Benjamin Herman enjoys life in Rotterdam: ‘The whole city participates. Everywhere you hear jazz’

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Rotterdam – Of course alto saxophonist Benjamin Herman ‘works’ himself at North Sea Jazz. After all, he is performing. But it is also a place for him to enjoy. With anticipation. After all, the busy season full of performances is over. In Rotterdam, Benjamin has a lot to look forward to this summer.

By Helmut de Hoogh

If possible, Benjamin Herman (54) is in Rotterdam. Lovely ‘at home’ with his great love in the old north. Officially, he lives in 020. “But,” he says almost apologetically, “that apartment is especially convenient for my work.” In summer there is time and space to enjoy the sun and life. And Benjamin, who is also well dressed in the summer with a tie, does so mainly in Rotterdam. He tells.

Jazz everywhere

“How good it is for Rotterdam that there is also North Sea Round Town in the run-up to North Sea Jazz. The whole city participates. You hear jazz everywhere, I think that’s fantastic. On Saturday I perform at North Sea Jazz with various drummers, including the old jazz warrior John Engels. On Sunday I perform with my band New Cool Collective. As a musician, you will be spoiled by the organization at North Sea Jazz. And there are so many great other musicians to enjoy. It’s a wonderful end to my busy season. Be sure to visit the old heroes, such as George Benson. Now they are still there. This festival is here, summer starts for me.”

Plop down on a terrace

“I like sitting on the terraces in BIRD and Endless Sunday (Raampoortstraat). It is also a good place to relax on the terrace of the Comedy Club Haug aan de Maas (Boompjeskade 11). Close by under Willemsbrug is Simon Akkermans’ studio. I’ve been working on recording a solo album there for a while.”


“I like to take a boat. For example, when friends invite us to their island in Bergse Plassen. A taxi boat on the Maas is also always good. I mostly like the wooden boats, not the fast yellow ones. Nice quiet over the Maas for a concert in LantarenVenster for example What a lovely room.”

take a movie

“I only have time to go to the cinema in the summer. I think KINO is a fantastic cinema, set up by real film freaks. And in August we can again watch films outside. At Pleinbioscoop (August 10-28 Wilhelminapier with films of LantarenVenster) and at Roffa Mon Amour (August 17-28 on Brutus – Keileweg).

make me punk

“I’m looking forward to tires in V11 and Rotown. I like punk concerts. Often they are a lot more fun than jazz concerts, to be honest. And punk is one of those kinds of music that seems relevant to me at the moment. Great bands that aren’t so concerned with scoring hits, but are all about expressing themselves. In V11, they also have real ale on tap. As an Englishman, I like to drink it. Did you know that I am officially Dutch? Ever since Brexit, about three years ago. As a result, I am a normal EU citizen again. Also nice, but very different is the Moonlight Concert during the weekend with romantic music in Het Park near Euromast. I will perform there myself that evening.”

Good food

“I love to eat outside in the sun. Like in our neighborhood at Tosca (1e Pijnackerstraat 120), at Mrs Meijer (Gerard Scholtenstraat 37) or San Frou Frou (Provenierstraat 29). What a good ramen, that is noodle soup, for lunch I go to Hinoki (Keizerstraat 52). I have a thing for Japan. I’ve been learning Japanese for years now. Very occasionally we eat at Yama (Eendrachtsweg 31A). It’s quite expensive, so there must be a special reason for it. It is almost impossible to get a table there. But it’s insanely good food, the best Japanese restaurant in the Netherlands.”

And abroad?

“In September we cross the border for a while. But until then we will stay in Rotterdam. There is still so much to discover!”

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