Tha´sa Olivia Quartet
Thaïsa Olivia - vocals
Christian Doepke - piano
Sven Schuster - bas
Joost Kesselaar - drums
Thaïsa interprets pieces from the American Songbook 'with a sense of lyricism and expressiveness', selected by Thaïsa, thus giving wellknown and lesser-known songs a unique interpretation. The repertoire consists of pieces written and/or are sung by Cole Porter, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Cy Coleman, Rodgers & Hart, Harold Arlen, Jerome Kern and Kurt Elling, a.o. Nowadays Thaïsa also focuses on composing her own work with original lyrics and arrangements. Coming season this will be the larger part of the repertoire. Thaïsa works with three excellent musicians, who have each a proven and earned their reputation. On occasion they are supplemented with guest soloist Kurt Weiss on trumpet. Read more Biography.
Christian studied jazz piano at the Arnhem Conservatory, where he graduated in 1994. After his graduation he moved back to Munich, Germany. From 1995 to 2005 he performed with several groups in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Turkey. As a pianist, arranger and sideman he has contributed to many television, movie and theatre productions and numerous Cds. In 2003 he recorded ‘Heaven Knows’, his first solo album, featuring original compositions, followed by ‘ADLIBS’, his trio record featuring former Miles Davis sideman Rick Margitza, released in May 2008 by the emerging record label JAZZ & MILK. In 2006 Christian moved to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and has since then become an active member of the Dutch jazz scene. Christian has worked with: Rhiannon, Joey Blake, David Worm, Sheila Jordan, Jenny Evans, Rick Margitza, Rick Keller, Johannes Enders, Claudio Roditti, Horacio Hernandez, William Galison, Dusko Goikovich, Guido May, John Engels, Henning Sieverts, Christian Diener, Thaisa Olivia, Deborah J. Carter, Liz Howard, Masha Bijlsma, Peter Horton, Elke Voltz, Die Blauen Engel and The Croonettes amongst others.
In 1996, Joost Kesselaar graduated at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, the Netherlands. He continued his studies with Jeff Hamilton (the regular drummer of the late Oscar Peterson) Los Angeles and New York. Joost played with Toon Roos, Clark Terry, Benny Bailey, Jesse van Ruller, Michiel Borstlap, Barend Middelhof, Fleurine and Rick Margitza a.o. As a band member he has won several jazz awards, including the European Jazzcontest and the Middelsee Jazztreffen. Joost currently is a member of the Gerard Kleijn Group. In addition, he also plays in the groups of Soesja Citroen and David Golek, as well as many others. Joost is one of the most in-demand drummers in the Dutch jazz scene.
From 1984 to 1988 Sven Schuster studied at the Musikhochschule in Graz, Austria. He continued his studies in Hilversum, the Netherlands, where he graduated in 1991. In that same year he won the Best Soloist Award at the Middelsee Jazztreffen in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands Sven has performed and recorded with numerous renowned musicians, including Herb Geller, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Alan Praskin, Bill Elgart, Wolfgang Haffner, Mel Lewis, Ferdinand Povel, Ack van Rooyen, Han Bennink, Steve Altenberg, John Engels, Rick Margitza, Dale Barlow, Jim Hall a.o. Sven also toured in Europe, Africa, Jamaica, USA and Canada. In 1999 he release ‘Three Is a Crowd’, his first cd as a leader, which received wide critical acclaim. ‘Shooster’, his 2nd recording, was released in 2004.
Kurt Weiss began his music studies at The North Carolina School of the Arts where he studied with Raymond Mase. He took a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music where he studied with Charles Geyer, a former member of the Chicago Symphony. Weiss performed with the award-winning Eastman Jazz Ensemble, led by Rayburn Wright. He received his Master of Music degree at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, where he assisted in giving trumpet master classes, jazz improvisation and big band masterclasses. Weiss performed with Aretha Franklin among others, Frank Foster, Steve Grossman, Natalie Cole, Donna Summer, Rosemary Clooney, Mel Torme and Bobby Short. Weiss toured extensively as soloist with the orchestras of Ray Charles, Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller and Jimmy Dorsey. During his years in New York he performed with the orchestras of Toshiko Akiyoshi, Mario Bouza, Maria Schneider, Barry Harris and the Village Vanguard Monday Night Orchestra. In addition, he toured with his own bands in the USA and Europe, he performed in many Broadway theater orchestras and television shows and contributed to several CD productions. Weiss is currently a professor at the Prince Claus Conservatoire in Groningen, offering a unique jazz training called New York Comes to Groningen in which New York jazz scene is a central theme.
Photo: Lionne Hietberg