I worked with pianist/composer Rene van Helsdingen since 1988. In 1990 we recorded the cd “Ojongono”. It is on spotify with bandname “Luluk Purwanto and the Helsdingen Trio”. One of my favorite recordings. Luluk and Rene composed their own music by recording their improvisations and made tunes out of that!

I did a lot of touring with Rene and Luluk. In 1994 we did our longest tour with the “Stage Bus”. Throughout Europe, 100 gigs in a old Dutch public transportation bus rebuild by technician, artist and engineer Aart Marcus. This to hold and perform mobile live jazzconcerts and also a place to relax during travelling. A great job!

Our best gig was in Lugano 1994. We played on the main city square between the acts on the main stage. We met famous jazz musicians as Horace Silver, Dave Holland, John Abercrombie, Jack Dejohnette, Max Roach and many more artists. Mister Max Roach was so tall he had watch out coming into the bus!

Stage Bus in Lugano Jazz Festival 1994

Stage Bus tour in 1994: from left to right: Aart Marcus, Wiro Mahieu, Donald Dean, Luluk Purwanto and Rene van Helsdingen. In the background you can see old but integreted television tubes that interacted in different colors with our music. Aart Marcus did a really incredible job. Famous musians were stunned to see his Stage Bus. Rene organised the '94 tour and drove this bus!

Recently I started working again with Rene. This time a trio with his latest music. You’ll find some of that in the videolink above. Rene works with a lot of American and Dutch musicians: Henk Zomer, Egbert van Gruijthuijzen, Stefan Lievestro, Victor de Boo, Marcel Serierse, Marcello Pellitteri, Jos Machtel, Essiet Okon Essiet, Donald Dean, Henry “The Skipper” Franklin, Kent Brinkly, Luluk Purwanto, Ira Coleman, Gene Jackson, Peter Guidy, Don Mumford, Billy Cobham, and many more.

See you at the gig and best regards!

Wiro Mahieu.