Hein van de Geyn

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Hein Van de Geyn
Hein van de Geyn.jpg
Background information
Born (1956-07-18) 18 July 1956 (age 62)
Schijndel, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands
Years active1970s–present

Hein Van de Geyn (born 18 July 1956, Schijndel) is a jazz bassist, composer and band leader from the Netherlands. Van de Geyn is also an active teacher of bass and music in general.


Hein van de Geyn has played jazz ever since he finished his studies at the Brabant Conservatory in Tilburg and the conservatory of Rotterdam at the end of the 70s. He lived in the US (Seattle and San Francisco) for several years, working with John Abercrombie, Larry Schneider, Tony Bennett, Larry Vuckovich and many others.

After his return to Europe he has been establishing himself as one of the most sought after bass players on the continent. Hein's playing can be heard on some 100 recordings. He has been the bass player with Philip Catherine since 1985 and recorded 9 CD's with him. In 1987 he toured and recorded in Japan with Chet Baker. Hein was also the bassist on the last concert of Chet in Rotterdam in 1988. This was also the year Hein started to play with, and arrange for Dee Dee Bridgewater, with whom he has been performing at most of the important festivals and stages in Europe (Montreux, Antibes, Vienne, Berlin, Northsea, London ....) as well as in the U.S. (Carnegie Hall, Village Vanguard, Montreal, Newport Festival...) and Japan (Keystone Corner, Blue Note). After four albums and numerous tours and performances Hein and Dee Dee's paths separated in 1996 since Hein wanted to pursue his own career as a leader and producer.

In July 1990 Hein made the first album under his own name, a duo with Lee Konitz. Several tours followed. In 1994 he created his group Baseline with John Abercrombie and Joe LaBarbera. This group recorded several albums and toured all over Europe.

1994 was also the year in which Hein co-founded the jazz label Challenge Records, for which he produced a number of successful recordings. Four of them received an Edison for best Jazz recording of the year.

In 1996 Hein became the head of the bass section in the Jazz department of the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. In this year he also was awarded the prestigious Prins Bernhard Foundation Music Prize. He received this prize for his importance in the development of European Jazz as well as for his stimulating role as mentor and producer of many young musicians in Holland.

In 1998 Hein received the Bird Award of the North Sea Jazz Festival. In this year he was also elected as "Best European Acoustic Bass Player" by a referendum of the Belgian radios RTBF and VRT.

During a sabbatical period spent in South Africa in 2001/2002 Hein started writing his "Comprehensive Bass Method". This extensive method on bass playing (950 pages) became available in 2007 and is rapidly becoming the standard work for the double bass worldwide.

From 2008 to 2010 Hein was the artistic manager of the Rotterdam Jazz Academy at Codarts and was leading this internationally orientated school with great flair and enthusiasm.

In 2010 Hein decided to basically stop his career as a performing bassist and he moved with his family to South Africa to run a guest house and an artisanal bakery, and dedicate his life to writing and education. He is teaching at the University of Cape Town.


As leader[edit]

  • 1990: Meets (with Lee Konitz)
  • 1994: Why Really (with Baseline)
  • 1995: Standards (with Baseline)
  • 1996: Returns (with Baseline)
  • 1999: Woodwind Works (with I Soloist del Vento)
  • 2000: Deja Vu (with Baseline)
  • 2001: The Long Journey (with Jean-Michel Pilc)
  • 2006: Meeting Again (with Lee Konitz)
  • 2006: The Guitar Album (with Baseline)

As sideman[edit]

With Philip Catherine

  • Transparence (Inakustic, 1986)
  • Oscar (Igloo, 1988)
  • September Sky (September, 1988)
  • I Remember You (Criss Cross, 1990) with Tom Harrell
  • Moods I (Criss Cross, 1992) with Tom Harrell
  • Moods II (Criss Cross, 1992) with Tom Harrell
  • Live (Dreyfus, 1996)
  • Blue Prince (Dreyfus, 2000)
  • Concert in Cap Breton (Dreyfus, 2007)

With Dee Dee Bridgewater

With Enrico Pieranunzi

  • Seaward (Soul Note, 1995)
  • Don't Forget the Poet (Challenge Jazz, 1999)
  • Music of Wayne Shorter (Challenge Jazz, 2000)
  • Improvised Forms (Challenge Jazz, 2000)
  • Alone Together (Challenge Jazz, 2000) with Philip Catherine
  • Live in Paris (Challenge Jazz, 2001)

