Rita Reys (2017) Wilbert Plijnaar

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 Rita Reys (Rotterdam, 1924 - Breukelen, 2013). Maria Everdina Reijs has been considered as the international jazz festival of Juan-les-Pins (1960) since Europe's First Lady of Jazz. She was accompanied by the trio of pianist Pim Jacobs. She married him the same year. Rita was praised for her text handling, her accurate timing and phrasing. Even in old age, Rita Reys managed to surprise everyone time and again with her smooth swing, vitality and voice control. The portrait was made by illustrator Wilbert Plijnaar, who is a cousin of Rita. The painting is made with light-sensitive paint. Atelier LEK made a lighting design with projected colors that provide a spectacular effect. The lighting has been active since November 2019, making it seem like a big party from days gone by is being announced every night. On the occasion of illuminating the portrait of Rita Reys, Wilbert Plijnaar gave as a special guest a listening audio tour on the Oude Binnenweg. 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 www.r-jam.nl. The vinyl album is in honor of this project Jazz from R'jam was released, on which all portrayed jazz musicians can be heard.

read more
About the artist

Wilbert Plijnaar (Rotterdam, 1954) is known as co-author of Sjors & Sjimmie en Clear. He is an illustrator, cartoonist and screenwriter of successful cartoons, such as Despicable Me and the Ice Age movies. Wilbert is a cousin of Rita Reys.

Oude Binnenweg 117, 3012 JH Rotterdam, Netherlands


Elpee 'Jazz from R'JAM' now available