ABOUT

BART BRANDJES - A VOCAL GENIUS

Bart Brandjes is an exceptionally gifted singer. His sultry voice and huge range remind us of vocal greats like Stevie Wonder and Donnie Hathaway.

BIOGRAPHY

Bart Brandjes, the youngest from a family of 11 siblings, was born on July 26th in Uitgeest, the Netherlands, a small picturesque village in the province of North Holland. Music and fine arts occupy the center stage within the Brandjes household. Bart’s father, who recently passed away, was an interior architect and painter. Bart’s brother Michel is a renowned piano tuner, servicing leading classical pianists such as Maria Joąo Pires, Alfred Brendel and many more, where brother Kees followed into his father’s architectural footsteps. Several of Bart’s sisters paint and sculpture. Entrepreneurial blood also runs abundantly in Bart’s family.

Already at a young age, Bart is fascinated by music, especially drums. Art Blakey is his hero and role model. He decides he wants to do the same. This dream approaches reality when the Dutch Swing College Band performs in his hometown and Bart purchases his first drum kit from their drummer, percussion virtuoso Huub Janssen.

From that moment on, Bart’s first groups have become a fact. He starts practicing extensively and soon performs on stage. A distinctive feature of Bart’s character is his wide repertoire interest, with a variety of styles that inspire him musically. Not only jazz, his main love, but also soul, (hard) rock and even sentimental songs are featured on his repertoire. Besides quickly establishing himself as an excellent and versatile drummer, Bart’s exceptional vocal talents also attract attention. Bart's wide range, flexible vocal cords and significant improvisational skills mesmerize audiences worldwide, providing them a unique and unforgettable experience.

Before becoming a professional musician in the early nineties, Bart was active as a ship’s carpenter with shipbuilder De Vries in Aalsmeer, the Netherlands, where he worked on the famous Feadships (globally considered the Rolls Royce among yachts) of celebrities like Donald Trump and others. Bart’s passion for the art of carpentry and ships has remained until today. He owns his own carpentry company and proudly captains the Curacao, a gorgeous jolly he restored in its original state, through the scenic canals of Amsterdam.

In 2011, Bart is one of the contestants in The Voice of Holland, where he reaches the quarterfinals. His participation leads to an encounter with top-notch US producer / guitarist Paul Brown, by intercession of DJ The Fonz. In the US, Bart records “I Get A Feeling”, his first single, followed by “Real Life”, his debut album, in 2012. "Real Life" was recorded in Los Angeles and features musical legends like drummer Ricky Lawson (Whitney Houston, the Yellowjackets) and percussion “professor” Lenny Castro, whose résumé is too long to list here, as well as several others of LA’s finest studio musicians. “Real Life” was released on the prestigious Woodward Avenue Records label, known for its acclaimed smooth jazz productions, and is available through iTunes and Amazon.

Is it jazz? What is jazz and for that matter who is Bart Brandjes? O.K. then, i.m.h.o. Bart Brandjes is The Voice of Holland! Need something more? Take the blue-eyed soul styling of Darryl Hall and add just a splash of Al Jarreau and you are getting close to what may be the new voice for contemporary jazz here in the United States. Bart Brandjes masterfully manipulates jazz phrasing within his incredibly unique and gifted lyrical flow. I now understand what a "good hang" and "chill" are all about.

MARK NORDMAN - CEO WOODWARD AVENUE RECORDS