Jeroen at work as a reporter in Amersfoort, 2010

My first name – Jeroen – is pronounced as ‘ye-roon’, which is Dutch for Jerome. I was born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 1958. On my first birthday, my dad moved to Amsterdam because of his work, and I decided to follow him. For a couple of years, I studied English language and literature at the University of Amsterdam and then double bass at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, until various causes (having become a father, for one thing) forced me to leave school.
I am active in journalism since 1979; from 1979 until 2000 I wrote about music as a freelance journalist for the newspaper Het Parool, after which I became a staff writer at the Algemeen Dagblad, a daily newspaper. Since May 2014, I’m on my own again.

Jeroen at the age of two, already a ladies man and this tender age.

In 1989 and 1992 respectively, I published the first biographies of jazzmen Chet Baker and Ben Webster at Uitgeverij Van Gennep, Amsterdam. The book about Chet was published as well in German (Oreos Verlag), English (Berkeley Hills Books), Japanese (Gendai Tosho), Hungarian (Silenos) and Italian (Siena Jazz/EDT). In 2001, Berkeley Hills Books published Webster’s biography as well. As Berkeley Hills Books does no longer exist, the English rights of my  books are available again.

In October 2007, I published an expanded and drastically updated Chet-bio. It includes all the relevant information that has reached me since the first edition, as well as new interviews with dozens of individuals who knew the great trumpeter. An English edition of this ‘magnum opus’ was published in 2017 with Uitgeverij Aspekt.

Playing a gig in Amsterdam, 1983.

I’m living in Amersfoort (near Utrecht), where I’m endlessly expanding my collection of Chet’s recordings. Other hobbies are: literature, admiring the mediaeval centre of Amersfoort and playing bass in local bands. I hate glib music, incomprehensible manuals and most of all: opinions about Chet and jazz in general, based on the wrong sources.

I am the proud father of the authors Arnold de Valk (go to LinkedIn) and Eva de Valk (www.evadevalk.com).

Jeroen (left) at the Jazzdag (a jazz convention) in Amersfoort, 2009, with celebs Hans Erdmann, the late Hans Dijkstal, Saskia Laroo and Jerney Kaagman. PHOTO MARJAN VAN GRIMBERGEN