In 1957 trumpetplayer Henk van Belkom founded The South Jazzband. This rightly famous orchestra has celebrated its fifthiest anniversary in January 2007. A landmark that was reached by a band that since 1962 has been playing with an almost unchanged line-up. A solid bunch of friends who, literally and metaphorically speaking, are well turned to each other.

They made a name for themselves, in a national as well as an international respect, when -in 1962- they were proclaimed winners of the ‘Loosdrecht Jazzcontest’ in the traditional jazzsection.

From then on their star began to rise and in the years thereafter they always were welcome guests to many musical events. Initially they appeared in Dutch and Belgium broadcast- and televisionprograms, but it wasn’t long before you’d come across this musicians at the renowned big jazzfestivals.

And so they reaped laurels at the festivals of Zurich Switzerland (1963), Comblain la Tour Belgium (1964), the Berliner Jazztage (1965), Dresden DDR (1973), Frankfurt Germany (1976), Prague Czechoslovakia (1977), Warsaw Poland (1980), Sacramento USA (1984), Jenaer Jazztage DDR (1988), La Nuit du Jazz Armentières (1994) and as participators for the second time of the famous International Dixieland Festival Dresden (2003). The South Jazzband also was present at the Breda Traditional Jazz Festival, right from the first one in 1971 up till now.

The South Jazzband has accompanied many famous international soloists as there are: Nelson Williams, Bud Freeman, George Probert, Peanuts Hucko, Benny Waters, Joshe Monitz, Bob Wilber, Warren Vaché, Jimmy Witherspoon, Jabbo Smith and last but not least the famous Jean Baptist ‘Toots’ Thielemans.

Many national and international singers found their way to the South, for instance Liljana Petrovic, Janice King, Dee Daniels, Arly Day, Neva Raphaello, Beryl Bryden, Ella Rose Michell, Greetje Kauffeld, Anneke Grönloh, Connie van Bergen, Milly Scott, Daisy Oosterhuis, Riedel van Kleef, Conny van den Bosch and many others. The South Jazzband has produced six singles, eleven longplayers and two compactdiscs and a triple-cdbox so far.














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