eric boeren cornet, trumpet & composer made his first steps in music with the brassband of ulicoten, a small village in the south of holland, next to the belgian border. his first love, the trumpet, was ignored by the instructors. the brassband needed a solo euphonium player, so he took up that instrument.
in his rebel-years, he took over the eb tuba chair from his brother. he liked the somewhat exorbitant look of a sixteen year-old carrying that immense horn at the rear of the band. being lazy and not willing to count out the multiple bars of having nothing to play, he started to listen to the interplay of melody and counter melody for cues to come in on time.
at eightteen, after attending his first concerts of improvised music, he switched to cornet, his first love. he became a regular member of arnold dooieweerds tuesday night workshop at the bimhuis. these workshops looked at music from a broad perspective rather than dealing with harmonies and related scales, or learning to play jazz-standards. melodic shapes, what are possible musical cues to get back to the theme, loud versus soft, dense versus “empty”; those were the topics to work on.
out of this workshop, a band was formed and baptised a.c.e. (amsterdams creatief ensemble), which won the nos/meervaart jazz contest in 1982. things sped up at this point.
in the following ten years boeren played with the maarten altena ensemble, willem van manens contraband, ab baars tentet and the paul termos tentet. he joined available jelly and toured france and germany, and became a member of j.c. tans and his rockets, sean bergin’s mob and frankie douglas’ sunchild. he holds the chair of second trumpet and soloist in michiel braam’s bik bent braam since 1990.
in 1993 he founded his own group specs, a quintet playing his own compositions and in 1994 he joined the guus janssen septet. in 1995 he organised a series “confronting…the music of ornette coleman”. his trio (with michael vatcher, drums and wilbert de joode, double bass) invited saxophone players to come over and play the early quartet music of ornette coleman . over eight consecutive tuesday nights, a different repertoire was presented by the same basic group of musicians.
a summary of this series was presented at the bim-huis during the annual “summer sessions” as “go dutch with ornette”. since then the eric boeren 4tet (eric boeren, wilbert de joode, michael moore, clarinet and saxophone and han bennink, drums) have featured ornette coleman’s compositions alongside eric’s own pieces.
as a composer, boeren has contributed to the repertoires of available jelly, bik bent braam, big band nieuwe muziek, jc tans and his rockets, sean bergin’s mob and mobette and of course his own quartet.