Biography

Born July, 1954 in Willemstad, Curacao- The Netherlands. Roy comes from a musical family. His father Edgar Supriano, was an accomplished and well known trumpeter and arranger in the Cuban style tradition. In honor of Her Majesty The Queen of the Netherlands’s Birthday Anniversary, Edgar Supriano received the Royal Decoration of Ridder in de Orde van Oranje Nassau (Knights of the Orange Order) in recognition and contribution of his musical works to the Dutch Caribbean and the Netherlands. With his father as an inspiration, Roy learned to play the guitar at age 6.

 

EARLY LIFE

 

In 1960, his school-band was looking for a bassist and his brother Elmer suggested that they have a listen to his young brother. The audition left all musicians surprised and impressed after hearing Roy. He instantly became the bassplayer of the band. Later as a teenager, Roy began performing on local T.V. programs, clubs and private parties and cultural events. He was inspired mainly by U.K. Blues/Rock Bands and the Beatles until he saw the documentary Film: Woodstock of(1969), with Sly Stone, Jimi Hendrix and Santana. Blues masters such as B.B.King, Mike Bloomfield and Janis Joplin also left a very big impression on him as he struggled to tune in on the radio programs of Miami Radio Stations late at night to hear more of this new form of expression. But, it was the New York band Blood, Sweat and Tears (1968) first with Al Cooper, later with David Clayton Thomas that started the radical change of his musical orientation where he eventually ended up with a strong interest in Jazz. Roy knew immediately that he had to leave Curacao to learn more about this music.

 

MOVING TO EUROPE

 

With the blessings of their family, Roy and Elmer left Curacao in early 1972 to Amsterdam to persue their dreams and career as professionals. Now 16 years old Roy, in Amsterdam the young guitarist/bassist got the chance to see Electric Jazz guitarist John McLaughlin with Billy Cobham MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA, Herbie Hancock’s HEAD HUNTERS and Chick Corea’s RETURN TO FOREVER Live! He was shocked, mesmerized, highly impressed and realised that he needed a formal music education. Soon thereafter, he saw the new formation of the new Santana Band, heavily influenced by Jazz at the Concert Gebouw in Amsterdam. He was now introduced to a variety of new musical influences that include Jazz, Rock and Latin Cuban Rhythms, just at the time that Vietnam War and the Hippie Movement were at its peak, crying for peace. With the thought of becoming a full-time musician, in the late 1972, he switched to the guitar and formed the band SHIELD with Elmer and drummer/vocalist Guillermo Marchena, respectively, inwhich he now tried to incorporate some of these new music elements to his music. Jazz Fusion became the fresh new sound of the vibrant 1970’s.

Roy soon realised that the scene in Holland were limited for innovations and their dreams. He decided to move to the former West Germany. With the new band, joined by bassist/vocalist Dooley Richardson and pianist Willy Tjon Ajong, they toured the American Military Bases circuit in West Germany with lead vocalist Gilbert Akers and played all the NCO Clubs. There, he came closer to R&B, and different types of Latin Music, as this was the common repertoire to be performed on these ocasions.

 

THE ENCOUNTER WITH JAZZ MUSICIANS

 

As the band’s personnel was about to change, Roy moved to Munich with brother Elmer and Guillermo Marchena, where he was introduced to Jazz Violinist Hannes Beckmann, who was looking for a guitarist for his band and was offered to join the ranks of SINTO (a Latin/Brasilian Jazz) group. Throughout the 1975, Roy played weekly at the Jazz Stube in Munich (a very popular JazzClub) with every band scheduled. He was spotted by other bandleaders and was asked to join their bands, including Thursday nights with the Dusko Goykovich Big Band, featuring notable Jazz greats such as Al Porcino, Bobby Berges, Herb Geller, Benny Bailey and Frank St Peter, to name a few. This led to many recording sessions for the ZDF, WDR and NDR, with music composed, arranged and directed by Dusko. The band also displayed a variety of arrangements written and conducted by Hans Hammerschmid. Other projects were the creation of the first Salsa Band in Europe The LATIN BAND (1975) under the direction of Charles Campbell, right after the release of New York’s Documentary Film: OUR LATIN THING. featuring the birth of FANIA ALLSTARS. The audience was mesmerized by this new rhythmic, fiery and explosive new sound of music.

