What the President is Watching

Ben van Dijk – Bass trombone
ITA President, Bass Trombone Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Conservatory of Amsterdam








1. Lara Fabian Adagio – (Live) From Lara With Love

For me the voice always has been my biggest inspiration for my trombone playing. Listening to Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Placido Domingo or my flamenco Hero el Camaron de la Isla were in the beginning of my career my guidance in sound, phrasing, intonation and timing. A few years ago I heard Lara Fabian for the first time and was absolutely flabbergasted by her singing. This interpretation of Albinoni’s famous Adagio shows all her vocal qualities optima forma. Total control, virtuoso, perfect intonation and super emotional, really telling the story. I love it.

2. VOCES8 performs ‘Lux Aeterna’ by Edward Elgar live at the Gresham Centre in London

Again the voice that gives me so much inspiration and listening joy. This a cappella version of the Lux Aeterna from Elgar’s Enigma variation is so wonderfully done.  The way all the voices blend, the never disturbing breathing, their organic phrasing and scary intonation is something we also have to strive for in our instrumental ensemble playing

3. Warm up with Mr. Alessi 

I’m so jealous about today’s trombone related resources you can find on YouTube. You can imagine this wasn’t available 45 years ago. My friend Joe Alessi has some absolute amazing youtube videos online with tips how he does it. I would say to all of you look them up and learn. Joe is not alone, also another giant player like Ian Bousfield offer an online method but there are many more videos online of all sort of trombone topics.  At 62 I’m still learning so much from all these todays resources available on YouTube.

4. Tomatito y Paco de Lucía Mezclando ‘Corre Por Mis Venas’

Ok, this is something completely different but for me probably the most inspirational art form possible. Flamenco on the highest possible level. My biggest hobby next to my trombone is Flamenco and playing the Flamenco guitar is something I do on a daily base! What you see and hear in this video is a short fragment of the making of a unique clip for a cd track for a album by one of my guitar heroes Tomatito. El Camaron de la Isla ( Flamenco singer ) and Paco de Lucia ( Flamenco guitarist ) formed a legendary duo in the seventies and both became my absolute Musical heroes. When Paco became famous as soloist, Tomatito became the new guitarist of el Camaron and this combination was as successful as the earlier combi. El Camaron died way too early and in this clip you hear el Camaron sing with new added accompaniment of his 2 companions recorded several years after his death!Look this track up on Spotify and enjoy their passion, sense of rhythm, amazing interaction and musical purity. See those 2 giants enjoy listening to their lost friend. Too bad Paco de Lucia passed away a few years ago:-((

5. Trailer 21 trombones the 21th century

My first real interest for the trombone started after listening to the LP’s of Urbie Green and 21 trombones my father brought with him from the States after a tour with his orchestra. That amazing sound of 4 sections of 5 trombones each accompanying Urbie’s incredibly was so inspiring and it still is. It was for me so nice to participate in this “Urbie Green tribute” project of the New Trombone Collective. With 4 amazing trombone jazz soloists, Bart van Lier, Jiggs Wigham, Mark Nightingale and Nils Wogram in the role of Urbie and us as the 20 “World Greatest” as they were named on the original LP’s playing Urbie originals and new compositions for this formation. A dream come true and I hope you will enjoy the live registration of this project’s concert as much as we enjoyed playing it.