly await the group's next output." - Larry Taylor, []
* "Erik van der Luijt doesn't need jazz standards to excel, he creates his own classics. "Express Yourself" is a marvellous album for which Erik has written very attractive and refined compositions. Van der Luijt manages to create very attractive compositions, that are highly sophisticated. He is a master of beautiful melodies. With this album his previous ones pale by comparison." - Ton Ouwehand, Twentsche Courant/Tubantia
* "Diverse. If one word belongs in a jury report on pianist Erik van der Luijt it is that. Diverse is first of all the repertoire that consists for 100 per cent of his own compositions. It's so diverse that the funky Latin tune "Havana Blue", the intimate "Ilse & Ellen" and the baroque "Corleone" appear to derive from different minds." - Frans van Leeuwen, NRC Handelsblad
* "A beautiful album, full of wonderful tonal colours and compositions. I am convinced that Erik van der Luijt is set to embark on a highly successful career and this album showcases his sublime mastery On "Express Yourself" Erik displays his sublime mastery and literally "plays" with his instrument." - Rolf H. Polak, []
* "Erik van der Luijt knows his Oscar Peterson, Tommy Flanagan and Bill Evans and used their influences to create an exquisite mixture in which coquetry and adventure go hand-in-hand. At times he even comes close to Flanagan's masterpiece Jazz Poet. Those who know this monument from the piano discography, appreciate that there is hardly a bigger compliment." - Jeroen de Valk, Het Utrechts Nieuwsblad
* "Erik van der Luijt surprises with some real gems." - Bert Vuijsje, HP/De Tijd

External links

* [ Official Web Site of Erik van der Luijt]
* [ Official Web Site of Ilse Huizinga]

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