BIOGRAPHY

Pianist/composer Jef Neve (1977) has become a prominent figure in his homeland Belgium and his reputation is rapidly spreading to the rest of the world. He studied at the Lemmensinstituut in Leuven and graduated in 2000 as Master of Music in Jazz and classical piano, both with great distinction. In 2001 he specialized in Chamber Music and was rewarded the diploma 'cum laude'. He followed master classes with Brad Mehldau, Martial Solal, Lew Tabackin, Billy Hart, Bill Carothers, Kenny Werner, Bruce Barth and others.

CAREER:

  • From 2008, Jef Neve's career brought him onto the international stage. With the 'Jef Neve Trio', he has traveled on successful tours, from Denmark to Australia, from Canada to Japan.

  • Collaboration with singer-songwriter Gabriel Rios and Kobe Proesmans resulted in a series of beautiful performances during 2008, which ended with a sold-out concert in the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels. Rios invited Jef Neve to collaborate again on the music for his album «The Dangerous Return » which was released end 2010.

  • In 2009 he toured Flanders with his first piano concerto, accompanied b the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Michel Tabachnik.

  • The duo album with vibraphone player Pascal Schumacher’s « Face to Face » was released January 2010 on Enja records, followed by a ‘Rising Star’ tour through a dozen European classical venues. Jef Neve also worked with Pascal Schumacher for his quartet albums.

  • Still in 2010, he created the album “For all we know” with the American singer Jose James, and the Impulse label was resurrected especially for this album. This album took them to just about every jazz festival in the world, from Japan, Canada and America to all of Europe.

  • Jef Neve was asked by the Belgian National Radiostation VRT-Klara to create a weekly jazz broadcast. Between January 2008 and August 2010, the program “Neve” was recorded and broadcasted live on Friday nights.

  • In 2011 Jef Neve wrote the music for the story: ‘The Piano’. Seppe Gebruers give the performance, together with 2 puppeteers and 50 rod puppets;

  • In February 2012 Neve wrote the music for a theater: ‘the Tour of the elephant’, from Stefan Perseval, with actors Sien Eggers and Marc van Eeghem.

  • In 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018, Jef Neve is the curator of a music festival, named Neve-Festival (after himself) at ‘de Warande’ in Turnhout, where he was free to put a full weekend program together.

  • In 2012 Jef Neve toured Flanders with his second piano concerto, accompanied by the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Dirk Brosse.

  • During the first edition of the Leuven Jazz festival (2014), Jef scored a big hit curating an evening with an occasional combo with Richard Galliano and Dré Pallemaerts. He also performed (solo) at the 2015 edition.

  • Jamie Cullum, Britain’s most popular jazz artist, invited Jef to play together at his concert at the North Sea Jazz Club in Amsterdam, November 2014. Meanwhile they took the time to interview each other, Jamie for his BBC radio show, Jef interviewed Jamie while he was the musical host during the 2014-2015 season of Café Corsari.

  • Piano meets hip-hop: In 2016, 2017 and 2018 Jef played several concerts with the Dutch hip hop phenomenon Typhoon. The tour with Typhoon and ‘Amsterdam Sinfonietta in January 2018 was a big success in 10 sold-out large Dutch concert halls.

  • Spirit Control: Most recent album, presented in 2017, this time with a larger band: Jens Bouttery on drums, Lennart Heyndels on bass and a string quartet join Jef Neve on stage.

  • At Pukkelpop 2018, Jef Neve conducted his own orchestra and played “The four seasons” in an arrangement by Max Richter. This was also performed at the Neve-Festival 2018 and Lekker Klassiek, another festival for which he was artistic director.

  • In 2019-2020 Jef Neve is playing several concerts in duet with the Dutch trumpet player Teus Nobel. This combo can be seen during a theatre-tour in Flanders and the Netherlands, as well as in Australia (June 2019) and around the world.