 

TOURING WITH THE GROUP: PASSPORT

 

By the end of 1975, while playing with the Dusko Goykovich Big Band, Roy and Elmer was approached by Saxophonist KLAUS DOLDINGER, to join the Jazz/ Fusion Band PASSPORT, which led to their first major tour in Europe with the highly acclaimed band of 1970’s. For Roy, this was a dream come true, touring extensively, recording on the major record label WEA. While waiting for the monthly tour schedule, he spent his time in the studio with local and international producers working on music productions for their artists, commercial jingles and Motion Picture soundtracks, including many T.V appearances, followed by tours with Rock Drummer Carmine Appice for Ludwig Drums and Music Man.

 

EXPLORING HIS OWN MUSICAL HORIZON

 

In 1976, Roy met Jazz Saxophonist Bobby Stern which happened to look for musicians to record his first album LIBRA and was asked to join the recording session, which became the first HEAD HEART and HANDS album with Bobby Stern as the leader. The album featured two original compositions by Roy Louis. In 1978, the group HEAD HEART and HANDS was formed with Roy, Bobby Stern and former PASSPORT members, Wolfgang Schmid, Elmer Louis, and Guillermo Marchena, Geoff Stradling joined as the keyboardist. The band toured extensively, made many T.V appearances and played all Major Jazz Festivals for 3 years. In this band, Roy found a creative outlet to feature his compositions. Joe Gallardo heard the band and decided to have it for the recordings of LATINO BLUE album, followed by many live performances under his direction. Soon thereafter this same band was invited by Soul Singers like Roberta Kelly, Joy Fleming for several performances, while Donna Summers produced by Ralf Siegel enjoyed worldwide success and Patrick Gammon (Motown) recording artist for his new live Video/Album at the Bayerische Recording Studios. This unit was responsable for many music productions behind vocalists, including Motion Picture Soundtracks from L.A, produced in Germany during the strike in late 70’s. Unfortunately, this great band was short lived and broke up at the end of 1980.

 

A CHANGE OF DIRECTION

 

In the early 80’s, after the breakup of this fabulous group, a disillusioned Roy, who became the only member of the Curacao trio trying to come up with new ideas, was asked by trumpetist Americo Bellotto, to lead a seminar at the guitar department of the Taller de Musicos in Banyoles, Spain, which led to performances with the Thad Jones Jazz Octet. Roy joined The Bobby Stern – Larry Porter Jazz Quartet as a bassist and toured throughout Spain, Mallorca and Germany. Heavily influenced and inspired by Thad’s orchestral arrangements, he decided to enroll at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Later that year he formed the Salsa Band Conexion Latina with his friends Rudi Fuesers and Freddie Santiago, while appearing with world reknown percussionist Airto Moreira. . The band played every Sundays at the DOMICILE Jazz Club in Munich with great success and performed on some major Jazz Festivals such as Berliner Jazztage (1982)with special guest star ISMAEL MIRANDA, as well as concerts in Germany, Austria and Suisse. During that time, Roy was working mainly as a studio musician and recorded many albums of popular music with a touch of jazz, arranged by Klaus Doldinger, including T.V. presentation of Movie Soundtrack Das Boot. He worked also with Peter Herbolzheimer and Joe Gallardo for the ZDF, NDR, NDR and WDR music productions featuring artists such as Toots Thielemann, Ack van Rooyen, Freddie Hubbard, Wolfgang Lackerschmid, Ingfried Hoffmann and Wolfgang Schlüter, including vocalists Catharina Valente, Stefan Sulke and Manfred Krug and many others.

