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Guitarist / Composer / Educator / Publicist / Recording Artist / Manager

Joep van Leeuwen guitarist, composer, educator, publicist, recording artist

In the end it’s not the instrument but the music that counts …

Joep van Leeuwen plays melodic modern Jazz. His style is modest and even though the roots of Bebop and Hardbop are audible, his 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.
His compositions range from jazz themes and fully composed music to extended pieces in Third Stream style where composed sections alternate with improvised passages. Remarkable are his pieces for duo’s like trombone & guitar and church organ & guitar/synthesizer guitar. His cross-over compositions include pieces for string quartet expanded with guitar and bass and saxophone quartet with jazz guitar.


1995: Meditation - Solo Jazz Guitar (out of print)

2005: How Deep Is the Ocean? Duo with Janice Lakers (voc)

2005: Good Bait - Trio with Janice Lakers (voc), Jean Borlee (d-b)

2008: It Could Happen to You - Solo Jazz Guitar, liner notes John Abercrombie.

2011: Jazz Guitar Meets Church Organ Duo with Gero Körner (pipe organ) Liner notes Jasper van ‘t Hof

2014: The Dance and the Blues duo with Jack Coenen (trombone).


With Maastricht, Holland as his basis he has performed in Holland, Belgium, Germany and France in venues ranging from jazz clubs to international jazz festivals like als Jazz à Liège, Jazz Mecca, Music Nights and three times for the Montreux Jazz Festival. Joep van Leeuwen performs from solo jazz guitar to big band,  in styles ranging from Swing to Nu Jazz, switching easily from acoustic guitar, to amplified guitars and to synthesizer guitar.


Maastricht Jazz Mecca / Joep van Leeuwen Euregio trio


Maastricht Music Nights (Duo with Jack Coenen, trombone)


Montreux Jazz festival (Duo with Jack Coenen, trombone)


Montreux Jazz festival (Duo with Jack Coenen, trombone)


Montreux Jazz festival (Duo with Mark Nightingale, trombone)


Jazzfestival Liège with Robert Jeanne quartet


Moulin de Broukay with Nu Jazz band Don’t Git Sassy


Jazzpromenade Maastricht, trio with singer Susanne Schneider & Jack Coenen


Jazzfestival Liège solo guitar in VIP-room


Jazzpromenade Maastricht, duo with singer Susanne Schneider / Jazzpromenade Maastricht with Nu Jazz band Don’t Git Sassy


Jazzpromenade Maastricht premiere of Jazz Guitar meets Churh Organ in four churches.

1992 –part 1993

Joep van Leeuwen trio every Thursday at “De Andere Wereld”, Maastricht.


Weekly solo Jazz Guitar at Café Opera in Aachen, Germany

1994-1995-part 1996

Weekly solo Jazz Guitar at cafe De Muze, Maastricht


Weekly trio at Cafe des Artistes, Vrijthof Maastricht


Weekly duo’s at Servaes, Maastricht

2000- 2001

Weekly Jeudi Jam  duo with guests in Soundstation, Liège, Belgium


Weekly duo at La Capitainerie, Liège Belgium


Weekly International trio at the Kruisherenhotel Maastricht


Weekly International trio at the Wienkontor, Maastricht


Weekly at La Colombe, Maastricht


Weekly at La Colombe, Maastricht


Weekly solo jazz guitar at Horse’s Tale, Hasselt (august-december)

Sept. 2016 – Jan. 2020

Jack Million big band every first Monday of the month, September – June.

