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Peter Beets Trio for Standard Bank Joy of Jazz

Peter Feldman
09/13/2017 15:18:25

Peter Feldman: Brotherly rivalry is always a good thing in music and this aspect is what helps drive Dutch jazz superstars, the Peter Beets Trio.

The brothers, Alexander, Marius and Peter (with friend Gijs Dijkhuizen) are one of the big attractions at this year's Standard Bank Joy of Jazz event at the Sandton Convention Centre from 28 to 30 September.

Alexander, the eldest of the three siblings, revealed in an interview that fierce competition on stage between him, Marius and Peter kept the energy levels high and allowed for great audience rapport.

The renowned trio, who are in the forefront of jazz music in Holland, will be paying a return visit to Johannesburg for the 20th anniversary of the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz. Laughing about the rivalry factor, Alexander said: "We try to 'kill' each other on stage to gain the centre spot while performing our kung-fu, hard-ball type of music."

He explained that since an early age there had been a healthy rivalry - ever since their father, a keen jazz enthusiast with a passion for Oscar Peterson and Art Blakey, first introduced them to their instruments.

The Beets brothers were born to play music. Alexander recalls their formative years when their father, a gynaecologist, instructed the brothers to choose two musical instruments which they would then master by practising for six days a week. Alexander chose, the clarinet and piano, Peter chose, the guitar and piano, and Marius selected the bass and piano. Alexander later changed to tenor sax, an instrument with which he fell in love and would not change for the world.

While Peter, the youngest, spends most of his time touring with his own musicians, Alexander concentrates on his main job as a busy festival director co-ordinating various cultural events. "I still get to tour with my brothers, but I can only do four international tours a year. I do one theatre show and then do between 70 and 80 concerts in the Netherlands during the year."

Peter, who is a highly acclaimed musician with an international reputation, undertook no fewer than 26 international tours in 2016 and there are no signs of him slowing down this year either. He has toured Europe extensively, as well as the US and Japan. He played at the famed Birdland Club in New York as a "special guest" for one week. Peter received his first piano lessons at the age of six. After college, he studied from 1989 at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. He combined his music studies with law school, but decided to concentrate exclusively on music. From 1985 the brothers performed together as The Beets Brothers with their debut album being released in 1990. Two more followed and over the years they have built up an enormous body of work, many in collaboration with other artists.

It's not surprising then that the Beets took so easily to this art form, judging by their family pedigree. Their mother was a music teacher who instilled a love for this form of creativity early on and they thrived on the sounds that reverberated through their household. Many of the artists were famous American jazz icons and they grew up being inspired by them.

Alexander, who considers his work a form of holiday, promises his Johannesburg audiences a "spectacular vibe" and a "fun evening of music."

The Standard Bank Joy of Jazz holds workshops for local musicians every year with some of the visiting international artists. Peter is scheduled to conduct a three-hour musicians workshop at the Vusi Mahlasela Foundation, cnr Sisulu and Pretorius Street, Pretoria on September 28 at 10:00.

Twitter: @petersdfeldman_
Facebook: Peter Selwyn David Feldman

Peter Feldman has been a journalist and arts critic for more than 50 years and served on The Star in various capacities for 35 years, ending up as a specialist writer on films, music and theatre. During that time, he travelled extensively on assignments and interviewed many international film and pop stars, both in South Africa and overseas. He also covered some of South Africa's biggest film and musical events. He is active in the freelance field and his work has appeared in a variety of South African newspapers and magazines. He writes regularly for, The Citizen, Saturday Star, The Next 48 Hours and The Sunday Independent. He has also worked on TV in his specialist capacity. Over the years Feldman has been the recipient of several awards for his contribution to music journalism and the SA record industry. He wrote lyrics for some top artists, including Sipho Mabuse, and had a hit disco single, "Video Games," which was released in 1988. He is credited with inventing the slogan "Local is Lekker" which he used on David Gresham's "4:30 Special" on Springbok Radio in the '70's and in his many columns.
Related Event:
Standard Bank Joy of Jazz
Dates: Thursday, 28th September 2017 - Saturday, 30th September 2017

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