As a vocalist and composer I am creating music to express myself and connect with others. At the moment I live in New York where work a lot with Kenny Werner, a pianist that truly finds the greatest sounds in the moment. Besides this, together with my husband Ted – who works as a pastry chef – I organise ChocoJazz projects where we combine our creative forces into edible performance art events accompanied with musical improvisation and soundscapes. I love it when art has a deeper effect than we could ever expect. To be on stage, and let the music take over, being completely in the space, is such a deep experience I love and am thankful for.
What is my idea of perfect happiness?
Being with my family.
What is my greatest fear?
To loose love and inspiration.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?
I am a very conscious persion, and sometimes I might get stuck with a vision or idea whereas its sometimes better to let go and just enjoy the moment. In a way I choose my work to be my life but at the same time that takes a lot of commitment which can be very tough on my environment.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire?
Ive been working a lot with pianist and educator Kenny Werner. He wrote a book ‘Effortless Mastery’ around 20 years ago about how to let go and be the instrument that plays the instrument, so that the music plays itself. As for vocalist inspirators it has to be Bobby McFerrin, what he can do with his voice, is beyond human.
What is my greatest extravagance?
I love good food, and I’ve been at my husband Teddys Restaurant (Eleven Madison Park***, the best restaurant of the world) many times, even just for a single dessert. The other thing is that I love shopping, and I have a taste for exclusive brands and expensive clothing…so I cannot go every week.
On what occasion would I lie?
If the truth doesn’t help the person, its better sometimes to be diplomatic.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?
Its difficult to fund art with art, because you constantly have to try to find a balance between paying the bills and making art/music. As a musician in these times you have to be not only a performer, but also a writer, arranger, marketeer, publicist, organizer, agent, promotor, accountant, website builder and what not, because nobody will do it for you.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work?
My latest ChocoJazz project im actually very excited about, last January Teddy made this giant Jackson Pollock like pasty painting on 200 bathroom tiles, while I was vocally improvising with loops, ipad apps and my Korg R3 synthesizer. I hope we can stay working together and continue to have creative carte blanche.
If I could, what would I change about myself?
Im not easily satisfied, and very goal oriented what results in working a lot. I love to spend more time with family and friends.
What is my greatest achievement in work?
Well, in the last 5 years things have been intense. After getting my masters in clinical psychology and a degree in choir conducting in the Netherlands I moved to Boston to study at Berklee college of music and graduated Suma Cum Laude two years ago. Then I moved to New York to start working on my new album. During the last two years I’ve played in the Blue Note Jazz club for a week with the best jazz musicians on earth, got my O1 artist visa, got a job at Berklee, and started ChocoJazz with my husband.
Where would I most like to live?
We have a cute little house in the center of Leiden in the Netherlands, which is my favorite town ever. But, at the moment most of our time we spend in Brooklyn, New York because of both our careers.
What is my most treasured possession?
I really care for our little house in Leiden, besides that I don’t care about stuff.
What is my most marked characteristic?
Usually I come across as a person that is very much on top of everything. Im optimistic, happy and outgoing
What is my most inspirational location, in my city?
When Im on the Q train from Brooklyn to Manhattan, and the train crosses the bridge, you can see the beautiful skyline of the city, thats when I feel very inspired.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?
I love Italian and Indonesian food. So, in New York there is this little Italian restaurant called Ciccio. But my favorite restaurant of all time is in Leiden, a Indonesian toko called Bungamas.
What books influenced my life and how?
The book ‘Effortless Mastery’ is still a big part of my life.
Who are my favorite writers?
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?
Bobby McFerrin, vocabularies.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?
Alice in Wonderland
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?
Isabella Steward Gardner, Peggy Guggenheim, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis
Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?
Forrest Gump and Big Fish
What role plays art in my life and work?
Art is my life and work… 😃
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?
My husband Teddy
Whom would I like to work with in 2017?
I want to start producing my album with Kenny Werner and many of his amazing peers.
Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2017?
What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on?
ChocoJazz-Canvas, live in Leiden, June 11 2017. We will be making 4 pastry paintings in the style of Mondrian accompanied by 4 compositions I made for voice, samples and horns.This will be something you never seen before.
Where can you see me or my work in 2017?
Regularly in New York jazz clubs, at private and or public ChocoJazz events and in the Netherlands & Italy this summer.
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?
It really resonates with me because I feel that if make your passion your life work you would never stop. I’ll work as long as I’m physically able.
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?