Jazz trumpet player Suzan Veneman is quickly established her place on the scene, capturing audiences with her adventurous and soulful sound. After finishing her studies in the USA she has been fulfilling her role as successful musician and promising composer and arranger. Comfortable with many genres in of modern music, she can be seen playing with a wide variety of bands, including the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, Beets New Jazz Orchestra, the Millennium Jazz Orchestra, Zack Lober’s NO FILL3R and her own ambitious projects ‘Zinder’ and the Suzan Veneman Sextet.
Her early achievements include being finalist at the Prinses Christina Concours (NL, 2010) and partaking in the exclusive Jazz Rising Stars Program at Ravinia IL, (USA, 2013) lead by former jazz giant David Baker.
Suzan has also excelled as a skilled composer and arranger, being a finalist at the ASMAC Big Band composers and arrangers competition in LA (USA, 2014) and awardee Jazz Comp Graz Big Band Composers Competition in Austria in 2021. She was also invited as a guest composer at NDR big band in Hamburg, as part of their ‘Arrangement Podium’ in 2021 and was chosen as 1 of 10 composers to present her new work at ‘Week van de Jazz’ in 2022.
Veneman began her role as bandleader in 2019 with the Suzan Veneman Sextet, further discovering her voice as a composer and arranger. Her debut album ‘Migrations of the Mind’ came out in the Spring of 2022, after which the band played a beautiful release-tour on several leading jazz festivals and stages throughout the Netherlands.
She is currently in the process of releasing a new album with her newest project ‘Zinder’, a sextet consisting of 4 trumpets, bass and drums. Her idea was to combine the dynamic force of 4 trumpets with the freedom of a chord-less trio. Within this special set-up, Veneman playfully explores different roles the trumpet takes on within the jazz idiom, using big band-like tuttis, desolate melodies, free improvisation and warm harmonic interplay.
Suzan studied with Kurt Weiss, Alex Sipiagin, Joe Magnarelli and Jim Rotondi, among others.
Suzan Veneman Sextet
Suzan formed her band after an invitation to play as featured artist at the Jazz te Gast festival in Zuidhorn, Groningen in 2019. The band started out as a quintet, but later on she decided to ask her brother Vincent to join the group, forming a sextet.
This project has become one of Suzan's major outlets of musical expression. It is a statement of her personal and musical development so far. You will find that her music is deeply rooted in traditional jazz, but also contains a high dosis of soul and influences from funk and fusion. Her strong, convincing melodies are backed by a dynamic rhythm section, leaving plenty of room for each band member's own musical interpretation.
The band recorded music for Suzan's debut album 'Migrations of the Mind' during the pandemic. On the album Suzan explores the stages of grief in a 3-piece suite, capturing the emotions she went through after being diagnosed with MS. It is a powerful journey that concludes in an energetic finale, exhibiting newly found acceptance and vigor. The album release was celebrated at the Bimhuis, Amsterdam on March 12, 2022.
Suzan Veneman – trumpet / flugelhorn
Jasper van Damme – alto saxophone
Vincent Veneman - trombone
Timothy Banchet – piano
Tijs Klaassen – double / electric bass
Wouter Kühne – drum set
The ‘Zinder’ ensemble was developed in response to an invitation from renowned trumpet player and composer Dave Douglas to write music for ‘Festival of New Trumpet Music’ in 2021. After receiving the Dutch 'Week of Jazz' composition assignment by the ‘VNJJ’ (Association for Dutch Jazz Venues) for this project, new repertoire was written and premiered at the Doelen Rotterdam in 2022.
'Zinder' is an expression that conveys exhilaration, vibrancy, exuberance, being in the moment feeling alive. A word that perfectly evokes the feeling of what it is like to experience the sound and character of the trumpet. Suzan’s idea was to combine the dynamic force of 4 trumpets with the freedom of a chord-less trio, by adding bass and drums. Within this special set-up, Veneman playfully uses different roles the trumpet takes on within the jazz idiom in big band-like tuttis, desolate melodies, free improvisation and warm harmonic interplay. Her compositions are first and foremost inspired by and written for the players of the ensemble, tuning in on each character and their unique musical expression. Each piece paints a cinematic-like picture, that is charmingly brought to life by her astute writing.
Zinder recently recorded their debut album at Wisseloord Studios on May 13th and 14th of 2022. The album release is scheduled for Fall 2023.
Suzan Veneman – trumpet & flugelhorn, compositions
Alvaro Artime Jimenez - trumpet & flugelhorn
Gidon Nunez Vas - trumpet & flugelhorn
Kurt Weiss - trumpet & flugelhorn
Tijs Klaassen – double bass
Wouter Kühne – drum set
Bands & Projects
- Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw March 2023 - present
- Zinder 2021 - present
- Trio Sprank 2021 - present
- Suzan Veneman Sextet 2019 - present
- Patrieck Bonnet Quintet 2019 - present
- NO FILL3R (Zack Lober) 2020 - present
- Peter Beets New Jazz Orchestra 2018 - present
- Andor's Jazz Band 2016 - present
- Millennium Jazz Orchestra 2015 - present
Arranging & Composing
- Arrangement 'Thriller' for NSJO (Nederlands Studenten Jazz Orkest) (2023)
- 'Week van de Jazz' Composers assignment, new music for 'Zinder' (premiered at De Doelen Rotterdam, April 29th 2022).
- Arrangement of 'Cry Me A River' for the UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra (2022)
- Arrangement of 'How Deep Is The Ocean' for Loet van der Lee's 'Rode Hert Sessions part II' (2021)
- Arrangement of 'Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town' for the UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra (2021)
- Original compositions for Festival of New Trumpet Music (artistic director Dave Douglas) (2021)
- 'Sljocht & Rjocht' (Hiske Oosterwijk) - arrangement for the Noordpool Orkest (2020)
- 'Light Up' by Suzan Veneman - arrangement and composition for the Utrechtse Studenten Bigband (2020)
- 'The Deep' by Maaike den Dunnen - arrangement for big band (2020)
- 'The Jones' by Dave Douglas - arrangement for studio orchestra (2019)
- 'Project Herfstkleuren' the music of Harry Bannink: arrangements for vocals, trumpet, acoustic guitar and piano (2018)
- 'The Great Illusion' by Evelien Storm - horn arrangement (2018)
- 'Common Ground' by Sietske Roscam Abbing - arrangement for big band (2017)
- 'Into Eternity' by Suzan Veneman - Jazz Comp Graz Big Band Composers Competitions prize for best female composer (2020/2021)
- 'The Start Of Something Good' by Suzan Veneman - Jazz Comp Graz Big Band Composers Competition finalist (2017)
- 'The Storyteller' by Suzan Veneman - ASMAC Big Band Composers Competition 2nd prize (2014)
Interested in taking private trumpet, improvisation or jazz theory lessons? Suzan currently teaches in the Rotterdam area, but is also available for online zoom/skype lessons. All ages and levels are welcome! Feel free to contact me anytime!