  • Jef is concentrating more and more on composition the last few years. He wrote 3 piano books for three music learning grades. They are: “Start”, “2” and “Play”. He also has a special edition book with several of his compositions, enhanced by wonderful illustrations and even manuscripts from when he started writing music as a little boy, signed Wolfgang Amadeus Neve.

TOUR HISTORY:

  • The Jef Neve Trio performed the album Soul In A Picture at major national and international festivals

  • In 2008, the Trio obtained great acclaim at Bremen JazzAhead, in Spain and during their first performances in Japan, where they have since recorded a track with trumpet player TOKU for the Japanese release of their CD. Since then the Trio is performing just about everywhere, from tours throughout Canada, Australia, Japan, Mexico to concerts in beautiful venues such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and in most European countries: Poland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Spain, France, Bulgaria, the UK, …

  • The release-concerts for the album Imaginary Road in Belgium as well as in The Netherlands were sold out. The trio presented their album in Canada and Australia with huge success; after their first performance in Australia at Wangaratta Jazz Festival they sold out of CDs and a music critic wrote: « the guy is unbelievable, as a self-confessed atheist his concert was a religious experience... In addition, they played at sold-out venues in Germany, France (Paris), and the famous Cotton Club in Tokyo as well as Osaka in Japan.

  • The concert in Brussels in 2008 with the American singer Jose James resulted in the cooperation for a project “Facing East – the music of John Coltrane”, which brought on 4 concerts in 2009 in the Ancienne Belgique/Brussels, Paradiso/Amsterdam, Ronnie Scott’s/London and New Morning/Paris.
    The duo toured the USA, Canada and European Summer festivals with the album For All We Know in 2010.

  • The release-concerts for the album Sons of the New World in 2012 and the tours through the cultural centers in Flanders early 2014 have already made it possible for more than 15,000 people to enjoy the concerts.

  • In addition, Jef Neve formed a duo with pianist Liebrecht Vanbeckevoort in a project ‘classic & jazz’. In 2012-13 the duo toured with the program “If Mozart and Monk were brothers”.

  • In 2013, Jef Neve had successful tours through Thailand, China, South Korea, Japan, Kenya, Australia and Denmark, where he played phenomenal concerts for sold-out venues as a soloist or with the Jef Neve Trio as well as with local musicians. Jazz pianist Jef Neve has been involved in the Japanese and Chinese jazz scene for several years. In June 2013, he established his first Chinese contacts at a showcase festival in Shenzen. He went back in October that year and has since played at diverse festivals.

  • In 2014 Japan, Brazil and China were on the schedule.

  • In January 2015, Jef toured in Thailand and Australia, where he performed at the Sydney Festival with Maria Schneider and the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra. He also presented his solo record ONE in every major city Down Under. The same year, he also performed in South America (Chile, Argentina and Brazil), as well as Canada.

  • Between October 2014 and spring 2016, most of the performances were presenting the solo album. In Belgium alone he played more than 60 shows.

  • Jef, being called “the inspirator of the festival” by the organizer, performed in February 2016 at the Safaricom International Jazz Festival in Nairobi, Kenya, sharing the stage with (ao) Branford Marsalis.

  • In March-April 2016, Jef toured in New Zealand, with the highlight of the tour being the performance of the soundtrack “In Flanders Fields”, with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, in commemoration of WWI.

  • Jef performed his 2nd piano concerto with the Thai Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by maestro Delta David Gier, during a short tour to Bangkok in May 2016. Additionally, he performed (for the third time) a duet with famous saxophonist Koh Mr Saxman.

  • Jef played a concert featuring the Vietnamese star Tran Manh Tuan on saxophone in a sold-out Ho Chi Minh City Opera House in November 2016.

  • In the second half of 2016, Jef played in Canada, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Ruanda and Uganda.

  • In 2017, the new album Spirit Control was presented in Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as in New Zealand and Australia, and France.

  • Many more concerts featuring Spirit Control occurred through 2018 in Belgium, Germany, Poland, Burkina Faso, Croatia, Bangkok, Australia, and Canada; with great success all around.

