Vincent van Rooyen
The Man and his Harmonica

8/01/1932 - 28/05/2007

by
Art M. Daane


26 June 2012

The harmonica has always been his obsession. As a young boy he mastered the instrument very quickly, but soon became aware of the fact that musical knowledge also applied to playing the harmonica correctly.

Since there was no place to learn to read music for the harmonica he turned to Max Adler, a well known accordionist who had his own accordion school. Vincent learned very fast and soon had his first performance with a philharmonic orchestra. His repertoire consisted mostly of light classics and popular standards.

In 1954 he was contacted by Dutch bass harmonica player Art Daane. Art was interested in setting up a harmonica trio. Vincent invited him to his home in order to see how they could start a trio since there were hardly any other harmonica players in the region.

Vincent's brother-in-law, Brian Jones, happened to be a guitar player and agreed to fill in until they found a chord harmonica player.

Relda Trio
The Relda Trio - South Africa 1954-1960
Brian Jones - Guitar
Vincent van Rooyen - Chromatic Harmonica
Art Daane - Bass Harmonica

After a few concerts they wondered how Brian would react if they handed him a chord harmonica. Brian looked at this strange and very large harmonica, blew on it and away they were. It was as if Brian had played it for years. This was the birth of the Relda Trio.

Relda Trio
The Relda Trio on Matroosberg, South Africa 1954
Art Daane - Bass Harmonica
Vincent van Rooyen - Chromatic Harmonica
Brian Jones - Chord Harmonica
Relda Trio 1
The Relda Trio `Live` at SABC, Cape Town, South Africa 1956
Brian Jones - Chord
Vincent van Rooyen - Lead
Art Daane - Bass

The trio was very successful and travelled around the country to do regular performances with the "Piet Pompies Show", and performed in the Caltex and Atlantic shows on Springbok radio. They were regular guests on SABC and SAUK radio. They performed for Leslie Richfield and Ginger Jennings, who organised variety shows in the Cape Town area. They performed at the Alhambra Theater in Cape Town in aid of the train disaster fund, and on many other special occasions. Were regular guests on the "Atlantic-" and "Caltex Shows."
The Sunday evening 'open air' concerts at Sea Point bring back happy memories.

When Art left South Africa in 1960, Vincent found another bass player and carried on as nothing had changed.

Relda Trio 2
The Relda Trio (South Africa 1960-1963)
Brian Jones - Chord
Vincent van Rooyen - Lead
Eddie Kirkwood - Bass

He got intersted in the violin bass some time before, and together with Brian on guitar they joined a dance band. The harmonica was always close at hand and performed on harmonica with the band as a soloist.

Henry Morkel Band

About 20 years after Art had left for Holland, Vincent got together with Jonathan and Paul Hopper, who respectively played chord and bass harmonicas. The Vincent van Rooyen Harmonica Trio had a long road of many successes. Besides making records and appearing on radio and television, they took part in the World Harmonica Championships in Jersey 1987. They won third place and were invited to go to the next World Harmonica Championships in Trossingen, Germany in 1989. Here they won second prize in the duo section and third in the trio section. It was there that Vincent met Art again for the first time since 1960.

Vincent van Rooyen Trio
Vincent van Rooyen Harmonica Trio:
Trio Personnel:
Paul Hopper - Bass
Vincent van Rooyen - Lead
Jonathan Hopper - Chords
Title: Harmonica Favourites
01. Teddy Bear's Picnic
02. Menuet in 'G'...Beethoven
03. Welgemoed Seties
04. St. Louis Blues
05. Espana Cani
06. Sabre Dance
07. Boda de Luis Alonso
08. Beer Barrel Polka
09. Yesterday
10. 18th Century Drawing Room
11. Anchors Away
12. Gallopin'Comedians
13. Schön Rosmarin
14. Spanish Eyes
15. Let Me Call You Sweetheart
16. Amazing Grace
17. Harbour Lights
18. If
19. Sentimental Journey

Their succes in Trossingen had it's affects at home, they were also booked to perform on German television. This program was recorded in Cape Town and broadcast all over Europe, Canada and India.

Vincent was one of the finest harmonica players in the world. His magnificent technique and tone quality is absolutely out of this world.

