..but whats left at the end and what counts and really matters is family, health, friends and music - probably in that order. I think I can say I am a very busy man, working my butt of as a freelancer with my agency for live music on the one side and still trying - on the other side to play and write jazz (and other) music and perform it with the best possible settings and musicians. I always tend to have musicians in the band where I felt that they play at least one league above myself. This was a wise decision which helped me to learn and to get to the point where I am now.
It is very important for me to have a musical connection with my fellow musicians - feeling a bond and the vibe on and off stage. Some kick your ass, some are quiet and gentle, some are rough and some are a mess ;-), but they are there when you need 'em.
I have and had the great opportunity to travel and perform in whole Europe and parts of the US and Canada and Africa. Among others Ack van Rooyen, Keith Copeland, Ingrid Jensen, Ian Mc Dougal, Lalo Schifrin, A. Nussbaum, Slide Hampton a.m.m.
And I learned from the masters, Mike Brecker, Hadley Caleyman, Kenny Wheeler, Kenny Werner, Ray Drummond, Yellowjackets, Jimi Halperin, Barry Harris, just to name a few. Most importantly my mentor John Ruocco an unbelievable voice in Jazz surely not enough heard; he taught me almost everything in Jazz and on Sax, to find the 1, 2, 3, and 4. Hard enough ;-) and chromaticism, Polychords and learning tunes. Adam Nussbaum and Barry Harris. Adam really kicked my butt regularly for several years - and he will again - next time we go together on the road. Barry about loving music and Jazz and his great concepts and Bird.
Another important person, friend and musician is Jasper van't Hof, who invited me to play in his Band Pili Pili. Jasper, what an energy and great human being! I love you.
There was also Hugh Fraser inviting me to Canada for 4 years in the late 1990ies to play in his band.
Then there is Keith Copeland, we played until he passed away, Ingrid Jensen who taught me to play Duo on the front.
Allen Blairman a very quiet voice, but listen when he goes behind the drums! He taught me to play my own rhythm and to believe. Rocky Knauer told me everything about Chet Baker. Ack van Rooyen was teaching me to throw a musical curved ball. Frank Vaganee and Chris Fagan, they taught me the basics as did Jarmo Hoogendijk, Erik Ineke, Michiel van Dijk and Leo van Oostrom (Nederlands Saxofoonkwartet and Metropol Orchestra Amsterdam) Arnie Chekovsky, Mike Herriott, the (Rob) Mc Connel's family and many many more who where with me on the road.
Lately, with kids, money-struggle and all problems around I channeled everything down to some amazingly beautiful musicians I work with. Gene Jackson, Adam Nussbaum, Jay Anderson (jiihaa), Jeanfrançois Prins ( my musical twin brother and amazing guitar player), Bruno Castellucci, who encourages me not to give up. He is so funny and worked with all the great cats from Chaka Khan to Benny Bailey. And also some german based musicians who became my musical friends since I moved to Germany in1999. Christian Eckert, Martin Lejeune, Thomas Siffling, Ulf Kleiner, Jürgen Wuchner, Uli Partheil, Janusz Stefanski (who sadly passed away).
Sorry whoever I missed now! The page would be way too long...
Besides this I won some prices and made it to some finals myself and got some scholarships. E.G. Scholarship Berkeley College, Scholarship Banff Centre for the Arts, Preisträger hessischer Jazz-Förderpreis, Finalist Jazz a Vienne and more..
I was teaching 2009/10 at the conservatory Mainz and was happy to be guest professor at the Musikhochschule Franz List in Weimar 2010. I only teach privately right now, very selectively ;-).