Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Laroo, Saskia (Magdalena Johanna)

Laroo, Saskia (Magdalena Johanna), trumpet; De Jordaan, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 31 July 1959. When Saskia was eighteen years old she moved permanently to Amsterdam and that's where she's still living and travelling from. Her father Jacobus Martinus or Jaap, was born in Amsterdam Oct 26, 1906 and passed away Nov 3, 1978, living most of his life in Amsterdam and in a little village named Den Ilp, close to and north of Amsterdam (about less than a 1000 citizens then). He could sing but never did professionally. Her mother Anthonia Maria Roelofs, was born March 8, 1933 in Haarlem. Her father and mother got married Febr 20, 1959 and lived since then partly in Amsterdam and in Den Ilp until they got divorced around 1972 and her father went back to living in Amsterdam. Her mother Antonia or Anja moved from Den Ilp some years later to live in a nearby city named Purmerend, along with her 3 sisters: Julia Margot (born Sept 24, 1961), Charlotte Martine (born Feb 23, 1963) and Eva Maria, (born May 9, 1964). Saskia is the only professional musician of the family. She grew up partly in the city and partly in Den Ilp.

From age 7 till age 11 she played recorder with several teachers (alto & soprano) at the children music school in Purmerend, a small nearby town. From age 8 on she played trumpet at the brass band in Den Ilp by the conductor and several members like Mr Johan de Ruiter (first piston/cornet, then flugelhorn for 1 week then back to cornet and eventually switched to trumpet). She stayed with the local brass band for 10 years. Conductors were at first horn player Mr. Johannessen from the Amsterdam Blaaskapel and later trumpet player Jan Schut from the Dutch Militairy Orchestra. At the age of 12 (1971) she went to highschool in Zaandam, another nearby city and graduated at age 17. From age 12 to 14, Saskia studied 3 years of cello at the Music School of Zaandam, teacher was cellist Olaf Kroes from Dutch Metropole Orchestra. At age 15 Saskia went to study by herself and with some friends 1 year of classical guitar & pop vocal accompaniment, which was very popular at the time on high school. Jimi Hendrix was her idol. Besides the guitar she picked up some piano and electronic organ skills, without official lessons.

She became interested in classical music theory and bought some books about counterpoint and harmony as well as music history. At age sixteen she discovered Jazz when a big band was formed at the Highschool in Zaandam with conductor, pianist Jan Molenaar, who gave her her first lessons in Jazz improvisation. At the age of 18 she went back to Amsterdam to live and study Mathematics for one year at the University of Amsterdam. She discovered the musical night life, went to concerts, jam sessions, work shops, tried to learn many songs and musical styles as well as stage presence and got herself her first paid gigs and decided to become a professional musician.

At the age of 19 she changed her mathematics studies towards music school in Alkmaar where she stayed for 2 years studying classical trumpet (teacher Jan Schut) with as secondary instrument classical piano (Charles Gebhardt) and took private lessons on classical upright bass (Pieter Smithuizen) and taught herself jazz upright bass. She started to work as a professional trumpet player at this time. At the age of 21 she again changed schools and went to Amsterdam Music School for two years where she studied Improvising Music on trumpet (teacher Boy Raaymakers) as a major and kept studying classical trumpet (teacher Dick Jonker) and classical upright bass (teacher Hans Krul) as a minor subject as well as jazz piano. After two years at the age of 22, she was kicked out the school due to a lack of talent. She decided not to continue her studies since she was supporting herself financially by "gigging" as a Jazz upright bassist and a jazz, Latin and pop trumpet player.

After one year break at age 24 she decided to continue her studies at the Music School in Hilversum, majoring on jazz trumpet (teacher Ack van Rooyen) and minors in classical trumpet (teacher Dick Jonker), classical upright bass and jazz piano harmony (Frans Elssen and Cees Small). She graduated after 2 years at the age of 25 (1985). She wrote a thesis. At age 24 she started to work as a teacher at the children 's Music School in Amsterdam for 3 years teaching trumpet. At age 26 she started to work for two years as a teacher "methodical teaching" to the trumpet students at the Music School in Hilversum. She had some private students but stopped teaching due to a lack of time because of her many jobs as a musician.

Saskia's second musical instrument is upright bass. Because of Saskia 's experiences with cello and guitar she could make an easy switch to the acoustic and electric bass. She wanted to experience what it is like to cooperate in a rhythm section accompanying a soloist. From age 19 on she started to play the upright bass and have classical music lessons as well as performing professionally as an acoustic jazz bass player. Later on she started to perform with electric bass as well. At the age of 27 Saskia decided to self study vocals  & alto saxophone and perform & record occasionally with the instruments.

