THE RED BOOT QUARTET

The name The Red Boot Quartet refers to the first Red Light Jazz performance in 2015 of this now famous occasion formation in Café De Roode Laars on the Zeedijk. The undisputed leader of the quartet is the born Amsterdammer Ronald Jansen Heijtmajer (1947).

Ronald studied clarinet and saxophone at the Conservatory of Amsterdam in the seventies and released the Fingerbustin album for the VPRO / BASTA label. As a member of the Dutch Orchestra, Ronald can be heard on various CD’s that BASTA has released over the years. Ronald played at many festivals, including the North Sea Jazz Festival. Ronald continued to play after reaching his retirement age. He still likes performing, especially playing at the Red Light Jazz Festival in the heart of Amsterdam.

Besides Ronald, the one-armed trumpeter Menno Daams (1961) is a striking appearance in the jazz quartet. Like Ronald, Menno is also ‘Amsterdammer’ in heart and soul. Before he lost his right arm at the age of 12, Menno played guitar. While he was trained at a young age by Freddy Grin – at the time solo cornet of the Concertgebouw Orchestra – Menno started playing jazz with friends in the style of his great example Louis Armstrong. At 16 he could already arrange. In 1987 Menno was admitted to the Sweelinck Conservatory where he studied jazz trumpet under the direction of Charles Green. In 1988 Menno graduated cum laude from the University of Amsterdam as a historian specialized in Ancient History.

From 1992 to 2000, Menno was a trumpet player and arranger of The Beau Hunks, a jazz group that also gained fame outside the country’s borders. From 1996 to 2003 Menno played in The Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw for which he wrote arrangements. Menno also arranged for the Metropole Orkest and the Dutch Swing College Band. In recent years, Menno played with Jake Hanna, Scott Hamilton, Lee Konitz, Toots Thielemans, Monty Alexander and many others.

From 2008 to 2015, Menno was a lecturer at the Conservatory in Amsterdam and a guest lecturer at other conservatoires. Menno currently gives private lessons and is involved in the annual ‘Classic Jazz Workshop’ in Ascona Switzerland. In addition to performing with The Red Boot Quartet every now and then, Menno has his own jazz quartet: The Unaccounted Four.

The other two members of The Red Boot Quartet are guitarist Rolf Koppijn and bass player Rob Veenhuizen. Rolf learned to play guitar from his father who was part of the Quintet of the Dutch Jazzliga before the war. At Red Light Jazz, Rolf plays a very special National tenor guitar from 1931. And pay attention to Rob’s extra (fifth) string on his double bass so he can keep playing his swinging runs effortlessly to great heights.

Line Up

  • Ronald Jansen Heijtmajer
  • Sax
  • Menno Daams
  • Trumpet
  • Rolf Koppijn
  • Guitar
  • Rob Veenhuizen
  • Double bass

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Red Light Jazz 2018 - The Red Boot Quartet