Pianist and singer Ruben Hein is a rising young star. Although hemajored in jazz piano at the Amsterdam conservatory (graduating in2008), he also regards himself as a singer. Hein discovered thistalent when working on a cruise ship: 'I could play there, but Ialso had to sing.' Hein (1982) is not a pianist who occasionallysings though: 'The balance is equal, fifty-fifty.' And he certainlydoesn't just play straightforward jazz either. He points out theinfluence of pop musicians like Sting and Randy Newman. Hein'svoice has been compared to that of Chet Baker, but he himselfmainly mentions Harry Connick Jr. as a source of inspiration.During his studies he worked with, among others, the band ofcabaret artist Hans Teeuwen and with Pete Philly & Perquisite.He also plays with The Amsterdam Jazz Orchestra and accompanies thesinger Renske Taminiau. Hein recently participated in the projectTake Six: When Pop meets Jazz, an initiative of the Muziek CentrumNederland and Challenge Records - yet another reason to welcomeHein to the North Sea Jazz Festival.