Recently Saskia started to add more of her vocals in her performances: MC (Master of Ceremony), speeching, rapping, and singing, mostly improvised.
Her bands include the Saskia Laroo Rapband, Jazzkia, Slasabop and Saskia's Solo Act.

Her tours of Europe, Africa and the Middle East have included Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburgh, Germany, Austia, Swiss, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, Tsjechia, Slowakia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Lebanon, Malta, and South Africa. Her tours of Russia and the Far East have included Moscow, Minsk, Japan, Philippines, South Korea, and the Baltic States. Her tours of North America, South America and the Caribbean have included New York, Connecticut, Cleveland-Ohio, Detroit- Michigan, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Georgia, Curacao, Aruba, Bonaire, St Maarten, St Eustacius, and Colombia.

She has performed with jazz musicians such as Warren Byrd, Ernie Andrews, Ghasem Batamuntu, Madeline Bell, James Carter, Billy Child, George Coleman, Ronny Cuber, Hans Dulfer, Teddy Edwards, Essiet Essiet, Roy Hargrove, Slide Hampton, Billy Higgins, Pim & Ruud Jacobs, Denise Jannah, Wynton Marsalis, Butch Morris, David Murray, Marcus Printup, Jean Toots Thielemans, Bennie Wallace, Diane Witherspoon, Yellow Jackets, Lew Tobackin, and Michiel Borstlap.

She has performed with pop musicians such as George Benson, Candy Dulfer, Foley, Rosa King, Marcus Miller, Maceo Parker, Courtney Pine, Eveline Carels, Blixx, Trijntje Oosterhuis, Blixx, Stewlocks. She has performed with dance musicians Ronald Molendijk, Franky D, Ken Ishi, Graham B, Dimitri, Isis, P Julm, Brownee, Red, DNA, Ed Brown, and Erick D. She has performed with world musicians Jesus Alemany & Sierra Maestra, Larry Harlow, Nicky Marrero, Edy Martinez, Mario Rivera, Hilton Ruiz, Hugh Masekela, Los Papines, and Luis Salinas.

She has recorded with Teddy Edwards, Hans Dulfer, Candy Dulfer, Rosa King, Ernie Andrews, Kool Ace, Mellow Mac, Petra, Piman&Memre Buku, Fra fra sound, Novaghost Sect*tet, Ronald Snijders, Rob Gaasterland & Project 2000, Mola Sylla, Tierra Caliente, Gerardo Rosales, T spoon, Johnny Kelvin, Billy Preston, DJ Graham, DJ Dimitri, and Chris Beckers.

The festivals she's performed at include Netherlands: Northsea Jazzfestival, Germany: Burghausen Jazzwoche, Swiss: Montreux Jazzfestival, Bulgaria: Sofia Jazzfestival, Lebanon: Hamra Festival, South Korea: Mega Dance Festival, Japan: Sunset Festival, USA: Atlanta Jazzfestival, Colombia: Bogota Theatro Jazzfestival and Lithuenia: Mama Jazz Festival.

She has shared bills with artists such as Courtney Pine Band, Lenny White Band, Yellow Jackets, Rosa King Band, Candy Dulfer Band, Hans Dulfer Band, Jan Akkerman & FOCUS Band, Thijs van Leer & Focus Band, Caught in the Act, DJ BOBO, Fun Factory, Maceo Parker, Lew Tobackin, Septeto Santiagero, Toots Thielemans, Lee Towers, Pia Beck, Sonny Rollins, Sheila E, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Terence Blanchard, Luis Salinas, Lester Bowie Tribute big band.
Since 1994, Laroo has had her own record label, Laroo Records.

It's Like Jazz; Bodymusic; Jazzkia; Sunset Eyes 2000

Radio broadcasts:
Featured among 29 other of the most exciting women in jazz today. March 2000 - Women 's History Month Celebration, KLON Radio Jazz Guide, Los Angeles, USA

Featured Music contribution by Saskia Laroo as author, performer and record label on Video movie starring Calista Flockhart (Ally Mc Beal) Best Feature on New York International Independent Film and Video Festival January 2000

Contact information:
Saskia Laroo
Wilheminastraat 210 Hs, 1054 WV Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Europe
Tel: +31 20 6834838 / mob: +31 6 55713113 / fax: +31 20 6127688

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