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  • In the end it’s not the instrument that counts but the music. The guitar is happenstance, the idea and the sound are deliberate....


  • Uiteindelijk telt de muziek en niet het instrument. De gitaar is toeval, de gedachte en de muziek zijn opzet.



Joep van Leeuwen performs in formats ranging from solo jazz guitar, duo and trio to big band with occasional unique excursions to church organstring quartet and gregorian chant choir. With Maastricht, Holland as his basis he has performed in Holland, Belgium, France (Paris), Switzerland and Germany playing jazz venues and international jazz festivals.




He plays from Swing to Nu Jazz, switching easily from his acoustic guitar, to his amplified guitars and to synthesizer guitar.  His style is modest and eventhough the roots of Bebop and Hardbop are audible, a slight preference for Cool Jazz is evident, however without being cold! He is interested in real, genuine, swinging jazz and has an almost genetic aversion against superficiality.


1975 - Present: Jazz Guitarist – Composer - Band Leader
Schedule of approximately 25 to 100 concerts per year at various jazz venues, three times for the Montreux Jazz Festival and Jazz à Liège, Jazz Mecca, Music Nights but also the Amsterdam Orgelpark. (See: Calendar)

Solo Jazz Guitar

Joep has specialized in solo jazz guitar playing. This is a most challenging discipline. The guitarist who sits on stage just by himself and plays and improvises melodies, rhythmn, baslines, etc. at the same time, has be some kind of wizard.


Down Beat magazine awarded 4 stars in a review of the CD Jazz Guitar Meets Church Organ. Jasper van 't Hof wrote the liner notes to this CD. John Abercrombie wrote the liner notes to Joep's solo jazz guitar CD. This CD was presentend at a small theatre in Paris called Theatre L’îlIe Saint Louis Paul Rey. Joep made many recordings for radio too.


Available for down load
Compositions for: String Quartet with jazz guitar & jazz bass
Guitar and church organ String Quartet with jazz guitar & jazz bass
Guitar and trombone Jazz Pieces


Faculty member of the Maastricht Academy of Music since 1985. He has been training professional guitarists and teaches Jazz History at this university level institution.
Maastricht Academy of Music, Jazz Department professor of:
1985 - Present: 1. Jazz Guitar
1987 - present: 2. History of Jazz
1987 - present: 3. Ensemble/combo playing
1983-1985: Guitar teacher at the music schools of Mannedorf and Dietikon in Switserland.
1975-1980: Music School Heerlen guitar teacher


On November 27, 2005 he received the Jerry van Rooyen Award. This price is awarded to people that have played an important role in the jazz in Limburg, Holland


2006-2009: Member of the lectorate "Autonomie en Openbaarheid in de Kunsten"(Autonomy and the public Domain in the Arts), a collaboration between the Maastricht Music Academy and the Maastricht University.
Publication: Professional Music Assesment, Determining quality in Jazz performance during the Conservatory Final Exam



His in-depth writings on jazz have been published in newspapers and jazz magazines and are appreciated for explaining jazz for a general audience from a professional perspective.
2010: Jazz Guitar Meets Church Organ for the magazine Het Orgel
2009: History of Jazz with Stings / 4 issues for Jazzmozaïek (Belgium)
2008: History of Third Stream Music / 4 issues for Jazzmozaïek (Belgium)
2008: Professional Music Assessment - The Conservatory Final Exam
Scientific internet publication
2005: Sequens (Alumni magazine) Third Stream Music
1996-2001: weekly column on jazz matters for Dutch newspaper Limburgs Dagblad



1996 - 2001 Head of Jazz Department of the Maastricht Music Academy
1998 - 2007 Masters program of Music Academies of Maastricht & Tilburg
1992 - 1997 Member of the European Board ot the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE)
1993 - 1997 European coordinator for IAJE
1987 - 1998

Board member of the Stichting Limburg geImproviseerde Muziek (SLIM) and he was jazz advisor for the Wereld Muziek Concours in Kerkrade.



1980 - 1983 Jazz Guitar, arranging & composition at the Swiss Jazz School, in Berne, Switzerland
1974 - 1980 Classical guitar at Maastricht Music Academy
1972 - 1980 Gymnasium A, Stedelijk Lyceum Maastricht, Netherlands

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