  • At the end of January 2019, Jef Neve has started his tour through Flanders with Natalia: “Jef Neve meets Natalia in concert”. Most concert venues are sold out already.

  • From May 2019 several duo concerts are planned again with the Dutch trumpet player Teus Nobel, in Belgium as well as internationally.

  • Multiple international tours are scheduled for 2019, a.o. in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Canada, Bangkok and Australia.

ALBUMS

  • he first album of the Jef Neve Trio, ‘Blue Saga’ (Contour, 2003), was immediately a bestseller.  

  • The second “It’s Gone” (Contour, Nov 2004) was a jazz album in Belgium.  It received the prestigious Radio Klara prize for ‘Best International Jazz Album 2005’ and unanimous acclaim in the international press

  • In 2004 the album Witches Dance was released with the Frederic Delplanc Quartet.

  • Jef Neve signed with Universal Music Belgium in 2006. “Nobody is Illegal” (Universal/Emarcy) was again a best-selling jazz album in Belgium.

  • The album “Soul In a Picture” was released in May 2008 on Universal Music Belgium followed by world wide release in 24 countries.

  • With the band ‘Groove Thing’, with the world-famous guitarist James Muller, Nicolas Kummert on sax, Nic Thys on bass and Lieven Venken on drums, Jef goes back to his first love, the Hammond B3 organ. The band performed at Jazz Middelheim ‘08 with great success and recorded a live-album at two sold-out concerts in Brussels’ Ancienne Belgique :  «The Love Album » (Prova Records,  May 2010)

  • In 2010, Jef Neve recorded the duo album with American singer José James « For All We Know » (in one studio day!) which was released on the especially resurrected Impulse label.  

  • The album Jef Neve Soundtracks – De Helaasheid der Dingen – Dagen Zonder Lief (two movies by Felix van Groeningen) was recorded in the Music Centre De Bijloke, Ghent, and was released by EMI Music Publishing Belgium.

  • Jef Neve’s trio album “Imaginary Road” (September 2010, Universal/Emarcy), was recorded with his long-time companion Teun Verbruggen on drums and a great young bass player: Ruben Samama, from Dutch origin living in NY.  

  • Jef Neve’s album Sons of the New World was written for his trio with added woodwinds and horns. He dedicated this album to the changes in the world today and recent developments in the Arabic world, and was released end October 2012 on Universal/Emarcy.

  • At the same time, he made a first jazz video-clip surrounded by a bunch of young talented artists.  

  • His Second Piano concerto was recorded in 2013 with Jef Neve on the piano, together with the orchestra Il Novecento conducted by Dirk Brossé. This album was released in 2014.

  • In Flanders Fields, the soundtrack to the prestigious TV series 'In Vlaamse Velden' was released in March 2014.

  • In October 2014, Jef Neve's first Solo Album ONE has been released. The long-awaited album was recorded in London's Abbey Road Studios and is released all over the world.

  • Jef Neve re-recorded his second piano concerto in May 2016, in Bangkok, with the Thai Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by maestro Delta David Gier.

  • In March 2017, the album Spirit Control was released, meanwhile 75 national and international concerts of Spirit Control have been held.

  • The album “Sharing Life Stories” was released in May 2019, a solo-album containing a selection of compositions for the piano books “Start”, “2” and “Play”.

  • Meanwhile, Jef Neve has started work on a new album, due to be released by spring 2020.

SOUND TRACKS :

  • Jef Neve wrote the sound track for the film ‘Dagen Zonder Lief’ (2007) by Belgian film director Felix Van Groeningen. Jef was invited to perform extracts from the score at the “World Soundtrack Awards 2007”, in an arrangement for orchestra and piano. The film was also shortlisted for the European Film Awards in Berlin.

  • He composed the sound track for the film ‘The Misfortunates’ by Van Groeningen, premiering in October 2009.  

  • Neve also wrote the music for the documentary; ‘Verdwaald in het Geheugenpaleis’ from Klara Van Es (2010), for the theatre production 'De tocht van de Olifant' (2012) etc.

