Belgian jazz pianist Jonas Paenen began studying classical piano at the age of ten and graduated with the highest distinction. He furthered his studies at Dé!Kunsthumaniora (Antwerp), where he discovered the art of jazz music. Playing jazz transformed his perspective on music, realizing that it goes beyond written notes and breaking traditional rules can lead to innovative ideas. It was during this period that Jonas developed a deep appreciation for the freedom offered by jazz music.
At the age of eighteen, he applied to three conservatories (Amsterdam, The Hague, and Antwerp) and successfully gained admission to all three. Ultimately, he chose to pursue his musical journey in The Hague. Jonas had the privilege of studying with outstanding musicians such as Wolfert Brederode, Rob Van Bavel, Juraj Stanik, Bob Wijnen, Toon Roos, Stefan Kruger, Bert Mooiman, and many others. He also attended masterclasses by Gerald Clayton, Joshua Redman, Peter Bernstein, Barry Harris, and more, all of whom played a significant role in helping him develop his musicality while maintaining his unique artistic voice.
Transcribing improvised solos and learning to play them greatly contributed to Jonas' own improvisational skills. He believes that learning to improvise on an instrument is similar to learning a language: listening, imitating, and then improvising. In 2020, Jonas was approached by the renowned Swedish band ‘Wintergatan’ to serve as their music transcriber, tasked with transcribing all of their music for the publication of their book, Wintergatan Sheet Music Collection.
'In a world that often feels chaotic and unpredictable, music has given me a way to express my emotions and experiences in a way that words alone cannot capture.'