Artist link: www.yvonnesmeets.nl
At the Dutch Jazz Vocalists Contest 2005 Yvonne Smeets won the public award and the second prize. In 2006 she graduated at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, where she was doing the second phase in jazz singing. She sang at the North Sea Jazz Festival 2004 with Kenny Wheeler and the Big Band of the Royal Conservatory.
Yvonne has been singing all her life. As a child she sang in the church choir. In high school she was involved in school theatre and musicals, and she received the preliminary training at the “Kleinkunstacademie” (Cabaret Academy). During her architecture studies at the Delft Technical University she sang in several pop and rock bands, and she played in stage plays and musicals. She also directed a play that won the Delft “Eenakterfestival” (One-act play festival) in 1993.
After her studies she started work as an architect. Music faded into the background for a while. She was not familiar with jazz, until she bought a Sarah Vaughan CD during a lunch break. She was fascinated by the scat and singing skills of this jazz diva, and so, a week later, she started studying music theory books every minute she could spare, in order to prepare for the entrance examination of the conservatory.
Her repertoire consists of jazz standards and jazz originals with her own lyrics. But also songs she wrote herself and Brazilian music.
Yvonne studied with a.o. Anette von Eichel, Rachel Gould, Tilmar Junius, Fay Claassen, Sasja Hunnego, Ineke Heiliger, Josee Koning, Mark Murphy, Deborah Brown, Barry Harris, Lydia van Dam, Peter Nieuwerf and Guuske Kotte, and she attended technique workshops by EVTS and Cathrine Sadolin.
She was a soloist in several projects of the Big Band of the Royal Conservatory and also with the M.use Ensemble led by Kevin Edusei and the ensemble Royal.