Eric was born in Zierikzee (Zeeland) in The Netherlands on August 29, 1963. At the age of 10 he started to play guitar, switched to bass and as a teenager, formed his own pop bands playing hard rock and new wave in the late 70’s and early 80’s. He received first serious music education at the age of 19, after quitting his psychology study at the University, when he decided to become a professional musician. It was then that he picked up the double bass. After half a year he enrolled Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam where he graduated in 1990.
While in school Eric started working with Dutch jazz legends like Willem van Manen and Paul van Kemenade followed by countless other (inter)national jazz legends. He developed a career as composer of modern crossover improvised music in which his band Quadrant (Extended) played a pivotal role. He recorded many albums under his own name and numerous more as a side man. During the 90’s Eric took a serious interest in African music which brought him all over Africa and resulted in concerts with a wide range of top musicians.
In recent decennium Eric has dug deep into Turkish culture, playing all varieties of music with Derya Türkan, Erkan Oğur, Fahir Atakoğlu, Uğur Işik and The Yarkin Brothers. He became a member of The Sezen Aksu Acoustic Band and played all over the world in famous venues like Carnegie Hall New York, Royal Albert Hall London, Circus Stockholm, sometimes playing to audiences of over 50.000 people.
At the end of that era Eric directed his focus on his roots and started the acoustic duo “A Traveller’s Tale” with guitarist Aron Raams: a structural musical vehicle based on their mutual admiration for blues, folk, country, jazz & Americana.
This was followed by Eric van der Westen’s New Quadrant version featuring violin, trombone, trumpet/fluegelhorn, guitar & double bass. Their 1st album was released in October 2021 as part of a trilogy: The Crown & Lobster Trilogy: Part III: New Quadrant.
On November 27 2021 the 1st part was released: The Crown & Lobster Trilogy Part I: PTM (xs) Modus Operandi. This is a small version of his large band Private Time Machine that followed a slightly similar path being influenced by his early influences of heavy blues rock, soul, funk and of course jazz. A powerhouse small big band in which Eric plays only bass guitar and electric upright but also sings.
The 3rd part: The Crown & Lobster Trilogy Part II: Blue Is All That’s Left is a an overview of a selection of ballads out of Eric’s songbook to which some new tunes are added. Release in the fall of 2022.
In 2022 the PTM Project Us-Min(G)-Us will see the light with a contemporary look at the music of Eric’s guru Charles Mingus with rappers & poets added to the line-up. With his brother Dieter van der Westen he works as a duo and in Dieter’s band which has an eclectic Americana profile.
Besides all musical efforts, Eric has always pursued a business career as well. He runs a Record Label EWM Music since 1998 and took part in several startups like Greenbag. Since 2019 Eric is heading the Better Get Hit Festival in Tilburg The Netherlands. It’s a music festival fully dedicated to all forms of Afro-American music:.
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