Schmitt Music presents a special series of concerts on Facebook Live
Bram Wijnands has made a name for himself as a jazz musician in Kansas City. He became interested in Stride piano, Boogie Woogie and Swing at a young age and is now a master of Stride piano and the stylings of Erroll Garner after studying in Amsterdam. After a performance at Carnegie Hall in New York in 1998, he received recognition as Kansas City’s Ambassador of Swing from then mayor Emanuel Cleaver, who also designated April 6 “Bram Wijnands Day.”
Listen to Bram performing Hallelujah written in 1927 by Vincent Youmans:
In 1991, Bram Wijnands came to Kansas City to perform at the ‘City Light Jazz Club’. He is a graduate from the Conservatory of Amsterdam. Born in Eindhoven, Holland, he became interested at an early age in Stride piano, Boogie Woogie and Swing. Bram became a master of Stride piano and the stylings of Erroll Garner while studying in Amsterdam.
Mr. Wijnands extensively studied the arranging styles of Swing music, particularly Kansas City Swing, and Boogie Woogie (Barrelhouse) piano. Former mayor Cleaver II proclaimed him Kansas City’s Ambassador of Swing after performing at Carnegie Hall in 1998, naming April 6 ‘Bram Wijnands Day’.
He taught for 15 years at UMKC’s Jazz Division alongside Bobby Watson which led to a collaboration at Jazz At Lincoln Center in 2005 where Mr. Wijnands performed his arrangements and compositions in the Kansas City Swing style.
Over the years he has performed with many different artists like Deborah Brown, Bobby Watson, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Bob Kindred, Dukes Boys, The U.S. Coast Guard Band, Slide Hampton, Richard Ross, Milt Trenier, The Scamps, David Grossman, many acclaimed European musicians and now also with his daughter Lucy, a great talent in her own right.
Concert tours have continuously included locations such as: The Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, Russia, Cyprus, Hungary, Romania and The United States where, in addition to performing, he is also more and more in demand for giving Masterclasses.
A big part of his life has been arranging which he does for different ensembles, for instance the EMMF orchestra conducted by Stephen Gunzenhauser, and for his own Swingtet. With that ensemble the forties come back to life.
Bram Wijnands is an Artist in Residence with the Endless Mountain Music Festival since 2013 after performing for the EMMF as a guest artist since 2009 and an award winning artist with the NEA. Learn more at bramwijnands.com.