With Chet Baker

  • Hazy Hugs (Challenge Jazz, 1985) with Amstel Octet
  • Chet's Choice (Criss Cross, 1985) with Philip Catherine
  • Memories (King, 1987)
  • Four (King, 1987)
  • Almost Blue (Chet Baker in Tokyo, 1987)

With Toots Thielemans

  • Chez Toots (Private Music, 1996)
  • Live (Challenge Jazz, 2007)
  • Live at the Chapiteau DVD (Challenge Jazz, 2012)

With Tete Montoliu

  • Catalonian Rhapsody (Alfa Jazz, 1992)
  • Music For Ana (Mas, 1992)

With Deborah Brown

With Joe Lovano

With Larry Schneider

With Kenny Wheeler

With Tommy Flanagan and Hank Jones

  • Live in Marciac (TCB, 1993)

With Lee Konitz

  • Dialogues (Challenge Jazz, 1997)

With Bert van den Brink

With Johnny Griffin

  • Live at the Bim House (Challenge Jazz, 1999) with Von Freeman

With Bobby Watson

  • In the Groove (Challenge Jazz, 1999)

With Toon Roos

With Kenny Werner

  • Collaboration (Challenge Jazz, 2012)

As producer[edit]

With Eric Vloeimans

  • First Floor (Challenge Jazz, 1994)
  • Bestarium (Challenge Jazz, 1996)
  • Bitches and Fairy Tales (Challenge Jazz, 1998)
  • Umai (Challenge Jazz, 2000)
  • Hidden History (Challenge Jazz, 2002)
  • Fujimundi (Challenge Jazz, 2003)
  • Summersault (Challenge Jazz, 2005)
  • Gatecrashin' (Challenge Jazz, 2006)
  • Hyper (Challenge Jazz, 2006)
  • Heavens Above! (Challenge Jazz, 2008)
  • Live at Yoshi’s (Challenge Jazz, 2008)

With Philip Catherine

  • Live (Dreyfus, 1996)
  • Cole Porter Songbook (Challenge Jazz, 2010)
  • Guitars Two (Dreyfus, 2007)
  • Cote Jardin (Dreyfus, 2012)

With John Abercrombie

With Jasper van ’t Hof

  • Tomorrowland (Challenge Jazz, 1996)
  • Un Mondo Illusorio (Challenge Jazz, 1998)
  • Un Incontro Illusorio (Challenge Jazz, 2000)

With Bert van den Brink

  • Between Us (Challenge Jazz, 2002)
  • Friendship Live (Challenge Jazz, 2007)

With Harmen Fraanje

  • Sonatala (Challenge Jazz, 2003)
  • Ronja (Challenge Jazz, 2006)

With Bob Brookmeyer

  • Walzing With Zoe (Challenge Jazz, 2001)
  • Get Well Soon (Challenge Jazz, 2003)

With Rick Margitza

  • Hands Of Time (Challenge Jazz, 1994)
  • Game Of Chance (Challenge Jazz, 1996)

With Enrico Pieranunzi

  • Daedalus' Wings (Challenge Jazz, 1999)

With Dee Daniels

  • Live at Biblo DVD (Challenge Jazz, 2004)

With Nat Adderley

  • Good Company (Challenge Jazz, 1994)

With Clark Terry

  • Shades Of Blue (Challenge Jazz, 1994)

With Denise Jannah

  • A Heart Full Of Music (Timeless, 1993)


Hein van de Geyn has written a 950-page double bass method "Comprehensive Bass Method" (in 2 volumes) that covers a wide range of the physical challenges one encounters in playing the double bass, and speaks about many aspects of the life of a performing bassist within the Jazz idiom. This method is becoming the ultimate reference in many schools and universities. He has also written an etude book: "12 Jazz Etudes"; 12 solos over standard tunes, covering a specific improvisational aspect. He is now finishing a DVD-method book covering the insights of being a bassist-accompanist in a Jazz setting - based on a live concert with the legendary Toots Thielemans.

Personal life[edit]

After many years of being on the road, Hein now settled in South Africa, in the village of Scarborough, the most South-Western hamlet on the African coast with his wife Cyrille Carreon and daughter Lulu. Hein has a son from a previous marriage Ben van de Geyn, an excellent jazz guitarist in his own right. He is now running one of Cape Town's favourite bakeries: Cape Point Bakery.


  • 1978 Best Soloist, Laren Jazz Competition
  • 1996 Prins Bernhard Music Award
  • 1998 Bird Award, North Sea Jazz Festival
  • 1998 Best European Bass Player (RTBF/VRT)


External links[edit]