Composer - Performer - Educator
"Music is my playful protest
against the madness
of this world"
Taking inspiration from a diverse range of styles ranging from Medieval Polyphony and Ethnic Traditions all the way to Soul, Funk, Synths, Ambient and Indiefolk,
Jelle is equally at home composing for Film or Theater as he is song-writing and
producing for his own projects.
His work in service includes composing the OST for the You.Legend series
and accompanying the 2018 KASK Fashion Show.
Some artists he loves: Josquin Desprez, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, The Beatles, Olivier Messiaen, Curtis Mayfield, Kings of Convenience, Guillaume de Machaut, Mbira DzenHarira, King Crimson, Joni Mitchell, Ernst Reijseger, Catbug, Juana Molina,
Karlheinz Stockhausen, Karel Van Deun, Weyes Blood, Brice Soniano, etc.
Sharing the spirit of Music has always been one of Jelle's greatest joys in life.
He does this through a variety of different projects,
both as an artistic leader and as a sideman.
With his main focus on fingerstyle bass, he integrates carefully the different styles necessary for a fluent communication in today's contemporary landscape. Whether it's energetic funk, gritty punk, African grooves, slow ballads, complex jazz, or just plain good old pop music, he is equally at home in all of them.
In 2018, Jelle graduated Cum Laude at the Ghent Conservatory and received a price for 'Best Jazz Performance' with his one-time project Ruister 1.0, a sonic exploration combining childhood memories, prepared guitar, polyphonic music and free improv.
Apart from playing bass, Jelle is also fluent on guitar, synth, bansuri and ableton,
utilizing them in producing and songwriting for Furesø, Appamada, et al.
His current interest lies in Mbira music from Zimbabwe and Medieval Polyphony;
transcribing music for his Mbira Harare project and studying species counterpoint.
At the age of 18, Jelle was already teaching private lessons to friends and acquaintences, focusing his lessons on their own wants, needs and dreams.
He continued this approach working for Full Flavour, an organization offering affordable music lessons to anyone willing to attend.
In 2019, he started the newly developed Master in Education program.
His thesis will look at incorporating improvisation in beginner lessons, following the new guidelines set up by the Belgian government for music education.
He wishes to continue this research as a doctorate student in the years to come,
generating useful approaches to further implement improvisation and creative development into the curriculum of the DKO (official art schools).
At the age of 10, Jelle received his first instrument, an Irish tin whistle.
Combining lessons in traditional folk music with his own interests,
he was quick to learn and loved playing tunes by ear such as
the Spongebob Squarepants intro theme.
Entering high-school, the flute could no longer hold up to the coolness
required of moving into puberty. He started playing his dad's archtop and
when being invited to a local pawnshop he found and chose an old battered
Russian bass as his precious birthday gift.
The rumbling, room-filling sounds resonated deeply as he would eagerly play
both modern repertoire and own compositions unplugged on the lap of his bed.
Turning 16, he matched up with a local punk-rock band and discovered the joy
and thrill of sharing a musical teamwork together. This never left him and in
subsequent years he would play with a variety of rock-oriented bands.
Graduating from high-school, the question of future studies emerged and he made
the bold choice of pursuing a career in music. Not receiving permission from his parents straight-away, he enrolled in film school before entering KHB Brussels for a prep year
(he was mostly self-taught and had no experience with music notation), he started
attending the Conservatory of Ghent the coming year after.
Receiving bass tuition from Nicholas Thys, the bachelor years progressively
opened up Jelle's proficiency at writing, playing and improvising music.
It was here where Appamada was founded, nurtured by all the new input
and co-existing alongside his engagement with other musicians and projects
such as Wavemaker, Kobiye, Roos Denayer, Brent Buckler, et al.
Being pressed by his teachers to apply for an Erasmus Exchange Program,
he decided to take a leap of faith and apply for the renown Danish RMC only.
On a week time, he composed and organised a recording session inviting
Erik Bogaerts and Simon Raman, two musicians who were leaps ahead of him.
Their musical generosity provided the thrust needed to take the jump forward.
Moving to Copenhagen proved to be an even bigger change than expected.
Leaving behind all of his musical projects, his girlfriend and even almost losing his bass, he nevertheless felt deeply inspired by the warmth and creativity of his school, teachers, co-students and host-family.
Under the guidance of Niels Lyhhne Løkkegaard he discovered a love for spectral music and developed it into Furesø (named for the lake where he lived). It was in these same classes that he was further challenged to write in his mother-tongue, Flemmish, which later developed into Poolvos (arctic fox).