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Jan Akkerman

On 24/12/1946, Jan Akkerman was born in Amsterdam, Netherlands. When he was five, Akkerman started guitar lessons.
At the age of eleven, he became a member of Johnny and his Cellar Rockers.
In 1960, Akkerman released his first single at the age of thirteen.
Akkerman would also win a scholarship at Amsterdam Music Lyceum for 5 years. There he would learn composition, arranging and music technique. Akkerman also became a skilled Lutenist. He was inspired by Julian Bream.
In 1966, Akkerman had a Dutch pop hit as part of the band The Hunters with the song "Russian Spy and I".
In 1968, Akkerman founded the band Brainbox with Pierre van der Linden, Bert Ruiter Kaz Lu. With Brainbox he had several Dutch hit singles.
In 1969, Akkerman joined the Thijs van Leer Trio, which became the band Focus. The band included keyboardist and flute player Thijs van Leer, bassist Martijn Dresden, and drummer Hans Cleuver. The band was the pit band for the Dutch theatrical production of "Hair". Focus would release five albums with Jan Akkerman. These included the Gold albums "Moving Waves" and "Focus III". They would have hits with songs such as "Hocus Pocus" and "Sylvia".
In 1973, readers of the UK magazine "Melody Maker" chose Akkerman as "Best Guitarist in The World".
In 1976, Akkerman left Focus and continued his solo career. In the same year, he released the album "Eli" which featured Kaz Lux on vocals. It won a Dutch Edison Award for best album.
In 1985, Akkerman joined Focus for a reunion set of concerts. They proved unsuccessful.
In 1990, Akkerman was reunited with Focus again for the Dutch TV program "Goud van Oud". It was the last appearance that Akkerman would make with them.
In 1991, Akkerman was a part of the Night Of The Guitars II European tour. The tour featured Ronnie Montrose, Saga's Ian Crichton, Robin Trower from Procol Harum, Dave Sharman and Laurie Wisefield.
In 1992, Akkerman was in a serious car accident. He recovered to resume playing again in 1993.
In 2005, Akkerman received the Golden Harp Award.
In 2009, Akkerman received the Eddy Christiani Award.
In 2012, Akkerman received the honour of Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau.
In 2013, Akkerman released the album "North Sea Jazz".
As a session musician, Akkerman has recorded with André Hazes and others. He has played alongside Alan Price, Herman Brood, Peter Banks, Phil Collins, Jack Bruce, Charlie Byrd, Ice-T, Paco De Lucia, and B.B. King.

The Music History Calendar is written by the Blues Rock artist Marshland Pete
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