The Dutch Swing College Band has endured numerous personnel changes in its more than fifty-year history as one of the Netherlands' top jazz ensembles. Although no members remain from the original group, the latest lineup continues to honor the tradition-rooted approach of the founders.
Bob Kaper (1939- ) replaced clarinet player Peter Schilperoort during an illness in 1966, and remained with the band; he has led the Dutch Swing College Band since Schilperoort's death in 1990. The fourth leader in the group's history, Kaper succeeds Frans Vink, Jr. (1945-46), Joop Schrier (1955-60), and Schilperoort (1946-55; 1960-1990). Kaper previously led the Beale Street Seven, a group he founded in 1957.
An amateur group from 1945 until turning professional in 1960, the Dutch Swing College Band reached their early peak in the late '40s, when they were tapped to accompany such jazz musicians as Sidney Bechet, Joe Venuti, and Teddy Wilson.
The New Melbourne Jazz Band recorded an album, A Tribute to the Dutch Swing College Band, featuring music associated with the Holland-based group. ~ Craig Harris