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(Photo: Patricia Steur)
October 15, 1966 |
Ilse Huizinga was born in Beverwijk, Netherlands in October 1966. Music did not feature heavily on her career ladder until she spent a year in Australia and finished a degree in Public Administration at the University of Amsterdam. Huizinga subsequently studied at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam with Sylvi Lane, including master classes by Dianne Reeves and Margriet Eshuis. She has toured in Spain, Turkey, Switzerland and France, and regularly performs in the United Kingdom. A winner of the Schiedam Jazz Award, she has represented the Netherlands at the international jazz festival in Vienne, France.
KLM selected Huizinga's debut album Out Of A Dream for its in-flight entertainment programme. On Voices Within she recorded her own voice five times, resulting according to critics "some of the best close harmony for decades". Her third album The Sweetest Sounds was voted Album of the Week on Dutch radio and is played on specialist jazz radio stations across Europe. Her informal debut was at Ronnie Scott's, and she has also performed at Concertgebouw and Amsterdam's Bijlmerbajes prison.
In 2001 Ilse Huizinga recorded an album exclusively devoted to the songs of Richard Rodgers, entitled The Sweetest Sounds. It was met with instant acclaim by the critics and nominated for Holland's oldest and most prestigious music award, The Edison Award.
There are several albums featuring selections of jazz standards on Daybreak Records that are highly regarded by critics, Voices Within, shows a multi-vocal side to Huizinga's talent, The Sweetest Sounds is an acclaimed 2001 highlight, whilst The Intimate Sessions - Volume 1 was recorded in 2006 specifically to meet demand in the Japanese market. Easy to Idolize (2003) and Beyond Broadway (2005) find Huizinga on form in selections of the Great American Songbook, accompanied by a stellar lineup of European jazz musicians.
In 2011 Ilse Huizinga launched Vocal Jazz Trip, a specialist tour operator based in Amsterdam that hosts vocal jazz master classes and jazz themed citybreaks in Paris, Berlin, Rome, New York City, Prague, London and other major cities.
Her voice is described as "warm and sexy", ""clear and pitch-perfect"", "a voice of which other singers only dream; full, clear and sensitive." (Nouveau). Her classical training shines through in genuine coloratura, whereby "she manages to fit entire octaves into a single syllable - great that the poignant lyrics meanwhile never suffer." (De Volkskrant) In interviews, Huizinga has said that the death of her father and her traumatic pregnancy have deeply affected her singing. "I used to be totally focused on technique. Now I'm no longer such a perfectionist, no longer focused on pretty singing. Emotions and the deeper meaning behind the lyrics have become much more important to me."
Collaborations with other jazz artists
Other notable collaborations include double bass player Sven Schuster, percussionist Frits Landesbergen and double bass player Ruud Jacobs, who is said to have been coaxed out of retirement for Huizinga's 1999 album Voices Within. It was Jacobs who suggested dubbing Huizinga's voice five times to create a close harmony sound on this album.
- 1997 - Out Of A Dream (Own production)
- 1999 - Voices Within (Own production)
- 1999 - Erik van der Luijt - En Blanc Et Noir 2 (Challenge / Daybreak)
- 2001 - The Sweetest Sounds - Ilse Huizinga Sings the Music of Richard Rodgers (Challenge / Daybreak)
- 2003 - Easy to Idolize (Challenge / Daybreak)
- 2005 - Beyond Broadway (Maxanter Records)
- 2006 - The Intimate Sessions - Volume 1 (Own production)
- Download sample You Stepped Out Of A Dream (Herbert Brown/Kahn), from the 1997 album Out Of A Dream
- Almost Like Being In Love (Lerner/Loewe), from the 1999 album Voices Within
- Download sample of the 2005 album "Beyond Broadway"