Louise Hensen (leadvocals)
Na een korte carrière als jurist besloot Louise Hensen dat optreden met een microfoon in de hand toch vele malen leuker was dan optreden met een pleitnota voor de rechtbank. Ze ging naar het Utrechts Conservatorium, waar zij lessen volgde van onder andere Annemarie Maas, Lydia van Dam en Harjo Pasveer. Masterclasses en workshops volgde zij onder meer van Deborah Carter, Mathilde Santing en Dee Daniels. In 2013 studeerde zij cum laude af met een programma vol gezongen en vertelde verhalen, dat door de examencommissie werd omschreven als “een uitzonderlijk concert dat aanvoelde als een warm bad”. Louise is op het moment ook te zien het theaterprogramma “Peggy & Nina”, waarin de muziek en levens van Peggy Lee en Nina Simone centraal staan.
Suzan Veneman (trumpet/backing vocals)
As a promising jazz trumpeter, Suzan Veneman (03/23/1990), has played on numerous international festivals and venues. Among those Noorderzon(NL), ELBjazz(Hamburg, DE), Aarhus Jazz Festival (Denmark) and the Martucci Jazz Festival (Italy), Het Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Carnegie Hall (NYC), de Oosterpoort (Groningen), De Melkweg (Amsterdam) and the Ravinia Festival (Chicago). Veneman has competed in the finals of the Prinses Christina Concours 2010 (Amsterdam, NL), where her quintet had won the 2nd price and the National Big Band Competition 2011 (Hoofddorp, NL), where she won both prices for best solist in top category and best brass solist.
In 2013 Suzan was selected to participate in the Jazz Rising Stars Program of the Steans Institute for Young Artistsat the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, IL. She recently received an award for the 2014 ASMAC Big Band Composers and Arrangers competition, where she was placed 2nd with her composition arranged for big band. During her years of study Suzan Veneman has had the opportunity to perform alongside of renowned jazz artists like Victor Lewis, Cafe da Silva and Randy Brecker. She has also worked with the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic as teaching artist.Veneman’s beautiful trumpet and flugelhorn sounds and melodic lines provide a warm, tasty way of playing and soloing, performing various styles of music like jazz, salsa, classical, pop, funk, dixieland and soul music.Suzan Veneman received her Bachelor’s degree at the Prince Claus Conservatory in Groningen (NL), during which she studied with Alex Sipiagin, Jim Rotondi and Robin Eubanks. She finished her Masters Degree in Jazz Performance at Mason Gross – Rutgers University (New Jersey, U.S.A.) in 2014, where she studied with renowned New York jazz trumpeter Joe Magnarelli.
Anja Nielsen (tenorsaxophone / backing vocals) Anja speelde al op jeugdige leeftijd in verschillende bands. Zo speelde ze in het orkest van John Tchicai (U.S.A.), maar ook andere vormen van geïmproviseerde muziek zoals salsa en big band. In 1993 is ze naar Nederland gekomen om daar aan het Koninklijk Conservatorium in Den Haag te studeren bij de Amerikaanse jazz saxofonist John Ruocco. Anja heeft onder meer opgetreden met Alvin Queen en door Scandinavie getoerd met het “April Light Orchestra”. Momenteel is zij regelmatig te horen met haar eigen jazz kwartet. Enige mensen met wie ze gewerkt heeft: Greetje Kauffeld, Rachel Gould, Bart van Lier, Toon Roos, Benny Bailey, Ferdinand Povel, Ruud Breuls, Ed Neumeister, Eric Vloeimans en Toots Thielemans. (www.anjanielsen.nl)
Mijin Kim (piano) Mijin Kim started playing classical piano at the age of five. She began playing pop and jazz style at the age of eighteen completing the courses in both Soong-Sil Conservatory and Seoul Jazz Academy in South Korea. Soon after, she started to teach and play with many musicians in different venues in Seoul being as well honored with the 1st prize at the Ulsan Jazz Festival Competition in 2006 with her Quartet. In 2007 she moved to Europe to attend two Conservatories, receiving the Bachelor’s degree from Prince Claus Conservatory and the Master’s degree from Maastricht Conservatory. During her Master studies, she recorded in The Netherlands her first album ‘End of the Line’ and released it in Korea in 2014. The Album release concert has been performed in SJA HALL (KR). Between 2014 and 2016 she lived in Seoul, South Korea, where she performed regularly in different venues. In May 2016 she moved back to Europe. Currently she is playing and teaching in The Netherlands.
Sylvia Maessen (double bass) Sylvia studied oboe, composition/arrangement and double bass (classical with Edward Mebius and jazz with Koos Serierse) at the Hilversum Conservatory. She followed masterclasses from Ray Brown, John Clayton, Red Mitchell, Ed Thigpen, Bob Brookmeijer en Peter Herbolzheimer. She regularely performs as bass player with “Tripletov” (worldmusic), “Philharmonia A’dam” (classical orchestra) and many freelance projects in the theatre or studio. Her compositions are primarily in the modern classical style, but she also composes and arrange jazz, worldmusic and theatre-pieces for ensembles like the “Nederlands Blazers Ensemble”, het “Amstel Quartet”, bandoneonist Carel Kraayenhof, flutist Eleonore Pameijer, pianio-players Marcel Worms, Marja Bon,The Holland Wind Players, Sinfonia Rotterdam, Dance-companies “Conny Janssen danst” and “Scapino”, Philippe Elan and Frank Groothof. She won different prizes for composition, among them the Italian prize “Donna in Musica” 2016. In 2022 she founded the new ensemble Sprank with accordionplayer Hans van der Maas en trumpeter Suzan Veneman.
Agnese Valmaggia (drums) Agnese Valmaggia is an Italian drummer and composer currently living in Amsterdam.
After a bachelor in jazz drums at the conservatory in Cuneo (IT) she moved to the Netherlands to attend the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, where she received her bachelor’s degree in June 2022, with grade 9. There she studied with Martin Vink, Marcel Serierse, Yoran Vroom and Haye Jellema, and participated in several masterclasses with world renown drummers (Justin di Cioccio, Kendrick Scott, Gregory Hutchinson) and composers (Miho Hazama, Maria Schneider).
As a drummer she plays with different bands both in Italy and the Netherlands, ranging from traditional jazz to Italian folk music and other more modern original styles. In 2021 she released “But Still”, first album with her own group “Valmaggia Project”, for which she wrote and arranged all the music.
As a composer, she won the third prize (2018) and second prize (2019) at the national arranging competition “Nicola Paoli” (IT). Agnese’s music puts together a strong rhythmic element with a lyrical and more classical writing approach.
She’s now continuing her studies in Rotterdam, where she’s doing a master in composition and arranging jazz with Paul van Brugge at CODARTS.