Following his father, who was a professional drummer, John Engels started to earn his money with playing drums in 1953. He played in the trio of Pia Beck and with the Surinamese saxophonist Kid Dynamite.  For 10 years Engels was the regular drummer of Cees Slinger’s group, Diamond Five. Engels was also a member of Boy Edgar’s big band and often played with Louis van Dijk and Jacques Schols for radio and television. These three Dutch top musicians also made records together.

John Engels, now 86, has played with countless American jazz greats, including Stan Getz, Ben Webster, Clifford Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Johnny Griffin, Phil Woods, Tommy Flanagan, Hank Jones, Sonny Stitt and Wynton Marsalis. He received a Bird Award at the North Sea Jazz Festival (1985), the Boy Edgar Prize (1989) and received six Edisons for his records.

Engels also made several records with American trumpeter and singer Chet Baker and toured Japan twice with Baker in the 1980s. Pianist Karel Boehlee, Vocalist/trumpeter Jan Wessels and bass player Ruud Ouwehand each have their own link with Chet Baker. In this top line-up, it all comes together on Sunday 5 September in the Clubzaal of the Royal Industrieele Groote Club. The John English Quartet will perform John’s favorite Chet Baker songs in a fenomenal ‘Tribute to Chet Baker’ concert.

Line up

  • John Engels
  • Drums
  • Karel Boehlee
  • Piano
  • Ruud Ouwehand
  • Double bass
  • Jan Wessels
  • Vocals & Trumpet

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© fotografie Jelmer de Haas