The Buma Boy Edgar Prize for 2020 goes to Ack van Rooyen

The Buma Boy Edgar Prize, the most prestigious award for jazz and improvised music in the Netherlands, has been awarded to the flugelhorn and trumpet player Ack van Rooyen. The news was announced at InJazz, the (online) jazz network and showcase event in Rotterdam.

Ack van Rooyen (The Hague, 1930) is a living embodiment of Dutch jazz in all its history and glory. His credits as a featured soloist in Dutch jazz orchestras reads like a roll call of the most celebrated big bands: the Ramblers, the Skymasters, the Netherlands Concert Jazz Band, the Dutch Jazz Orchestra and the Metropole Orchestra.

Van Rooyen began blazing a trail on the international scene from the moment he picked up his honours degree certificate at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague in 1949. Among the leading orchestras he performed in are the Aimé Barelli Orchestra, Peter Herbolzheimer’s Rhythm Combination & Brass, the Boyd Bachman Orchestra, the Bert Kaempfert Orchestra, the WDR Big Band, the SFB Big Band, the Clark Terry Orchestra, the Gil Evans Orchestra, the Clarke-Boland Big Band and the Süddeutscher Rundfunk Orchestra. In 1974 he co-founded the United Jazz & Rock Ensemble, a succesful tentet with trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff, saxophonist Charlie Mariano and pianist Wolfgang Dauner, among others.

His wealth of experience, keen insight and theoretical knowledge have helped refine the skills of students at conservatories in Hilversum, Amsterdam and The Hague for decades, and he is, to this day, often to be found on stage with musicians several decades his junior. Or as Amsterdam’s deputy mayor Simone Kukenheim put it when knighting him an Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau: “Your star has shone bright over a long career, but you have always made room for others to shine too.”

NB: Due to measures relating to the corona virus, this year’s edition of inJazz took place online, including the Buma Boy Edgar prizewinner’s announcement, which was live-streamed and therefore transmitted to a global audience via social media. The announcement can be viewed on inJazz and the Buma Boy Edgar Prize’s websites and YouTube channels.

Excerpts from the jury report:
“Van Rooyen has left his mark on seventy years of jazz history at home and abroad both as a soloist and as an instructor, on everything from the rise of Dutch studio broadcasting orchestras and bebop combos to the development of jazz studies at the conservatories”

“Van Rooyen’s credits as a featured soloist in Dutch jazz orchestras reads like a roll call of big bands defined by tradition and consummate artistry.”

“Van Rooyen’s international career is as impressive as his local accomplishments, and features many leading orchestras”

“The jury is enamoured of Van Rooyen’s artistry and lyricism on the flugelhorn, the instrument he has devoted himself to since the early days of his career. The instrument’s warm, soft and mellow tone seems fitting for a man of such modesty.”

“His playing, like that of the legendary trumpet player Clifford Brown, a key source of inspiration, reveals a yearning for “truth”, without tricks or gimmicks, with carefully selected notes and a beautifully rounded tone taking precedence over showmanship.”

“He weaves his distinctive, subtle lines to great effect, creating musical miniatures that enchant listeners and remain with them long after he has left the room.”

“The jury commends Van Rooyen for his ability to inspire new generations of musicians through his music. His wealth of experience, keen insight and theoretical knowledge have helped refine the skills of students at conservatories in Hilversum, Amsterdam and The Hague”

The jury of the Buma Boy Edgar Prize 2020 consists of:
Norbert Kögging, chair (Managing Director of Jazz Maastricht)
Loes Rusch, secretary (Musicologist at Utrecht University, the Amsterdam Conservatory and the Royal Conservatory in The Hague)
Rudie Kagie (Journalist and writer, Amsterdam)
Liesbeth Beeftink (Marketing Communications Manager at LantarenVenster, Rotterdam)
Wijnand Honig (Head of Arts and Culture at NTR, Hilversum)

The Buma Boy Edgar Prize
The award was initiated in 1963 under the name the Wessel Ilcken Prize. It was renamed the Boy Edgar Prize in 1980 and the VPRO Boy Edgar Prize in 1992, before becoming the Buma Boy Edgar Prize in 2014. Recent winners include Jasper Blom (2019), Jasper van ’t Hof (2018) and Martin Fondse (2017), Wilbert de Joode (2016) and Tineke Postma (2015).

The Buma Boy Edgar Prize is awarded each year to a musician with a strong track record of distinguishing themselves in the creative arena, and in so doing has made or continues to make a valuable contribution to the Dutch jazz and improvised music scene. As part of the award, the winner is invited to curate a concert night, during which they are presented with the award, which consists of a cash prize of €12,500 and a bronze sculpture by Jan Wolkers. 

Please note that measures to control the spread of the corona virus may affect certain details of the proceedings. Any changes to the proceedings will be communicated as the date of the event draws near and more is known about the impact of the government’s policy regarding this matter. Click here for the programme.

Further enquiries about the award, the jury report or Ack van Rooyen’s publicity shots, you can find elsewhere on this website and also in this PRESSKIT.

For more information and interview requests, please contact Dorothée van Hooff, project manager of the Boy Edgar Prize Foundation: info@boyedgarprijs.nl / t. 06 – 21 20 36 99