(2019 Judges TBA)
Geert Chatrou: Head Judge,
Growing up in the Netherlands, Geert Chatrou began whistling at the age of 4 to his parents’ classical music. At 6 years old his dad, a recorder teacher, bought him - you guessed it - a recorder! Geert found love and talent for this instrument, and many more, as he went on to study flute, saxophone, and oboe throughout his musical career.
But the whistling never stopped. Growing older, Geert’s musical interests struck a broad range from hard rock to jazz, and world music to gypsy swing. All inspiring, and all ‘whistable’.
In 2004 a friend played a practical joke on Geert and signed him up as a contestant at the International Whistlers Convention in North Carolina. Geert decided that, yes indeed, he would compete in the world championships of whistling. Geerts virtuosic tone and rhythm lead him to win his first of many whistling championships that year. After his first spontaneous and unexpected success, he competed again in 2005 (United States) and 2008 (Japan), again taking first place. In 2010 Geert was invited to be a distinguished judge at the whistling world championships, hosted in China, and a few years later served as a judge at Japan’s World Whistling Convention.
Geert never ceases to amaze and move those who experience his whistling artistry and always leaves his audiences wanting more. Geert has been touring non-stop since 2004. He has been invited to whistle on stages all over the world. From Tokyo to Boston, and Helsinki to Berlin he has been the featured soloist in many chamber orchestra’s, jazz ensembles, symphonic orchestras and string quartets. His whistling can be heard on several recordings including a children's audio book written about his life, movie scores, and a collaboration with Klaus Badelt. Geert has recorded a variety of CD’s that have been distributed worldwide including Ornithology and Chatroubadour.
John Kirby is a keyboardist, producer and composer from Los Angeles. He attended USC where he studied classical piano with Antoinette Perry and orchestration and composition with John Clayton. John can be heard performing on stages around the world throughout the year. He has recorded and performed with notable artists including Norah Jones, Sebastien Tellier and Solange (including keyboards on her Grammy winning song "Cranes in the Sky"). His debut solo LP will be released this fall on Outside Insight Records.