Jasper Van ‘t Hof

JASPER VAN’T HOF was born on June 30, 1947 in Enschede (Holland). His great passion for music was evident as a child of a jazz trumpeter, and a classically trained singer/pianist. Private piano lessons were the foundation. He began writing his first compositions at the age of 14 and was soon interested in jazz. Although his parents wanted him to go to a conservatory for music, JASPER VAN’T HOF prefers to play live. He was already nineteen and had been participating in jazz festivals, winning prizes. His first major European success was with ASSOCIATION PC., which he founded in 1969 with Pierre Courbois, the Dutch drummer, and Toto Blanke, the German guitarist. Sometimes Peter Krijnen was the bassist, and sometimes Sigi Busch. This band created a unique synthesis of rock and jazz that was unheard before and was praised at the 1971 Berlin Jazztage. JASPER recalls that electronics made up eighty percent of ASSOCIATION C. and he soon joined the group of jazz musicians who were interested in the new sound possibilities created by the electronic instrumentarium. He did this in a group formed in 1973 by Philip Catherine and Charlie Mariano. The group’s name was PORK PIE, a reference to an old Lester Young song. The second album, TRANSISTORY was the result of this collaboration. It was dedicated to Peter Trunk, who died in a New York car accident in 1974. PORK PIE combined the technical-artistic virtuosity and rock’s dynamic extroversion to jazz in a very Trunk-like way. JASPER VAN’T HOF recorded THE SELFKICKER in 1976 after the dissolution PORK PIE. It was already an avowal to faith to fully developed melody, precisely conceived music, and it is still one JASPER’s favorite albums. This time also saw a lot of duo contacts between musicians such as Archie Shepp and Manfred Schoof. Zbigniew Sifert, Wolfgang Dauner. Toto Blanke. Stu Martin. Alphonse Mouzon. JASPER Van’t HOF also performed solo during those years. He was a keyboarder who “all the works” but often played alone at the concert grand. Surprisingly, and yet again, JASPER VAN’T HOF was voted Europe’s second-best synthesizer player by jazz magazine readers in 1978. This despite the fact that he had been playing piano, epiano, and organ until then – although he was often connected to different types of electrical effect devices. 1984 saw the creation of the Afro-European group PILI-PILI. Its debut album was a huge success, especially in the pop and dance scene. From the 160,000 copies of the first album, the legendary title track “Pili Pili”, a fifteen-minute long, was a hit, and it became a cult classic. VAN’T HOF was mainly active in Germany due to its proximity to the border or perhaps his marriage to a German girl of Hamelin. VAN’T HOF has been on 18 concert tours with PILI-PILI to date. The band performs in Germany between twenty and thirty times a calendar year. Angelique Kidjo was an international success in ethnopop singing and worked for JASPER VAN’T HOF for four years with PILI-PILI. They also recorded several CDs together. Marion Klein (Bielefeld), a member of the ethno band Dissidenten and Frank Itt, Hamburg’s bass player, and Eric Vloeimans, the trumpeter, are the members of PILI–PILI. VAN’T HOF’s longest-running project, the band celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2004. PORK PIE was revived in 1992 under the name OPERANOIA. It was relaunched with Charlie Mariano, Philip Catherine and Don Alias. JASPER VAN’THOF published nearly all of his seventy albums with German record labels. He was only recently honored in Holland with the BIRD AWARD, a prestigious tribute to his 50th birthday. VAN’T HOF played the organ at many well-known classical music festivals while recording two organ CDs in Italy two years back. Twenty-five years later, VAN’T HOF recorded his second solo piano CD in April 2003. It was recorded in November 2002 at Radio Bremen’s broadcasting hall. It is centered on the explicable, mathematical, and recurrent aspect music. This formula was inspired by Godel and Escher, who traced it back to their origins in mathematics and music. AXIOMA (JARO 4253-2) is the title of the CD. This album marks JARO’s 150th anniversary. from http://www.jaspervanthof.com

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