Maastricht Conservatory, Jazz Department, University level education,  professor of:

1985 – March 2022

1. Jazz Guitar  2. History of Jazz (1987)  3. Ensemble/combo Playing (1987)

1992 - 1997

Board member of IAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators)

1993 - 1997

European Coordinator IAJE

1995 - 2001           

Co-head of Jazz Department Maastricht Conservatory

1996 - 2007

Head of Master program of Conservatories Maastricht & Tilburg

1975 - 1980

Music School Heerlen guitar teacher


Maastricht Jazz Mecca / Joep van Leeuwen Euregio trio


Maastricht Music Nights (Duo with Jack Coenen, trombone)


Montreux Jazz festival (Duo with Jack Coenen, trombone)


Montreux Jazz festival (Duo with Jack Coenen, trombone)


Montreux Jazz festival (Duo with Mark Nightingale, trombone)


Jazzfestival Liège with Robert Jeanne quartet


2006 - 2009        


Member of lectorate Autonomie en Openbaarheid in de Kunsten (Autonomy and the public Domain in the Arts)

2010 August

cover story on Jazz Guitar meets Church Organ  for Het Orgel, Europe's oldest organ magazine.


Four part history of Third Stream Music for Jazzmozaïek (Belgium)


Professional Music Assessment - The Conservatory Final Exam Determining quality in Jazz performance during the Conservatory Final Exam Scientific internet publication


Sequens (Alumni magazine) Third Stream Music


Jazz News monthly contributions. The magazine issued 10 times a year by SLIM (Stichting Limburg geImproviseerde Muziek / Limburg Foundation for Improvised Music). His articles deal with jazz history as with current jazz events. 

1996 - 2001

Limburgs Dagblad - weekly column on Jazz matters titled Jazzy.

As to his studies: Joep van Leeuwen graduated from the Maastricht Music Academy with a B-diploma for classical guitar and he graduated from the Swiss Jazz School in Berne. As a manager he headed the Jazz Department of the Maastricht Music Academy from 1996 – 2001 and from 1998-2007 he ran the Masters program. From 1992 untill 1997 he was a member of the European Board ot the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) and its coordinator from 1993 until 1997.

2014 – 2017

Master Composition Maastricht Conservatory, Netherlands

1980 - 1984

Jazz guitar Graduation from Swiss Jazz School, Berne, Switserland

1974 - 1980

Classical guitar graduation from Maastricht Conservatory, Netherlands


Jerry van Rooyen Award. Awarded to people that have played an important role in the jazz in Limburg.

1987 -1998

Board member of the Stichting Limburg geImproviseerde Muziek (SLIM)


now Advisor for the Kerkraadse Wereld Muziek Concours.



Peter Leitch, Garrison Fewell, Jacques Pirotton, Michael Musillami, John Stowell, Jan Formannoy,  Phillipe Doyen,  Charly d’Inverno, Jürgen Sturm.


Jack Coenen, Marc Nightingale, Jaap Voeten.


Robert Jeanne, Toon Roos, Leo Janssen, Dick de Graaf, Dave Turner,  Rob van Bergen, Peter Hermesdorf.


Ruud Breuls, Marc Frankinet, Charles Green, Rob Bruynen, Jean-Pol Steffens, Alex Plumacher, Marc Huynen.


Antoine Cirri, Arnoud Gerritse, Hans Braber, Stephan Kremer, Bruno Castelluci, Gerd Breuer, Geert Roelofs, Kris Duerinckx, Arnoud Gerritse, Ron van Stratum, Steffen Thormahlen, Mimi Verderame, Lieven Venken.


Sal LaRocca, Jean-Louis Rassinfosse, Christoph Devisscher, Roman Korolik, Jan van den Boomen, Hans Mantel, Ulli Winz, Werner Lauscher,  Stefan Werni, Peter Verhaegen, Luciën Matheeuwsen , Jürgen Junggeburth, Burt Thompson, Chistian Ramond, Christian von Kaphengst, Jo Didderen, Jan Knooren, Henry Schuller, Ildo Nandja.


Janice Lakers, Digna Janssen, Norbert Gottschalk, Hilde Vanhove, Susanne Schneider, Sabine Kühlich, Anette Von Eichel, Katia Salemi, Ellen Bliek, Pascalle Everard, Katarina von Biljouw, Digna Janssen, Marlou Obers, Monique Houben, Iris Romen.


Leon Lhoest, Frank Giebels, Arne van Coillie, Gero Körner, Berendt van de Berg.

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