Focus Biography

Thijs van Leer biography

THIJS VAN LEER: Organ, flute, vocals

® Born: Amsterdam, March 31, 1948.

® Relatives: Father: Ed Van Leer, Brother: Maarten OphiŽl Van Leer (born 1960)

® Educated: Hilversum Grammar School and Amsterdam University, where he studied History of Art.

® Musical Training: Studied flute and composition at Amsterdam Conservatorium. Guidance on flute from his father, a classical flautist. Awared degree on flute at Geneva Conservatoire, private piano lessons, Orchestral and arranging tuition from Dutch freelance arranger/composer/conductor Rogier van Otterloo. Organ lessons from Dutch classical organist/conductor Anthon van der Horst, Led his own jazz group on piano during his schooldays.

® Carrer: Close-harmony singing and playing flute with the Ramses Shaffy cabaret group. Formed a trio to back other artists and perform solo, playing compositions of their own and by Traffic and Canadian group, the Collectors.

® Musical Influences: Steve Winwood and Traffic, Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys.

® Favourite Composers: Bartok, Bach.

® Favourite Musicians: Keith Jarret, Chick Corea, Miles Davis and his colleagues in FOCUS.

® Favourite Singer: Van Morrison.

® Favourite Single: "Along Came Betty", Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.

® Most Influential LP: "Kind of Blues", Miles Davis.

® Instruments: Hofinger flute in C; Julliot piccolo in C; Armstrong B-flat flute; Grassi alto flute in G; Fender Rhodes electric piano; Fender JBL amplifier, one Fender JBL speaker cabinet; Hammond L-100 with three Leslie Tone cabinets, Can also play recorders and church organ.

Click the picture to see an enlarged version
Text and pictures kindly sent by Steffen Staugaard ( Denmark )

Jan Akkerman | Pierre van der Linden | Bert Ruiter
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