Karel Van Eerd

Karel van Eerd is the founder of Jumbo Supermarkten in The Netherlands. A passionate jazz lover and musician. He founded Festiventures B.V. together with Eelco van Velzen to rejuvenate the jazz scene and support jazz artists. The Karel van Eerd Music Award is named after him. In spite of Karel's modesty, Eelco insisted on naming this award after its founding and funding father.

For as long as he remembers, Karel van Eerd (1938) has been a huge fan of jazz music. Being a devoted pianist himself, he knows how to appreciate musical talent, and what it takes to develop to the highest levels of performance.

As an entrepreneur, he is the founder of Jumbo Supermarkets in The Netherlands, and knows that it takes versatility and knowledge of your customers to turn a good concept into a huge success. And sometimes a little help.

That’s why, over the years, Karel has sponsored many jazz musicians’ recording sessions, festivals, and concerts. Individual project sponsorships are great, but have limited effects on a musicians’ careers, so Karel began to think bigger.

This time, Karel and his musical friend and entrepreneur Eelco van Velzen wanted to create something with a bigger impact, upon not only the careers of individual artists, but also the live jazz ecosystem as a whole. Envisioning the real needs of artists and accepting the real challenges they face, They wanted to impart real momentum to artists’ careers as professional performers, to elevate their efforts in society, and to shine a spotlight on the exhilarating journeys they make in their careers. Obviously artists need promoters, fans and publicity about their achievements. Also they need to grow awareness on the importance of a professional network and keeping in touch with their fans online and offline.

The majority of concerts is not organized by professional producers. All kinds of local operating individuals, foundations ran by volunteers and other music lovers are responsible for most live concert opportunities. Artists and organizers need to join forces and collaboration between them needs to be encouraged. Various initiatives are put in place to achieve a higher level of collaberation between artists and promotors all being part of a bigger plan. One of those initiatives is this anual award.

That’s how this annual award came to existence. Inspite of Karel's modisty, Eelco insisted on naming this award after its founding and funding father. Hence, The Karel van Eerd Music Award.

The award’s procedures, production, marketing, and execution are in the hands of Festiventures BV, a company founded to realize that shared mission.