Eric Vloeimans, one of the best-known musicians in the Netherlands and a very special performer, has won several Edison awards (the “Dutch Grammy”) and is in constant demand in his country as a bandleader and guest soloist. Will Holshouser is a veteran of the NYC scene and has toured with Regina Carter, David Krakauer and many others. The duo plays mostly our original compositions, drawing on sounds from jazz, folk styles, and classical music.
Eric Vloeimans (1963) is an improvising trumpeter and composer who finds the term 'jazz' too restrictive for his music. His work is characterized by a melodic and lyrical force, and a characteristic, individual sound that is called velvety or whispering in the more subdued pieces. His motto is: 'I make music for millions, but I haven't reached all of them yet'. However, he never gives in to the taste of the general public, and always remains himself.
Vloeimans studied at the Rotterdam Conservatory; initially classical trumpet, later on jazz training. In the United States he took lessons with Donald Byrd and was part of the big bands of Frank Foster and Mercer Ellington.
In the early 1990s, Vloeimans is considered to be one of a generation of young musicians who combines bebop with influences from rock and the typically Dutch free improvisation, but he soon develops his own unmistakable sound and style. He has been leading his own quartet from the start, making his record debut in 1991 (No Realistics). In 2006 this group was succeeded by the chamber jazz trio Fugimundi (with pianist Harmen Fraanje and guitarist Anton Goudsmit).
Since 2007 the trumpeter has been very active with his electric band Gatecrash, in which funk and rock elements resound (with Jeroen van Vliet on keyboards). , Gulli Gudmundsson on bass guitar and Jasper van Hulten on drums). It is often referred to as Vloeimans' personal version of 'electric Miles'. He also continues to develop other projects, such as the group Oliver's Cinema, with accordionist Tuur Florizoone and cellist Jörg Brinkmann, with whom he creates 'soundtracks for imaginary films'. He also regularly performs in duo with the German pianist Florian Weber, with whom he released the CD Live at the Concertgebouw in 2011.
Over the years Eric Vloeimans has entered into various one-off partnerships with like-minded musicians at home and abroad. The album Bitches and Fairy Tales with pianist John Taylor, bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Joey Baron gave him his first Edison in 1998. His extensive musical resume resembles a Who's Who of contemporary jazz, with greats such as guitarist Nguyên Lê, bass guitarist Jimmy Haslip, drummer Peter Erskine and pianist Jarmo Savolainen.
In 2001 Vloeimans was awarded the Boy Edgar Prize, in 2002 the Bird Award from the North Sea Jazz Festival. The CDs VoizNoiz 3 (with Michel Banabila, 2003) Summersault (with Fugimundi, 2006) and Gatecrashin' (with Gatecrash, 2007) also won an Edison. In 2011, Eric Vloeimans received the Golden Nutcracker, and in 2016 the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Noord Brabant Muziekprijs. Due to his broad interests, Vloeimans has collaborated with artists from other musical worlds. In the pop field, these include Fay Lovsky, Doe Maar, Spinvis, Jan Akkerman and trumpeter Kyteman (Colin Benders). Kytecrash, the combination of his hip-hop band and Gatecrash, led to successful performances in 2011 and an eponymous CD. In the world music sector, the trumpeter has been involved in collaborations with flamenco guitarist Eric Vaarzon Morel, Latin pianist Ramón Valle and singer/guitarist Fernando Lameirinhas' fado-inspired project Pessoa. Vloeimans has performed as a soloist with classical ensembles such as the Matangi Quartet, the Calefax Reed Quintet, the Metropole Orkest, the Gelders Orkest, the Limburg Symphony Orchestra, the Holland Baroque, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Residentie Orkest, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
In 2011, his first trumpet concerto, Evensong, orchestrated by Martin Fondse, was premiered with the Limburg Symphony Orchestra. It was later recorded on CD with the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra. Eric Vloeimans was artistic director of the Netherlands Youth Jazz Orchestra 2013. In 2014 he played the King's Concerto for King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima, he was principal artist of the National Tattoo, and played 15 concerts with Oliver's Cinema in the United States. In the 2015/2016 season, the trumpeter toured various stages in Europe with harpist Remy van Kesteren. In 2018 he toured with Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, presenting their album Levanter. Later that year, the Argentine pianist Juan Pablo Dobal was his concert partner in the Netherlands. Their CD Viento Zonda received glowing reviews. In November 2015 Vloeimans published his play-along book Horn of Plenty (V-Flow edition); the second part followed in November 2019. He coaches big bands and wind and fanfare orchestras and is active as a conductor, arranger and composer.
Will Holshouser was given an old accordion when he was young and impressionable and was soon bewitched by its charms. Since then, he has become one of the busiest, most versatile accordionists in the U.S. and a composer of unique, colorful music. He leads several of his own groups and performs all over the globe with leading jazz, world, pop and classical artists. Will’s music relates to multiple music traditions and draws on the deeply expressive and fun-loving aspects of his chosen instrument, incorporating melodies you can whistle, pulsating rhythms, mesmerizing hymn-like tunes, rich jazz harmonies, subtle soundscapes and exciting improvisation.
Will began playing accordion in the late 1980s when a friend gave him an old squeezebox as a surprise. At the time he was studying music in college; the accordion let him branch out to playing in bar bands, learning many kinds of folk music, and doing an eclectic range of work on the New York scene. He has since performed in over 30 countries around the world. In addition to leading his own groups and writing music, Will has played with a wide variety of artists including jazz violinist Regina Carter, modern klezmer clarinetist David Krakauer, Dutch trumpet phenomenon Eric Vloeimans, Suzanne Vega, Antony and the Johnsons, Michael Winograd, Han Bennink & Michael Moore, Lisa Gutkin, Guy Klucevsek, Uri Caine, Martha Wainwright, Loudon Wainwright III, Andy Statman, and many others. Three albums of his own music for trio, featuring trumpeter Ron Horton and bassist Dave Phillips, have been released by the Portuguese label Clean Feed. His group Musette Explosion, a collaboration with Matt Munisteri on guitar and Marcus Rojas on tuba, made it to Billboard’s Jazz Albums chart and was featured in an interview on NPR’s Fresh Air. He has been commissioned as a composer by the American Accordionists' Association and Bachtopus Accordion Ensemble. He has also worked on Broadway, in the studio with film composers including Elliot Goldenthal and Rachel Portman, and with classical ensembles including NYC Ballet, NYC Opera, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Ensemble Connect and more.
Will studied accordion and composition with his mentor Dr. William Schimmel, and composition with Tania León, Dalit Warshaw, Anthony Braxton, and Bill Barron. He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his family and teaches at Brooklyn College. Upcoming projects in 2022 include an album release and US tour as a duo with Eric Vloeimans.