Last Sunday, 18 March, MILD was the winner of the Erasmus Jazz Prijs 2018. The prize for best jazz ensemble of Codarts Rotterdam comes with a cheque for €2,500 from main sponsor Nedspice.
The jury, consisting of Joost Patocka (chairman), Sophie Blussé, and Felix Schlarman, announced the winning ensemble late in the afternoon. “MILD plays energetically and extremely dynamic and has a very persuasive narrative. Idiosyncratic music that really hits home. Strong instrumentalists who are ready to conquer international stages.
Humberto Rios (the pianist in the DHD Trio) received the prize for best soloist.
The Erasmus Jazz Prijs was introduced 23 years ago by Codarts and the Friends of Codarts Foundation to stimulate young jazz talents in finding their way to the professional circuit of the international jazz scene.
In a packed Eduard Flipse Hall at De Doelen, MILD competed in the finals against Neon and the Deons (Dillon Baiocchi, Adam Taylor, Johannes Fend and Richie Struck) and DHD Trio (Humberto Rios, Daan Arets and Damien Rousos).
The members of MILD are Donatas Bielunskis (double bass), Jorrit Westerhof (guitar) and Denis Baeten (drums). MILD – an acronym of: ‘Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreaming’ – are an experimental, free, stylish jazz ensemble exploring the various elements of jazz to arrive at a unique sound.
The by now prestigious Erasmus Jazz Prijs has proven to be a great boost for a number of successful young jazz musicians, including Jan van Duikeren, Bart Wirtz, Louk Boudesteijn, Dimitar Bodurov, Jasper van Hulten, Jasper van Damme, Mark Schilders, Stephanie Francke, Niek de Bruijn, and Jimmi Hueting. Eduardo Liberati, who won the award in 2017, called it ‘a musical stamp of approval that will be opening doors to us in the years to come’.