Meet a talent: Tristan Guillaume

16 November 2022

To give you an idea of the many activities of our Fundraising & Partnerships department, we will share some relevant and interesting stories every know and then. Furthermore, will also introduce some of the talents who received an award or scholarship or contributed to a special project. This week: drummer Tristan Guillaume, born in French and raised in Vietnam. He was awarded the Sumatra Excellence Scholarship and Fock Medaille of best presentation in 2021. Together with the other students of the Jazz department he recently joined the Aspire Writing Camp.

Can you tell about your musical journey so far?
“My musical journey began at the age of 6 when I first touched a classical guitar and started to play. As I grew up, my passion for music became more and more. My studies led me to move to France, Ireland and finally the Netherlands, where I’m currently finishing my master’s degree in jazz drums. My musical career so far has been quite diverse, featuring many different styles of music like jazz, house, funk, fusion and traditional Breton music. Besides being a drummer, I also work as a pianist, arranger and producer.”

How did you end up in The Hague?
“I ended up here on an Erasmus in the 3rd year of my bachelors in Dublin. After my semester here was over, I asked if I could come back the year after to finish my bachelor’s here. What made me want to stay was the community of students and the fantastic drum department of the Royal Conservatoire.”

If you can pick one, what was the highlight during your studies here?
“There are so many from the past two years! I think learning in Los Angeles or Basel must be my favorite ones.We went to Los Angeles in April 2022 with a group of around 15 students. There, we got to play and see concerts at great venues, and especially had lessons with so many different musicians from the LA scene. Some were part of USC Thornton School of music, and others were private lessons outside of the university. Some teachers we had were David Binney, Vardan Ovsepian, Jonathan Pinson, John Escreet, Vince Mendoza, Marvin Smitty Smith, Alan Pasqua and many others. The trip to Basel was later in the year. A handful of students went to spend a week studying with Chris Cheek and the Focusyear band.”

Besides the Sumatra Excellence Scholarship you won the Fock Medaille for best presentation. Was it important for you to win this prize?
“I don't know what to say really… I’m just very grateful for it as the Sumatra Excellence Scholarship allowed me to fund an album recording. That album has been recorded and currently is in the mixing process. Scheduled for release June 2023.”

Let’s talk about the future. What are your musical plans?
“For now, the plan is to go to Paris, as I have one of my bands there and it is one that I want to develop. I also really like the scene and the city after having had the chance to go there often these past 12 months.”

Foto: Alex Schröder