Pianist Jozef Dumoulin (Belgium) redefined the Fender Rhodes keyboard through a scope that is at the same time fully contemporary, eclectic and highly personal. He was the first to present a full solo program featuring the instrument. Furthermore he is known for his open and luminous approach to the piano and to music in general, always anchored in tradition without being burdened by it. Besides the Fender Rhodes solo, his own projects include The Red Hill Orchestra (a trio with Ellery Eskelin and Dan Weiss) and a duo with Benoît Delbecq.
Highly-demanded as a sideman, Jozef Dumoulin has recorded and toured with the finest of musicians in the domain of jazz, improvised music, rock and traditional music. He currently lives in Paris.
"One of the most inventive pioneers in his genre", "piano wizard", "a keyboard magician" or "a Fender Rhodes specialist", are some of the quotes describing Jozef Dumoulin. The press qualified his music as "dreams about music and music about dreams", "a sort of journey through the music of today that remembers the music of yesterday and would like to reach that of the future", offering "a subtle mixture between emotion and experimentation". As a musician, Dumoulin is known for being able to maintain his own voice in every musical context, wether it be traditional jazz, improvised music, pop music or contemporary music.
Born in 1975 in Ingelmunster, in the pretty deep Belgian countryside, from a very early age Jozef Dumoulin was totally attracted to music and sound, fooling around on the two pianos at home. Throughout his childhood and teenage years he attended classes in piano, organ, clavichord, euphonium, harmony and some drums. Around the age of 16 he discovered jazz, and began spending hours in the local library finding records and zapping the TV at night in the hope of bumping into some live jazz. At 18 he studied psychology for two years but then decided to go to the Brussels Conservatory where he was tutored by Diederik Wissels and Nathalie Loriers. He also spent two years at the Musikhochschule of Cologne taking classes with John Taylor.
Musically, Dumoulin has his fingers in lots of pies. Initially he played the piano, as in his joint band with singer Barbara Wiernik on the CD ‘Eclipse’ (Mogno 2001), an instrument he still deeply cherishes. At the same time he has developed his unique sound on the Fender Rhodes, combining it with electronics. Using this setup, he joined forces with a number of existing formations (such as the Magic Malik Orchestra, Reggie Washington Trio Tree, Octurn, Maak Spirit, Dre Pallemaerts group, Othin Spake, Benzine, Narcissus Quartet, ...), still finding enough time to engage in other enriching get-togethers (Brussels Jazz Orchestra, Toots Thielemans, Aka Moon, Belmondo brothers, David Lynx, ...). Over the years he shared the stage and/or recorded with Mark Turner, Bill Carothers, Michael Brecker, Dave Liebman, Ellery Eskelin, Dan Weiss, Benoît Delbecq, Jaime Torres, Sekouba Traore, Skoota Warner, Arve Henriksen, Stian Westerhus, Jon Irabagon, Tim Dahl, Craig Taborn, Kris Davis, Ethan Iverson, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, Jim Black, Keiji Haino, Trevor Dunn, Daniel Humair, Hilmar Jensson, Andrew D'Angelo, Nate Wooley, Ron Miles, Joseph Bowie, Nelson Veras, Marc Ducret, Ronny Jordan, Robin McKelle, T.N. Seshagopalan, B.C. Manjunath, Reggie Washington, Corry Smythe, Jef Lee Johnson, Kartet, Soo Bin Park, Rick Margitza, among many others.
In 2006 Jozef Dumoulin moved to Paris, where he soon became active and increasingly interested in developing his own music. His aim was to give a proper home to his own sound and style, and to distill his own interpretation of all the musical styles he had practiced with as many different bands. He soon released three cd's on the Bee Jazz label: “Trees are always right” with his Belgian band Lidlboj, “Rainbow Body” with his trio made up of Eric Thielemans on drums and Trevor Dunn on bass, and "A Fender Rhodes Solo" - first Fender Rhodes solo album in the history of the instrument. All three cd's were critically acclaimed. End of 2013 Jozef got a FAJE-grant to write for and play with Ellery Eskelin on saxophone and Dan Weiss on drums. The trio is called 'The Red Hill Orchestra' and their first cd 'Trust' was released on the french label Yolk in 2014.
Other ongoing personal projects include a series of duos; one with Belgian singer Lynn Cassiers, called Lilly Joel (‘What Lies In The Sea’ was released in 2015 on Sub Rosa), one with pianist Benoît Delbecq, ‘Plug And Pray’ (‘Evergreens’, 2017, dStream), another with Jim Black on drums and electronics, and a recent one - pandemic spin-off - with New York based drummer/sound-artist Flin van Hemmen, called 'Too Tall To Sing'.
In 2016 Jozef Dumoulin started an acoustic quintet, Orca Noise Unit, with Sylvaine Hélary on flutes, Antonin Tri Hoang on clarinets and saxophone, Bruno Chevillon on double bass and Toma Gouband on percussion. The record ‘A Beginner’s Guide to diving and Flying’ was released on Yolk Records in 2018.
Traces of his work with noise and rock influences are the records the the Japanese cult-musician Keiji Haino and drummer Teun Verbruggen (‘The Miracles Of Only One Thing’, Sub Rosa 2016) and his slightly controversial guitar-band Trojan Panda. Carton Records is releasing Trojan Panda’s first record ‘Peau’ end of March 2021.
Besides, Jozef Dumoulin is part of the trio Bará, bringing together his keyboards with the worlds of multi-instrumentalist Baba Sissoko and Iranian percussionist/producer Afra Mussawisade (‘Bolo Saba’, Homerecords 2020). He wrote and arranged all the music of the records ‘Eden’ (RAT Records 2019) of Teun Verbruggen’s band The Bureau Of Atomic Tourism, featuring Magnus Broo, Jon Irabagon, Julien Desprez and Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, besides Verbruggen and Dumoulin.
Jozef Dumoulin co-composed the music for a quartet-cd with saxophonist Jerôme Sabbagh and for a double-cd with belgian M-base/Messiaen cult-band Octurn.He also composed and performed music for several movies.
Jozef Dumoulin performed all over the globe and can be heard on over 100 records.