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Biography Kurt van Herck (1965-B)


Because she detects, in the youngest of her three sons, an undeniable musical talent and fascination for the saxophone, Kurt's mother sends him to the local music school and brass band. Kurt is an enthusiastic pupil and he soon understands, bright as he is, that music is an open door to the world: aged sixteen he moves to Antwerp to study at the High School of the Arts. Today, too, the mellow metropolis is his base of operations.

After the High School of the Arts, he proceeds to attend the Jazz Studio with teachers like Dennis Luxion.
But has to be, happens. Kurt nestles himself under the wings of his mentor John Ruocco, the driving force and teacher of an entire generation of Belgian saxophonists: Ben Sluijs, Frank Vaganée, Jeroen Van Herzeele, Erwin Vann, Bart Defoort.

Under John Ruocco' s guidance Kurt finds his own breath; his own musical path. Ruocco' s no-nonsense aproach suits Kurt fine. If you want a lesson, you call and make an appointment. But if it turns out that you haven' t studied hard enough, you get kicked out indefinitely, even before you got yourself in in the first place.

A bit later Kurt comes into contact with Jacques Pelzer who in turn becomes an important and inexhaustable source of inspiration.

But life apparently has many other facets than saxophone playing alone and the rent needs paying. Surrounded by talented musical brothers in arms, Kurt performs in a number of projects both in Belgium and abroad. A sampling of the colleagues with whom Kurt has already harmonized spiritedly: Dré Pallemaerts, Bert Joris, Diederik Wissels, Erwin Vann, Frank Vaganée, Philippe Aerts, Michel Herr, Daniel Romeo, Eric Legnini, Michel Hatzigorgiou, Riccardo Del Fra, Serge Lazarevitch, Nathalie Loriers, Kries Goessens,...

Beside his work in smaller formations Kurt also remains a much sought after big band player: the BRT-orchestra (unfortunately no more in existence), Act Big Band, Dizzie Gillespie Big Band, European Broadcast Union and the Brussels Jazz Orchestra, his musical homebase.

In 1997 he was awarded the Django d' Or and in 1999 he was the "first choice" of listeners of the VRT (Flemish Radio and Televison).

Kurt has been associated with the Royal Flemish Conservatory since 1995 where he teaches, among others, saxophone, ensemble, and big band.