On April 4, 2002, the original "Relda Trio" (1954-1960) got together again in Cape Town, South Africa for a recording session for Art's double CD production in the Netherlands. They recorded one of Vincent's compositions "Wineland Seties". This is a crispy and happy sounding melody. Below, on the CD "Nostalgie," as a bonus track

You can hear Vincent as a soloist and as leader of his trio on the Cd's listed below.


Title: Swanee
Vincent van Rooyen Harmonica Trio

01. Swanee
02. Jantjie
03. Scottish melody
04. Afrikaanse medley
05. Kinders van die wind/ Sprokie vir 'n stadskind
06. Kommandopolka
07. Cherry pink
08. Célimène
09. Lente in Switserland
10. Waterblommetjies
11. Swinging safari
12. We all stand together
13. Warmpatat
14. O mein Papa
15. Kremetart
16. Wynlandseties
17. Spanish flea
18. Puppet on a string


Title: Nostalgie
Vincent van Rooyen Harmonica Trio

01. Bootjie na Kammaland
02. Nostalgie
03. Drieling Wals
04. Balke Toe
05. Eensame Ruiter
06. Parstyd
07. Elvira's Theme
08. Body and Soul
09. Over the Rainbow
10. Ver in die Ou Kalahari
11. Hebrew Slave Chorus
12. Vivaldi's Allegro
13. Dance Party
14. Huisie in die Berge
15. Klopse Karnaval
16. As Dit Nag is in Die Bosveld
17. Silwerblaar Vastrap
18. Rietvlei Vastrap
19. Spanish Gypsy Dance
20. Mozart's 21st (slow movement)
21. Vrolike Mondfluitjie
22. Alpen Wals**
23. Wynland Seties**
24. Nico se Vastrap***
25. In a Little Spanish Town***
26. Dancing with Tears in my Eyes***
* Nantes Diederich, Accordeon - Jonathan Hopper, Chord Harmonica - Paul Hopper, Bass Harmonica
** The Original Relda Trio [42 years later] April 2002: Vincent van Rooyen, Lead - Bryan Jones, Chords - Art Daane, Bass
*** Recorded at the Cape Town Harmonica Club in April 2001


Vincent van Rooyen:
Title: Liedjies van die Hart
01. Olie kolonie
02. Ver in die Ou Kalahari
03. Mooi is die lewe nou
04. Groenkoringlande
05. Jantjie
06. The lion sleeps tonight
07. Manne (Queen of hearts)
08. Neem my op vlerke
09. Ruiter van die windjie
10. My hart het 'n klein venster
11. Weskusstrande
12. Ska-rumba
13. Jou hart is weer myne
15. Byeboerewa
16. My hart sing van liefde


Title: Harmonica Spectacular
01. Crazy
02. Waltz in D Flat Opus 64 No 1
03. Net 'n Stille Uurtjie
04. Elvira's Theme
05. He Ain't Heavy
06. Granada
07. Sterrenag
08. Hebrew Slave Chorus
09. Commedians Gallop
10. Liefdestyd
11. St. Louis Blues
12. Pathetique Sonata


Title: My Way
01. Clair de Lune
02. Deep Purple
03. Hora Staccato
04. Dessafinado
05. Air on a G-string by Bach
06. Melody d'Amour
07. Londonderry Air (Danny Boy)
08. Largo by Handel
09. Flute Sonata by Verdi (allegro)
10. Moonlight Serenade
11. Chopin’s Nocturne
12. Sabre Dance
13. Happy Harmonica
14. Hex Rivier
15. Twilight Canter
16. Together Tonight


Vincent van Rooyen:
1. Die Man en sy Mondfluitjie "1989" 28:23
2. He Aint Heavy
3. Pathetique Sonata
4. Crazy
5. St. Louis Blues
6. The Breeze and I
7. Cowboy Denis
8. Skemer in Namakwaland
9. Sing Saam Vanaand
10. Skemer Galop
11. Matieland
12. Eensame Ruiter
13. Liedjie Wat Ek Sing
14. Ver in die Ou Kalahari

Same titles are different takes!

Vincent passed away peacefully at his home in Kroonstad on 28-05-2007.
He will be sadly missed by his children, sisters and the many harmonica friends world wide.

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CRAZY

"Vincent van Rooyen" - Copyright BOWline Music F1000250 ©

klik hier om te luisteren Recorded South Africa 2002

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