 

EDUCATION

 

In Fall 1982, Roy left the German music scene to persue a formal education in the U.S. While studying at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston 1984, he formed the ROY LOUIS BAND featuring musicans such as Warren Hill, Rachel Z, Donny McCaslin, Werner Gierig, Ed Uribe, Aaron Scott, Bruce Arnold and Anders Boström. They performed at local Jazz Clubs around Boston, U.S., made T.V. appearances and toured the Caribbean Islands as well as performances with the Guillermo Nojechowic’s Caribbean Express, Victor Mendoza and many others. After graduation at the Berklee College of Music, both brothers settled in New York and continued with the Roy Louis Band, followed by performances at the First Curacao Jazz Festival and the Aruba Music Festival.

 

LIFE IN NEW YORK

 

In New York 1988, Roy was invited to join the ROY AYERS UBIQUITY followed by a Live DVD, recorded at the Ronnie Scott’s in London UK, the Blue Note in Tokio, Japan – New York, U.S. and many international tours with Roy Ayers Jazz Explosion Projects, Isaac Hayes, Tom Browne, Lonnie Listen Smith, Noel Pointer, Jon Lucien, Ronnie Laws, Bobby Humphrey, Zachary Breaux, Lou Rawls and Jean Carne. After two years touring the globe with Roy Ayers, he decided to work more as a composer/producer and found together with his longtime friends Freddie Khaw and Aretha Walker, PARAGON PRODUCTION, Inc. in New York City. The company produced many commercial jingles, Motion Picture Soundtracks such as Ava & Gabriel which (won the Golden Calf Award) in the Netherlands and the six weeks Nr 1 Radio Hit Theme Song: Pintor, composed and sung by Ced Ride. This led to the singer’s unreleased solo album Poeta Kanta (a cultural treasure) with music arranged/orchestrated by Roy. The scoring for Motion Pictures: Miss Ruby’s House and Papa’s Song followed that same year.

 

TAKING A BREAK

 

In 1995, he took a few years to spent some time with his family in Curacao and worked as the Musical Director/ Arranger for the MAMBO KINGS Salsa Orchestra at the Mambo Beach Resort. He also played and directed the orchestra of Trina Medina and Canelita for several shows in Venezuela and other concerts in Curacao that included performances with Tony Sherman, Jan Akkerman, Ed Calle and Hans Dulfer and many others.

 

BACK TO EUROPE

 

Early 1998, Roy and Elmer moved back to Holland and moved later to Cologne, Germany, where they found peace of mind and a continuation of the ROY LOUIS BAND. He worked as a arranger/musical director for Stevie Woods at the Pomp Duck and Circumstances in Berlin’s special programs and concerts. Also arranged/conducted the Nights on Broadway Shows in Ulm, Germany. They are currently performing with recording artist Frank McComb.

 

CURRENT BANDS and PROJECTS

 

The Roy Louis Band – Electric Band playing original music Silent Storm – Smooth Jazz Cause and Effect – Jazz Trio with: Piano, Bass and Hand Percussion Roy Louis NEW YORK GRAFFITTI Jazz Orchestra – Original Jazz Orchestrated music and other music Arranged/ Directed by: Roy Louis.

Roy is also a gifted composer/arranger in a variety of styles such as Electric Jazz, from Small Band to Big Band, Studio Orchestra, Latin Combo to Salsa Orchestra and any style of American Popular music to Scoring for Full Orchestra. All music productions by Nightstage Management – Cologne, Germany and released by CD BABY..

 

DIRECTED STUDIES

Orchestration with Gregg Hopkins and Donny Nolan – Other directed studies include Film Scoring. Bachelors of Arts Degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging.

 

AWARDS

– 35th JUBILEE AWARD, Curacao Department of Tourism, Curacao N.A 1998 – ARTIST LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD, Government of the Netherlands Antilles 1998 – ARTISTS and MUSICIANS UNION AWARD, Curacao, N.A 1998 – 35th JUBILEE AWARD, REMAX Real Estate, Curacao N.A 1998 – MARIA CORNELIA MUSIC ACADEMY AWARD/ Dec 19, 1998 Curacao N.A – CARMEN Magazine AWARD/ Dec 7, 1996 Curacao N.A