Mitsey Smeekens (2015) Lorenzo de Bruin

Max Dereta
About the artwork

Since 2013, portraits of famous deceased jazz musicians have appeared on and around Oude Binnenweg. The portrait series has become a jazz and comic route as a memorial to an important music history in Rotterdam. The portraits were made by renowned cartoonists and illustrators. This is a portrait of Mirza 'Mitsey' Wilhelmina Snijders (Rotterdam, 1920 - Rotterdam, 2008). Mitsey Smeekens sang in the orchestra of the Jewish pianist Martin Roman. Her later husband, trumpet player Gerard Smeekens, also played here. He was murdered in Germany. Mitsey refused to become a member of the Kultuurkamer during the war. After the liberation she sang in numerous bands and started her own Perdido Trio around 1958 with the double bassist Will Nieland, Joop Korzelius (percussion, vibraphone) and Herman Houtman (piano), her second husband. The jazz and comic route was realized by BKOR and Rotterdam Jazz Artists Memorial (R'Jam). With this route they try to keep the Rotterdam jazz celebrities from being forgotten. An extensive biography of the artists and musicians included in the series can be found at The vinyl album is in honor of this project Jazz from R'jam was released, on which all portrayed jazz musicians can be heard.

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About the artist

Lorenzo de Bruin (Rotterdam, 1967) was introduced to the profession at home. His father was the Rotterdam painter and advertising artist Kok de Bruin. In addition to illustrating, painting is his great love and passion.

Jacobusstraat 218, 3012 JP Rotterdam, Netherlands