Since 1985, Joep van Leeuwen (born 1955) has taught Jazz Guitar, Combo (crossover jazz-classical ensembles) and Jazz History at Conservatorium Maastricht, where he studied Classical Guitar himself. After studying Classical Guitar at Conservatorium Maastricht, he studied Jazz Guitar at the Swiss Jazz School in Bern. He has given workshops for festivals in Maastricht, Boston (USA), and Montreux (Switzerland).
Joep van Leeuwen plays both the acoustic and the electric guitar in various roles, from solo guitarist to big band member. He has collaborated with musicians in the Netherlands and abroad, and performed at many venues and festivals in Europe, including three times at Montreux. In 2005 he received the Jerry van Rooyen Award for his contribution to jazz in Limburg.
Joep van Leeuwen also works as an arranger and composer, with a preference for cool jazz. In addition to jazz themes, he has composed for duos including guitar & trombone, guitar & church organ, but also for big band and string quartets with an added guitar and double bass. His compositions were performed during the Gaudeamus festival in 2014 and 2015.
He is extremely active in the (cross-border) region. He has established many small ensembles, and played with the big bands Swing Design and Brownie Speaks. He has organised and played at the Ruinart Jazz Vocal Award in the Maastricht Kruisheren church. He performed at Jazz Guitar Meets Plain Chant, a crossover project with Schola Maastricht for the Dutch Gregorian Chant Festival.
For many years he wrote about jazz in the newspaper Limburgs Dagblad and Jazz News magazine. He regularly performed on the radio and contributed to CD recordings and several publications. In the 1990s he was the European coordinator of the International Association of Jazz Educators. He was Head of the Master’s programmes in Tilburg and Maastricht until 2007.