  • Together with the Brussels Philharmonic Jef Neve participated as pianist in the sound-track of Michel Havanicius’s film « The Artist », for which the composer Ludovic Bource received an Oscar and a Golden Globe.

  • Some pieces of the soundtrack of multi-awarded “The Broken Circle Breakdown” (2012), by Felix Van Groeningen are again composed by Jef.

  • Together with Isolde Lasoen he composed and played the soundtrack in 2013 for an animated film ‘Rapsodie en Rose’ by Bram Mondy.

  • In 2013 he composed the music for the Flemish Television's prestigious fiction series about WW1, called ‘In Flanders Fields’. The soundtrack was released separately in 2014.

  • His second collaboration with Klara van Es, resulted in the soundtrack of the docu-film “Carnotstraat 17”, released in 2015.

  • In 2016, Jef wrote the soundtrack for a TV-series for the Dutch television. The series is called “De Maatschap” and was directed by Michiel van Jaarsveld.

  • Also in 2016, he composed the soundtrack for the movie Sprakeloos by Hilde Van Mieghem (to the book of Tom Lanoye).

  • He composed the soundtrack for the film ‘Zie mij doen’ made by Klara Van Es, in 2017. The film won the first prize on the Docville film Festival in Leuven, March 2018, and is now touring the world.

OTHER RECENT COMPOSITIONS:

  • A composition “De Grote Schijn” for a sound and lightshow in Antwerp was written in 2018.

  • Jef Neve composed a hymn for the “Landloperskolonie” (a vagabond colony), in Merksplas and Wortel (Belgium), who are competing to become Unesco world inheritance.

  • The world premiere for ‘Fantasy for piano solo, violin solo and string orchestra’ was played in the basilisk of Tongeren in April 2018. This is a piece by Jef Neve for and with Lorenzo Gatto, for the B-Classic Festival in Flanders.

  • Recently Jef Neve has released three piano books: “Start”, “2” and “Play”.

  • Jef Neve wrote and arranged several charts for his tour with Flemish singer Natalia.

  • Currently Jef is writing a 45 minutes long composition for Bozar, in particular for the majestic organ in the big hall, to be accompanied by piano, strings- and wind-ensemble. The premiere is planned for 16/09/2019.

AWARDS :

Jef Neve was the recipient of several prizes:

2004: Klara price for Best Jazz (It's Gone)

2005: Culture Prize Capilla Flamenca

2005: ZAMU Awards Best Artist; Best international Jazz-album of the year (Jef Neve Trio)

2006: Prix Choc in France for the album “Nobody is Illegal”

2007: ZAMU Awards Jazz.

2008: Music Industry Awards (MIA) Best Musician

2009: MIA Best Musician

2010: Edison Award for the album “For all we know”

2010: MIA Best Composer

2012: MIA Best Composer and Best Musician;

2012: award of the best resident of Ghent as musician.

2016: Honorary Citizen of his home city Geel

2016: United Humans Award for mutual respect

2017: October: World Soundtrack award for the Best Original Score for a Belgian Production 2017 for the film ‘Sprakeloos’ (‘Speechless’) by Hilde Van Mieghem.

DISCOGRAPHY

  • Since 2003 Jef Neve has been releasing albums with his trio, e.g.s ‘Blue Saga’ en ‘It’s Gone’.

  • Nobody is Illegal’ (2006, Universal)

  • Soul In A Picture’ (2008, Universal)

  • ‘Face to Face’(2010, Enja Records)

  • Imaginary Road (2010, Universal)

  • For All We Know’ (2010, Impulse)

  • Sons of the New World’, (2012, Universal).

  • 2de Pianoconcerto’ (2013, Universal)

  • ‘In Flanders Fields’, (2014, Universal)

  • “One”  (2014, Universal)

  • Spirit Control (2017, Universal)

  • “Sharing Life Stories”, the music of “Start, 2, Play” (2019, Blue Keys Productions)