Daniel Willem

Daniel Willem

Vibrato-AE Violin (BAR-AEV) in Natural

Quote: "I went to the Barcus-Berry® factory with Jean-Luc Ponty in 1978 where I was honored to see the making of Barcus-Berry violins," said Daniel Willem, professional violinist in Belgium. " It was here I purchased my first Barcus-Berry violin, and I have been playing it ever since. I've tried a lot of electro-acoustic violins and other system mics (piezo, electro-static...), but I have never found the special sound and fast response of Barcus-Berry any where else. Barcus-Berry suits my style of playing and music with perfection."

Bio: Daniel Willem was born in Auderghem, Brussels, Belgium. At 7 years old, he began playing violin, piano and mandolin, and by 14 years, he was awarded Government Medals from the Music Academy for violin (Jeanne Corbusier, Jean Donnay), piano (Amélie Dengis), chamber music (Guy Zuinen) and sol-fa.

Soon thereafter, Willem became a student at the Music Royal Academy of Liège, taking violin from the Romanian virtuosos Lola Bobesco and Richard Pieta.

At 17, Willem wins first prize, and continues to expand his passion for violin with musicians, Thadé Geisler-Wyganowski (PL) and Jean Donnay (B) where Willem founded the Ancient Music Quartet, "Les Cordes Mosanes" with Jean Donnay (violin), Alejandro Moreiras (harpsichord, organ), Camille Dhoor (double bass).

Simultaniously, he became a member of the Brussels "Beaux Arts Orchestra" and Chamber Orchestra of Lausanne.

In the early 1970's, Willem created the Folk Group "Triskan" with Thierry Maquet, Jean-François Dumont, Albert Frère, Jean-Paul Lebens and brother Patrick Willem, which became exceptionally popular.
Additionally, Willem created other musical groups playing Gypsy Jazz, Gypsy Music, Blues, Country, Rock and Electronic music. In 1978, Willem travelled to Los Angeles, CA, USA, where he met Jean-Luc Ponty and were introduced to the many creative opportunities offered by the acoustic-electric violin. Ponty took Daniel to buy his first acoustic-electric violin at the Barcus-Berry headquarters in Los Angeles. Since this day, Willem has declared that he will remain loyal to this company and continue to believe in Barcus-Berry.

During his time in California, Willem is invited by Swing musician, Stéphane Grappelli, to play at the UCLA Royce Music Hall.

In 1980, Willem performed with the American jazz drummer, Art Blakey, at the famous Village Vanguard in New York.

Upon his return to Europe, Willem formed new groups (Baba Trio, Baba Cool…) with his brother as bassist, Jean-Pierre Froidebise, Stéphane Martini, Marc-Henri Cykiert on guitar, Jean-Marie Billy, Denis Pousseur on piano, Yves Baibay, Philippe Demany, Pierre Adam on drums, Milou Struvay on trumpet, Jacques Pelzer and Steve Houben on saxophone.

Daniel Willem was the first Belgian "electric" violinist in his country, paving the way for young violinists.

Daniel moved on to work in the USA, Canada, Brussels, Paris and London as an composer, arranger, studio musician and sound engineer, working with Marvin Gaye, Paul Youg, Allison Moyet and more.

In 1985, Willem began working on plays and coproduced Viktor Lazlo's album "She" that became an international success with the single "Pleurer des Rivières" remaining in the Top 50 hits for 13 weeks.

In 1988 in Dublin, Willem conducted the Eurovision Orchestra for the Belgian singer, Joseph Reynaerts, where he composed and arranged the song "Laisser briller le soleil" that obtained a platinum record in Scandinavia and later sung by Johnny Logan.

Willem returns to the USA and Canada to perform in a series of concerts and recordings in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Montreal and Quebec.

In 1990, Willem signed an artist contract with CBS as well as an editorial contract with EMI, for his song "Seul à trainer" (Song text was from Marc Dixon, the clip was co-produced by Sony and M6 and created by J.J.Goldman and team). The song became France 's Top 50 most requested songs.

Since the beginning, Willem has performed concerts and recorded music around the world, as a violinist, mandolinist, keyboarist, organist, guitarist, composer, arranger, sound engineer, creator and producer. He has obtained a variety of platinum and gold records.
With Jean-Pierre Froidebise, he created a "Tribute Band", the "Tambourine Men" group that recalls the career of Bob Dylan.

Currently, Willem offers lessons, trainings and concerts within the scope of the education program proposed by the "Jeunesses Musicales" of Liège.

Daniel Willem is presently one of the most creative Gypsy Jazz violinists. His unique sound is recognizable by many and expresses sensitivity, rhythm and electricity.

To find out more about Daniel, visit his website: http://www.danielwillem.com

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