On Sunday 24 March 2019, the sextet We Are 6 have won the Erasmus Jazz Prijs 2019. The award for Best Jazz Band of Codarts Rotterdam comes with a cheque for €2,500 from main sponsor Nedspice.
The jury of professionals (Joost Patočka, Friederike Darius and Frank van Berkel) praised We Are 6 for the high level of their compositional skills – ‘every song told a little story’ – and called their playing ‘contemporary jazz in the widest sense of the word’.
Daniel Denis, guitar player with the Amaguk Trio, won the award for best soloist. Of him the professional jury said: ‘The best soloist of today is a dedicated and inspiring musician with a unique feeling for energy and an amazing stage performance.’
The audience could vote as well, via an app.
The Erasmus Jazz Prijs started 24 years ago as an initiative of Codarts Rotterdam 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 the finals of the Erasmus Jazz Prijs, in a packed Jurriaanse Zaal at the Doelen, We Are 6 competed against Amaguk, Eargonauts, and the Max Ravanello Group. All the bands had been selected by a jury of professionals during preliminary rounds at BIRD and LantarenVenster.
The We Are 6 line-up is: Loek van den Berg (alt sax), Andrea Leone (tenor sax), Adrian Bifano (guitar), Philipp Frenzel (piano), Jonathan Ho (double bass) and Rodrigo Ballesteros (drums). In a style that is based on the traditional jazz sound and weird rhythmic structures all of the soloists are given lots of space. These are six young talents come from all over the world and they all have something unique to add from their personal background and approach.
The by now prestigious Erasmus Jazz Prijs has proven to be a wonderful boost for a number of successful young jazz musicians and bands in the past, including Jan van Duikeren, Bart Wirtz, Louk Boudesteijn, Dimitar Bodurov, Jasper van Hulten, Jasper van Damme, Mark Schilders, Stephanie Francke, Niek de Bruijn, Jimmi Hueting, Liberati Quartet, and MILD.
The Erasmus Jazz Prijs is an initiative of the Friends of Codarts foundation and is supported by Jazz International Rotterdam, Nedspice, BIRD, LantarenVenster, de Doelen and Stichting Bevordering van Volkskracht.
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Photos: © Marcel van Oostrom – Codarts Rotterdam