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Jesse van Ruller


21-01-1972 - current


gitaar, jazz


Officiële website

Jesse van Ruller

Guitarist Jesse van Ruller (Amsterdam, 21 January 1972) is considered to be one of the great jazz guitarists of his generation. The great American guitarist Jim Hall says this about him: 'A most expressive player; he really touched me on a personal level.' Van Ruller is versatile; he feels equally ...
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Mentioned in the biography of

1994   Bart Suèr
1995   Marc van Roon
1996   Martijn Vink
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Biography Jesse van Ruller

Guitarist Jesse van Ruller (Amsterdam, 21 January 1972) is considered to be one of the great jazz guitarists of his generation. The great American guitarist Jim Hall says this about him: 'A most expressive player; he really touched me on a personal level.' Van Ruller is versatile; he feels equally at home in traditional jazz context as in groups with a penchant for innovation. He also leads his own outfits, including a trio and a quartet, for which he composes and with which he records. His growing international reputation shows from albums with American musicians like pianist David Hazeltine, drummer Clarence Penn and trumpeter Jon Swana. Since 2010 Jesse van Ruller has been operating the new trio Chambertones which he co-leads with reed player Joost Roelofs and bassist Clemens van der Feen.

Played in

Chambertones trio   gitaar, ukulele
Mona Lisa Overdrive   gitaar
Ramón Valle   gitaar

1979 - 1994

At the age of seven Jesse van Ruller starts playing the guitar and soon comes in under the spell of rock guitarists like Jimi Hendrix, Brian May (Queen) and Carlos Santana. Albums by George Benson introduce him to jazz. In 1990 he starts his studies at the Hilversum Conservatory, where he is taught by guitarist Wim Overgaauw, who acquaints him with the jazz tradition.

Wim Overgaauw

1995 - 1996

Van Ruller graduates summa cum laude at the Hilversum Conservatory, and participates in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in Washington D.C. The jury, consisting of Pat Metheny, John Scofield, Jim Hall, Pat Martino and Mark Whitfield, awards him the first prize. He thus establishes his name both at home and abroad as a major guitar talent. In 1996 he forms his first own band, a quartet, featuring pianist Karel Boehlee, bassist Frans van Geest and drummer Martijn Vink. The award gets him a great deal of work. In the same year he makes his recording debut with an international ad hoc group, the European Quintet.

Frans van Geest Karel Boehlee Martijn Vink

1996 - 1999

The ‘freebeat’ band SFeQ sees Van Ruller as the ideal successor to guitarist François van Bemmel. He makes his debut with the outfit at the North Sea Jazz Festival 1996. Van Ruller records three CD's with the band: SFeQ United, Vol. I and Vol. II, and SFeQ 3000. Singer Fleurine includes him in her band Fleurine Plus Five. Her colleague Francien van Tuinen also enters into a long-term musical relationship with Van Ruller. Arranger Henk Meutgeert’s New Concert Big Band engages him as the guitarist with the orchestra, which is later rechristened to Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw. In 1999 Van Ruller joins pianist Michiel Borstlap’s new band, Body Acoustic, which takes the North Sea Jazz Festival to start its life. It is a busy year, for Van Ruller also records the duo album Nine Stories From Van der & Van with fellow guitarist Maarten van der Grinten, and he tours Japan with his own quartet.

Francien van Tuinen Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw SFeQ


Jesse van Ruller decides to continue his own band as a trio (without a pianist), featuring bassist Frans van der Hoeven and Martijn Vink. The minimal line-up offers him the opportunity to showcase both his talent as guitarist and as a composer. In 2001 a debut CD is released, simply entitled Trio. Early 2000 alto saxophonist Piet Noordijk starts a new quintet, in which Jesse van Ruller’s guitar also plays a role.

Frans van der Hoeven Piet Noordijk

2001 - 2003

The Dutch producer Gerry Teekens offers Van Ruller the opportunity to record for his American oriented label Criss Cross as a sideman with pianist David Hazeltine (Good-Hearted People) and drummer Clarence Penn (Play-Penn). In 2002 the guitarist records his first Criss Cross album as a leader: Here And There. It features an American quartet and a Dutch trio. For the albums Circles (2003) and Views (2006) he calls in American musicians exclusively: saxophonist Seamus Blake, Hammond organist Sam Yahel and drummer Billy Stewart.

2005 - 2007

Bassist Stefan Lievestro forms a new sextet, featuring Jesse van Ruller on guitar. The two also meet in Mona Lisa Overdrive, a heavy quartet with a line-up of Hammond organ (Arno Krijger), guitar, bass and drums (Hans van Oosterhout), placing them in the region of jam bands like Medeski, Martin & Wood. The saxophonist in Lievestro's band, Jasper Blom, includes Van Ruller in his new quartet, which makes its recording debut with Statue Of Liberty, and doesn’t shun the use of electronics. According to critic Herman te Loo in his review of the album in Jazzflits 'Van Ruller hits the pedals hard. […] Van Ruller will seldom have sounded as heavy as this.’ He uses the same effects for the Bruinsma Syndicaat, violinist Jeffrey Bruinsma’s band, which makes its debut in 2006.

Jasper Blom Jeffrey Bruinsma Mona Lisa Overdrive Stefan Lievestro


Together with reedist Joris Roelofs and bassist Clemens van der Feen Van Ruller starts the trio Chambertones. As the name suggests the threesome perform chamber jazz. Their eponymous debut album receives rave reviews.

Clemens van der Feen Joris Roelofs


Clemens van der Feen calls in the help of Jesse van Ruller for his own band, which is selected by the MCN for the Young VIPS Tour of the Dutch jazz club circuit.

Discography Jesse van Ruller

In the discography you will find all recordings that have been released listed chronologically. We restrict ourselves to the title, the type of audio, year of publication or recording, label, list of guest musicians, plus any comments on the issue.

Photos Jesse van Ruller

Audio/Video Jesse van Ruller

Video Jesse van Ruller

Francien van Tuinen - Fal...
Francien van Tuinen - Fallin'
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Francien van Tuinen - Fallin'

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