Thursday, July 24, 2008

Piet Kuiters - A True Amsterdammer - 2

( Naar de Nederlandse vertaling.)
Piet Kuiters - A True Amsterdammer - 1
Six weeks ago I made a contribution about Piet Kuiters, the rather unknown Dutch jazz musicians, who passed away three years ago. In the NJA-Bulletin ( number 57 - October 2005), the magazine of the Dutch Jazz Archive Hans Dulfer remembered him in a contribution simple titled Piet. After I published the contribution Piet Kuiters, Django Kuiters, his son, now living in Oslo - Norway contacted me and loved to share his remembrances to his father with the readers of our blog. His contribution was rather extensive and will be published in two parts: Yesterday I published Piet Kuiters - A True Amsterdammer - 1 and Piet Kuiters - A true Amsterdammer - 2. A Dutch translation has been released as Piet Kuiters - Een Echte Amsterdammer - 1 and Piet Kuiters - Een Echte Amsterdammer - 2.
Thanks Django for this great homage to your father.
Hans Koert -

PIET KUITERS - A True Amsterdammer ( = a true citizen of Amsterdam) by Django Kuiters.


Piet was a walking contradiction. A paradox and the most amazing person I have ever met. He was "supersnell", hard like a rock, soft and gentle as the summer winds - a genius piano player full of charisma, integrity, insanity, intelligence, imagination, creativity, freedom and humor. Alongside followed tragedy, loneliness and self-destructive tendencies, with secrets and sides to him that wasn't too flattering. Then again, he could be gentle, disciplined, balanced, practicing and teaching his Tai Chi Chuan. He was a fantastic cook too! He was also one of very few I guess, who went from Buddhism to Catholicism! He was never a hard worker when it came to promoting his music or keeping himself in the limelight, though. Sometimes I think he couldn't be bothered. He was in some ways free from the need for outward prestige - especially if it meant compromising his freedom.
Willem Breuker and Piet Kuiters ( photo archive Django Kuiters)

His philosophy, personality and ways of life didn't match the type of typical serious career-move-musicians that needs to stay connected and make recordings in order to pay the bills, get their name known and perhaps leave behind a more extended legacy, musically. I (of course) wish he were, still thinking: Je Bent Die Je Bent (= You Are Who You Are). As mentioned, he wasn't too impressed by the current Jazz scene - with the exception of the saxophonist Benjamin Herman, who he admired very much. "It's like playing with the best of the best in the old days!" he said. He was amazed. Piet was an old-school street-smart bebopper and he didn't believe you could study jazz at the conservatory. More and more of the "student jazz musicians" took over the scene, something Piet wasn't too jolly about. Piet was no planner. No organizer. In short, his life was lived on an everyday basis. A new day, everyday. Street. Fast. Now! That was Piet.
Piet in Prinseneiland (photo archive Django Kuiters)

I have material in my possession (photos, writings and audio) that will be made public as time goes by, and some of it can also be found at the Dutch Jazz Archive in Amsterdam.
The big picture is of course much more complex than this, regarding Piet, but this is some of my reflections and some of my knowledge for now. I hope it serves some public value to present him as truthful and honest as possible. I'm getting to know him more every day and I'm happy to share his story with you. So, if you have any questions, contributions - or anything, feel free to contact me.
Benjamin Hermans (January 2007). ( Photo Hans Koert)
The following recorded bit is from a low quality cassette recording he made himself. It represents exactly how I remember him and his wonderful solo playing. It takes me back to my childhood days in the studio apartment in Prinseneiland, Amsterdam. Magical times.


Django Kuiters, son.
The next fragment is from a film by Louis Van Gasteren titled Jazz and Poetry in which Piet Kuiters plays the piano, Herman Schoonderwalt on saxophone, Ruud Jacobs on bass and Cees See on drums. Louis Van Gasteren is a well known Dutch filmmaker. The poet is Ted "The Hipster" Joans.

Keep swinging

Hans Koert

Nederlands ( To the English translation )

Zes weken geleden publiceerde ik een bijdrage over
Piet Kuiters, de tamelijk onbekend gebleven Nederlandse jazzmuzikant, die drie jaar geleden overleed. In het NJA-Bulletin (nummer 57 - oktober 2005), het blad van het Nederlands Jazzarchief, deelde Hans Dulfer zijn herinneringen in een artikel kortweg Piet getiteld. Nadat ik de bijdrage over Piet Kuiters had gepubliceerd, nam Django Kuiters, zijn zoon, contact met me op. Django woont nu in Oslo - Noorwegen en wilde graag zijn herinneringen aan zijn vader met de lezer van deze blog delen. Zijn bijdrage was van een dergelijke omvang dat ik het in twee delen publiceer. Het eerste deel in het Nederlands is getiteld Piet Kuiters - Een Echte Amsterdammer - 1 en het vervolg in Piet Kuiters - Een Echte Amsterdammer - 2. Eerder verscheen in de Engelse vertaling Piet Kuiters - A True Amsterdammer - 1 en Piet Kuiters - A True Amsterdammer - 2.

Keep swinging

Hans Koert

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mooie homage van Django aan Piet....Hij was wie hij was inderdaad!
Ik miss hem heel erg.

9:37 AM  

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