Ernst Van t'Hoff

Picture of Ernst Van t'Hoff

Ernst Van t'Hoff was a Dutch trumpeter and pianist that led a fantastic Dance band in the late 1930's and 1940's. Van t'Hoff was born in Zandvoort, Holland, in 1908.  There seems to be some multiple ways to spell his last name.  His name has appeared on recording credits and in print as: Van t'Hoff, Van 't Hoff and Van't Hoff.  I'm going with Ernst Van t'Hoff.

He played professionally in the Netherlands and Belgium from the late 1920's through the 1930's.  He spent much of that time as a sideman but by the mid 1930's he was laying down the foundations of his own band.

By the time the World War II broke out, Van t'Hoff was leading his own band full time. Holland was occupied by Nazi forces. Ernst Van t'Hoff soon found himself in a bit of trouble.  Even though the Nazis often used Swing and Jazz music for propaganda purposes, it was banned in all Nazi-occupied territories.  They considered Swing and Jazz as "unerw├╝nschte musik" (undesirable music). Let's just say they were not fans of Van t'Hoff and the music he was playing.

Listen to: "Tanz im Carlton" performed by Ernst van t`Hoff

If you listen to Van t'Hoff's sound, it was strongly influenced by jazz and swing.  He was becoming known for his versions of American tunes, his Glenn Miller covers are great.  In fact, many of Van t'Hoff's original compositions had a Miller-like sound to them.  Eventually, his musical style and performances attracted "too much" attention, and more importantly, the attention of the Gestapo.  It's rumored that Ernst Van t'Hoff was banned from Berlin and his movements restricted to the Netherlands in 1943.

After World War II, Van t'Hoff led some orchestras, but pretty much stayed in Belgium and Holland.  In 1955, Ernst Van t'Hoff died of a heart attack.  He was only 46 years old.

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