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Trumpeter Eric Vloimans has learned 'to let it all go'

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Merlijn Doomernik
Eric Vloeimans foto: Merlijn Doomernik

Eric Vloimans

When: 8 p.m. Wednesday

Admission: $15; $10 in advance

Where: First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh, Shadyside

Details: 412-621-8008 or

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Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, 8:54 p.m.

Trumpeter Eric Vloimans says his music was shaped “largely through the America history of jazz,” but it also has a strong touch of the classical music of his Dutch upbringing.

The result, he says, is improvised music that “has its home in the heart, not in the head.”

Vloimans on Wednesday will bring that music to the First Unitarian Church in Shadyside in an improvised concert with keyboardist Florian Weber and Syrian clarinetist Kinan Zameh, whom he calls a “special guest.”

Vloimans and Weber are on a tour through the United States, he says, but have managed to add Zameh for several dates. Vloimans says the “match is very important” in any shared production of music, and believes this “match” among the three of them is quite good.

Vloimans' music is far from jazz, even though it has part of its source in jazz's improvisation, he says. Its classical heritage helps to create a different sound, he says, making his music more thoughtful, more contemplative, more like “chamber music.”

It also matches his approach to the trumpet, which he plays softly, without demanding the showy bravado which seems like the goal of most players of that horn.

He says he knows that style is a different way to play the trumpet in concert. When he realized he did not want to be a jazz trumpeter in the classic form of Freddie Hubbard, he had to shape his own style.

“The big secret is finding the art of letting it go,” he says of coming to grips with that fact.

He, indeed, has let it go. His music in these settings is based on simple lead sheets with melodies on them, but from there, the rest is created as they play.

Vloimans, 49, attended the Rotterdam Conservatory, where he discovered what he wanted to do with his horn.

He has been able to assemble a career centered on performing, even if he has to go a number of ways with it.

Besides this type of play, he also performs with a Baroque group, doing classical music with a bit of improvisation, as well as a band called Gatecrash, which is more of a jazz band.

“I did some teaching, but now I can't do that too much,” he says. “I've just been too busy.”

Bob Karlovits is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 412-320-7852.

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