Robert De Kers

Robert De KersRobert De Kers, stage name / pseudonym for Robert Pierre De Keersmaeker, (Antwerp, August 10, 1906 - Brussels, January 16, 1987) was a Belgian jazz trumpet player and band leader.

He was a son in a musical family, father Telesphore Louis Marie (Théophile) De Keersmaeker played the violin and mother Laure Susanne Parcus piano, both teachers at the L'Institut Beetoven / Beethoven Institute. He was married for some time to Jannetje de Otter / Jeanette den Otter from Rotterdam with stage name Jane Miller and known as Lady Crooner.

He sat at the piano early on and as a teenager started playing jazz with local musicians, continuing during his medicine studies at the Free University of Brussels; he wanted to become a doctor; he wouldn't finish the study. Under the influence of Louis Armstrong, he also started playing the trumpet. In the 1924-1925 season he played with Bing Boys during concerts in dancing Saint-Sauveur in Warmoesberg. He played in ensembles of Fud Candrix (Original Berkely's band) with, for example, Carlo Benzi. He played in David Bee's Dixieland ensemble Red Beans and took the lead over time. Even before the Second World War he turned to entertainment music with performances with band leader and tap dancer Harry Flemming (The Flemming Blue Birds). [2] He also accompanied singer Josephine Baker (The 16 Baker Boys with performances in Europe and North Africa) and played with Jean Robert and Jean Omer. He also gave concerts with his own band Robert De Kers and His Cabaret Kings (founded in 1930), which could also be heard on the radio, on recordings via Decca Records and in the Antwerp Centruy Hotel. He has collaborated with Jack Kruger, Gus Clark, Eddie Tower and Toots Thielemans. Until the 1950s he continued to work as an arranger and composer; there he played for American troops in post-World War II Germany. He published the manual Harmonie et orchestration pour orchester de danse / Harmonie en orchestration for dance orchestras. From 1964 he was director of the Belgian branch of Wurlitzer for some time.

He wrote some fifty works with titles such as Absurdity, Triviality, Peculiarity and Singularity and the late 1970s experimental Space Music. He wrote works within the genres of classical music, teaching materials for jazz organ and jazz became apparent years later from his archive held by the Jazz Center Flanders, not only under his own name but also under other pseudonyms such as Ronny Parker and Robert Chandelier. Most remained in manuscript form.


Swing from Brussels
Begin the Beguine
Robert de Kers & his Vibraswingers (1941)

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