"I can't tell you how happy I am with this award. I am honored, very happy, and I never expected this. However, more important then this award is the fact that my passion and fun for my work reaches others and motivates people to play."
The band Martin put together for this event featured Adinda Meertins on double bass, Tico Pierhagen on keyboards and his wife Anouk Verdonk on clave and maracas.
Martin Verdonk, born in Curacao in 1959, moved to the Netherlands with his parents in 1971. He studied percussion at the Rotterdam conservatory from 1982-1984 and at the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba in '86 '87 and '88.
Some of his credits
Martin played, recorded or performed as guest with international artists like: Steve Winwood, Incognito, Prince, Chaka Khan, Richard Bona, George Duke, Andy Narell, Lionel Richie, George Benson, Donna Summer, Tollak Ollestad, En Vogue, Santana, Leonardo Amuedo, James Taylor, Toots Thielemans, Lalo Schifrin, David Sanchez, Chip Taylor, Shaggy, Abdullah Ibrahim, dr.Lonnie Smith, Ray Obiedo,WDR big band, NDR big band, BBC big band, Paquito D'Rivera, James Moody, Jon Faddis, Roy Hargrove, Tony Carey, Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, Alex Acuna, Rich Wyman, Demis Roussos and many more.
Martin Verdonk teaches at the World Music Department of the Rotterdam Conservatory. In 1995 he received the award for 'outstanding service to Jazz education' in Los Angeles. The readers of the Dutch drum magazine 'Slagwerkkrant' choose Martin several times as best percussionist and the U.S. Magazine 'Drum' awarded Martin as one of the 4 best clincians worldwide. Martin is also a very popular team builder and percussion motivator, working for many Fortune top 100 companies.
"Martin Verdonk is not your average percussionist. As a matter of fact, there is no doubt that Martin is among the finest contemporary musicians not only in Europe, but in the world."
- John Santos
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