Bass player and vocalist Henk de Laat studied with honours at the Rotterdam Conservatory where he graduated as a master in jazz and contemporary music in 1987. He completed his classical bass studies in 1988. Then he studied vocals with Deborah Brown and Ge Titulaer for two years. Later he developed his voice with the aid of Henry Chef d’Horge from Paris who taught him a natural and organic way of singing. He is currently in a vocal study program with Rhiannon, teacher at the Berklee College of Music, Boston.
In 1980 Henk started his musical career with a band called X-tra, playing ska-music. Later on he joined a group called Casino, accompanying Dutch and artists from abroad. A versatile accompanist he played with top-ranked vocalists such as Shirley Bassey, Deborah Brown, Marjorie Barnes, Dee Daniels and with exquisite jazz instrumentalists as Bob Minzer and Bob Malach. For two years he toured with Denise Jannah with whom he played among others at the North Sea Jazz Festival in The Hague. He played with “La Corda”, a unique trio with guitarplayers Peter Mingaars and Ben Boogaard.
In 1996 his first cd „But Beautiful“ was released. It contains jazz standards and bossa nova tunes all for which he got a warm recommendation by harmonica legend Toots Thielemans. He composed for several international theater companies and played with Mike Zinzen, Walpurgis, Pieter Embrechts, Jokke Schreurs, Carlos Diaz, Sabien Tiels, the Euro Trio featuring Dirk Van der Linden and Dirk Raufeisen, and „Gezien, Gezegd en Gezongen“ featuring Yvonne Walter, Antje de Boeck and Els Dottermans. He also participated in a major theater production from HET PALEIS called „Water, Lucht, Aarde en Vuur“ and “Nachtmuziek” with trumpet player Sam Vloemans.
Nowadays he is active in a variety of groups as the Osama Abdulrasol ensemble, his own group Enrique Tarde, de Laat & Verbiest, and de Laat & Schreurs.
Henk performs in a most personal and spontaneous way and uses both the subtle expressive and unique qualities of the human voice. In other words, he plays the way he sings and sings the way he plays. During many journeys around the globe Henk has lost his musical heart in Brasil, the culture of which has influenced his music in a remarkable way. His new CD „Breaking through the shadows“ is a fine collection of Brazilian inspired songs that were recorded in Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, and Italy.
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Thank you for your birthday greetings my brother. I am humbled by all of you here on the network. I feel so very blessed to have you and all of these amazing people as a new part of my journey. I'm enriched by your words and music as well. Keep sharing the love to others my brother, for it is returned exponentially to you in abundance.
Peace and respect,
Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.
I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.
My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."
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