Jan Akkerman - A Biography (continued)
The year 2005 started in a very positive way for Jan, he received a Golden Harp award from Conamus (a foundation that supports Dutch music) for his complete oeuvre.
Besides his Dutch gigs and the annual UK Tour, there were gigs abroad that brought him to countries like Belgium, Germany, Spain, Austria, again UK and Russia.
In July he played with his band at the 30th edition of the North Sea Jazz Festival. Later that year he played with i.a. Tony Spinner, Johnny Dickinson and the World of strings. He also appeared at the memorial concert of Dutch singer André Hazes, one year after his death. In October his new theatre tour 'Fromage à trois' started, a tribute to Django Reinhardt and his 'Hot Club de France'.
From January 2006 Akkerman appeared as a guest in the theatre tour 'Queen In Concert' of the Orchestra of the Dutch Royal Airforce with i.a. singer Bert Heerink. Besides the annual UK Tour Jan also appeared on foreign stages in Russia, Germany, Japan and India. In december his Dutch theatre tour 'Live in concert' started with some musical reflections on his musical oeuvre so far. In April 2007 the film 'Portrait with guitar' was broadcasted on Dutch tv. This film is about Jan's life and is made by Hans Hylkema. After the annual UK Tour Jan and his band were i.e. at The Hague Jazz, at this gig there were video-recordings made that were to be released on DVD at a later stadium. Between performances at several festivals there was a short UK solo tour, with the young, talented guitarist Gareth Pearson as the supporting act. In September Jan and his bandmembers did a short Japanese tour, at the beginning of November followed by a tour of a week in Syria. During the rest of that month Jan toured South-America together with Dutch pianist Mike del Ferro, they played at venues in i.e. Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil.
In 2008 Jan and his band performed at completely sold out venues with their Dutch Theatre Tour 'Live in concert' . After the annual UK Tour there are gigs at several festivals. In June the DVD/cd/lp 'lIve in concert - The Hague 2007' is released. At the end of July/beginning of August Jan did a short Croatian tour with guitarist Vlatko Stefanovski. This is followed by several gigs i.e. in Scotland, Syria, Jordan, Serbia and Slovenia. On October 3 Jan and his band werre at the HMH in Amsterdam during the celebration of '50 Jaar Nederpop'. They played songs of The Hunters (Russian spy and I), Brainbox (with Kaz Lux as a special guest: Down man and Dark Rose) and Focus (Hocus Pocus and Sylvia). At the bginning of November there was a short acoustic solo UK Tour, again with Gareth Pearson as the supoorting act, and Jan finished that month with another short Croatian tour with Vlatko Stefanovski.
From January to mid March 2009 there was another edition of the project 'Five Great Guitars' with Jan as a special guest. He shared the stage with guitarists Jan Kuiper (also initiator of the project), Digmon Roovers, Erwin Java, Zoumana "Would Diarra from Mali and Muriel Anderson from Illinois. On April 11 Jan received at the Arsenal Theatre in Flushing the Eddy Christiani Award from the Old Maestro himself. The Award is an initiative of Poppuntzeeland. Akkerman receives the prize for his virtuosity, versatility and the desire to constantly renew his way of playing. Afterwards, there are the annual UK tour and appearances at festivals at home and abroad. On August 29, the Jan Akkerman Band opened for Gary Moore at the HMH in Amsterdam. In late September, Jan's new solo tour 'Alone Together' was launched in which Jan both plays the acoustic guitar and the lute. On October 25 Jan played at the charity concert "Helping the Heart of Music" at the Royal Albert Hall in London, where the performing artists were accompanied by Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings. After this the last part of the very successful theare tourr 'Live in concert' starts. Early November, there were two performances in Jakarta, Indonesia with the band and Jan Akkerman 3 was released on cd.
In 2011 Jan released his most recent studio outing ‘Minor Details’ (2011), on which he explores and combines elements of rock, jazz, blues, classical or modern dance music and gives those his own signature. In addition, the ‘North Sea Jazz Legendary Concerts’ dvd/cd set (2012) shows the many sides and different stages of the guitarist with his band during various performances of the famous North Sea Jazz Festival between 1993 and 2011. Since early 2012, Jan lets old Brainbox times revive with the My Brainbox project, featuring ex-Vandenberg singer Bert Heerink. This project started as a celebration of his 50-year-activity on worldwide stages. At the end of that year, Jan was knighted in the Order of Oranje Nassau as a recognition of his contribution and influence to Dutch music.
Besides My Brainbox and his solo/band gigs throughout international clubs and theatres, Jan teamed up with his guitar colleague Eelco Gelling in March 2013 during the ‘Gitaarjongens’ project in the Carré Theatre in Amsterdam. That collaboration was extended by the end of the year with two special gigs, which also featured for the first time Jan’s youngest daughter Laurie on stage with her proud father.
Seeing Jan Akkerman live in concert is always a refreshing and fascinating never-to-be-repeated experience. Being an authentic improvisator he shows his maximal capability and, during band gigs, shares his affection on guitar with band members Coen Molenaar (keyboards), David de Marez Oyens (bass) and Marijn van den Berg (drums).
What will be his next challenge?
Biography by Wouter Bessels