About Jurjen Donkers
“What a beautiful voice you have”, Rita Reys responded after hearing Jurjen Donkers sing. She and other legendary interpreters of the Great American Songbook, such as Tony Bennett, Barbra Streisand and Frank Sinatra, would set the standard for his own singing. It is characterized by both a heartfelt interpretation of the lyrics as well as a great sense of timing. Or as pianist Peter Beets said recently: “This guy swings!”. The late bass player and record producer Ruud Jacobs commented: “He is a real talent.”
Jurjen Donkers got into the world of jazz music at the age of 14 when he met Europe’s First Lady of Jazz Rita Reys, who’s personal assistent he was from 2004 till her passing in 2013. Through her he was introduced into the Dutch jazz scene. In recent years he shared the stage with well known artists and musicians such as Ruud Jacobs, Eric Ineke, Marjorie Barnes, Peter Beets, and Lex Jasper. He regularly performs with Robert Koemans, Vincent Koning, Cas Jiskoot and Francesca Tandoi, and recently sang as a guest soloist with the West Coast Big Band and the Harbour Jazz Band.
Besides his own projects Donkers has through the years been involved in organizing several events, such as Greetje Kauffeld’s 60 Years On Stage tour, Eric Ineke’s 70th birthday concert, a tribute concert for Rita Reys at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw in 2016, and the celebration of Ack van Rooyen’s 90th birthday in 2020. In 2018 he was one of the producers of Rita Reys Collected, a 3CD released worldwide by Universal Music.