Crucial moments in an artist’s life? Van Iterson can come up with two. ‘When I was 14, hearing guitarist Peter Tiehuis. Then I knew music would be my career. A kind of moment of truth. Tiehuis showed me that a fat jazz guitar is not the only guitar to play. Wim Overgauw’s guitar helped me a lot too on this path. Not so much because it was Wim’s but because it’s such a wild, crazy instrument – the first guitar I played that really returned the feeling I put into it. You take it, play it and you know immediately!’

Van Iterson’s voice is best understood through his music. He is constantly evaluating and is the first to acknowledge that to live with and through jazz is not the easiest of choices. ‘After the Bird Award, the phone hasn’t stopped ringing. However, there was a time when I considered doing something else – like only playing as a pastime. I applied for a ‘proper’ job and was interviewed by a gentleman in an office. He had an employment contract on his desk and I looked around to see who my colleagues would be. At that point I got up and walked out. From then on my musical career has improved! Because I realised why I did what I was doing’.