About Henk de Laat

Bass player and vocalist

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 studied vocal improvisation with Rhiannon (Hawaii).
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. He studied at the music school in Tilburg where there was a very lively jazz scene.

A versatile accompanist he played with top-ranked vocalists such as Shirley Bassey, Jon HendricksDeborah Brown,  Marjorie Barnes, Dee Daniels, Jahida Wehbe and with exquisite jazz instrumentalists as Mel LewisBob Mintzer 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 guitar players 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 theatre companies and played with Mike Zinzen, Walpurgis, Pieter Embrechts, Jokke Schreurs, Carlos Diaz, Sabien TielsNadine Nix, Rony Verbiest, 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 and the Frits Bayens Big Band.

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 his own group Enrique Tarde, de Laat & Schreurs and the Osama Abdulrasol duo.

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. In this way he mastered scat singing. During many journeys around the globe as a jazz musician, Henk adapted several different musical styles and cultures in his way of playing and singing that makes him unique. He can blend in in several music cultures like a chameleon in a landscape without losing his own identity. Rhythm is his thing.
He lost his musical heart in Brazil the culture that influenced his music in a remarkable way. Also India, Cuba, Argentina, Turkey and the Arab countries had their influence. Please check out recordings of his groups Enrique Tarde, de Laat & Schreurs, and many other projects that he played with, like Osama Abdulrasol, Melike, Jokke Schreurs and many more.

About the coach and vocal improvisation: As a double bass player and singer with jazz education and more than 30 years of experience in many different music styles, he has always had improvisational skills in music specialized in “scat” singing. In 2010 en 2011 he came into contact with a new method for vocal improvisation through the masterclass of Rhiannon “All the way in”, a year of intensive training continued in 2014 in Hawaii. This had an enormous healing effect and changed his life in a positive way. Bob Stoloff also gave him a huge boost to discover the possibilities of the human voice in improvising. These rich experiences he wants to share with you in his workshops. With all these experiences and rich influences he created his own method of teaching.