About Ilse Huizinga

Ilse Huizinga is a jazz vocalist from Amsterdam, The Netherlands, thus, every day she rides her bike on wooden shoes through fields of tulips and windmills while eating Gouda cheese and drinking Heineken. Ilse loves vocal jazz, photography, travel and Johnny Depp, in no particular order. Besides performing and recording, Ilse coaches jazz singers around the world. If chasing her is a bit too much for you, and you still want access to all of her knowledge and experience, you could always check out her Jazz Singers Academy. It has everything for jazz singers! Including lots of valuable free stuff.
12 05, 2017

Ilse Huizinga’s uber challenging Quizzzz for (jazz) singers – part 3


How do jazz singers count in? A. One - two, you know what to do B. My pianist always counts in C. Of course, I can count, I don't have to prove it D. One - two, one, two, three, four 2. Who said: he was my source of inspiration and irritation, [...]

15 04, 2017

Bette Midler: how to WOW your audience


I’m 26 and I love to sing, but I feel a bit uncertain about talking to my audience. So I decide to dive into the literature of the performing arts. I bump into the book: “The Singing Entertainer.” Yes! That’s the book for me.       I completely devour the advice [...]

31 03, 2017

How to breathe yourself into peak performance


After I climbed the narrow Amsterdam stairs to the third floor, I have to take off my shoes. Of course. I forgot. Again. Don’t you just love it. With her clear blue eyes, she observes me. “Please sit down”, she quietly invites me. I just turned twenty, a rushed and unsettled student - I throw [...]

3 03, 2017

Betty Carter: how to sound original


I’m in Montreux with my friends, singers Clare Foster and Twana Rhodes - we’re touring in Switzerland with our colorful close harmony act. As we stroll over one of the afternoon’s sunny plaza’s, all of a sudden Twana spots Betty Carter in the crowd. And they know each other! Do you know that feeling [...]

26 02, 2017

Tony Bennett – How to talk to your audience


  I’m performing in one of Rome’s cutest jazz clubs in the lovely area Monti, as I find myself extensively introducing Angel Eyes. It lends itself perfectly to be sung in a cafe. And blah blah blah. And how convenient this place is. “And hey, look, there’s the bar. Cheers!” As I raise my [...]

5 02, 2017

Stacey Kent: how to interpret your lyrics


I’m at a party, being called upon to ‘sing us a song’ by a group of Aussies, Irish and Brits. As an aspiring jazz singer, 19 years old, I pick my favorite tune by Abbey Lincoln - a fantastic singer, of whom no one in the room ever heard of. The song starts and I [...]

28 01, 2017

Natalie Cole: how to shine!


Don’t you just love getting caught under the spell of the always energetic, glowing and sparkling Natalie Cole. She used to sing R&B, and later found herself in the devoted arms of a global jazz audience with her album Unforgettable, on which she re-recorded standards sung by her father, Nat King Cole. [...]

20 01, 2017

Johnny Hartman – how to sing with ease


I’m listening to They Say It’s Wonderful by the hypnotizing Johnny Hartman. It’s late at night. The sounds linger through the air and curl around my back. How I love that lush, velvety sound. And once again, I’m won and would immediately trust him with my life, my banking codes and my mother’s jewelry. [...]

14 01, 2017

How to keep your voice healthy: Ilse’s top 10 tips


One of my coaches was a classical singer, Gert-Jan Arendsen. With him, I would soar through “Quella Fiamma Che M’Accende”, warble Beethoven’s “Sehnsucht” and yearn “Sospiri di foco”. I just loved zooming in on all technical aspects; breathing, posture, diction, the classical sound. And when the tone would ‘sit’ - it felt as if [...]

6 01, 2017

Kurt Elling – how to stay in tune


  I saw him at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam - he wore very casual mustard yellow pants, and I remember thinking: ‘remarkable choice for a performer’ - when he impressed me deeply with his a capella opening for his very first song. Out of the tree of life he just picked himself a plum. [...]

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