Pianist and singer Ruben Hein
is a rising young star. Although he majored in jazz piano at the Amsterdam conservatory (graduating in 2008), he also regards himself as a singer. Hein discovered this talent when working on a cruise ship: 'I could play there, but I also had to sing.' Hein (1982) is not a pianist who occasionally sings though: 'The balance is equal, fifty-fifty.' And he certainly doesn't just play straightforward jazz either. He points out the influence of pop musicians like Sting and Randy Newman. Hein's voice has been compared to that of Chet Baker, but he himself mainly mentions Harry Connick Jr. as a source of inspiration. During his studies he worked with, among others, the band of cabaret artist Hans Teeuwen and with Pete Philly & Perquisite. He also plays with The Amsterdam Jazz Orchestra and accompanies the singer Renske Taminiau. Hein recently participated in the project Take Six: When Pop meets Jazz
, an initiative of the Muziek Centrum Nederland and Challenge Records - yet another reason to welcome Hein to the North Sea Jazz Festival.