Nope, not just another "Harp" site - this is SLIDEMEISTER!
Welcome Home Weary Pilgrim!
Featured SlideMeister Member November 2015
Kris Van Bael
Kris has been a member of SlideMeister since November - 2012, and with over 200 posts under his belt, he's proven to be so much more than a casual member. Besides being a fine keyboard
player, he has a free and easy jazz style on the Chromatic. SlideMeister is
happy to feature Kris Van Bael for the month of November.
Kris is from Flanders (that’s the dutch speaking half of Belgium) He's 41 years old. Happily married with a beautiful wife and 2 beautiful kids who are, as he says: "standing on their own feet now." Kris presently works for a software company.
Kris grew up up in a family with many serious classical music amateurs: His parents sang in a choir, his sisters played the violin and so, as a kid he had to pick up the cello. But he always enjoyed more fiddling around on the piano, trying to play songs from the radio. As a teenager, he quit the cello and started playing keyboards in a rock band. In college he discovered Jazz music. For many years he listened to nothing but jazz records and slowly taught himself how to play jazz piano and joined the university big band. He's been playing in big bands ever since.
His first harmonica
His grandfather (who passed away a couple of years ago), was very fond of folk music, especially accordion tunes. But he never learned to play music. When Kris was 10 or so, his grandfather gave him a Hohner Comet (in C and G), that he originally bought it for himself, but the dog (or grandma?) couldn’t stand it. It looked exactly like this: http://www.obnova.sk/sites/default/files/hohner_comet.jpg
Kris says he still remembers being disappointed to find out he couldn’t play any accidentals. "I knew Toots from Belgian television, and somehow I realized that that button must have had something to do with it. Being a kid, I neglected it and lost track of it. I regret that now."
Fast forward many years, Kris saw another amateur Big Band that featured a chromatic harmonica solo (it was Ben Vanderweyden). This made him realize that deep down, he had always wanted to play this instrument, and so he got started. His piano-jazz background gave him a head start on improv’ and playing in different keys, but it turned out to be much harder than he thought, but also much more fun than I ever hoped it would be.
The gang here at SlideMeister are excited for Mr. Van Bael and wish him the best at wherever the Chromatic harmonica takes him. Make us all proud Kris!
Besides the YouTubes below, Kris has about a dozen numbers on Sound-Cloud