Niels Van Heertum started playing the euphonium at the age of eight. With a background in both classical and jazz music, Niels went further on the path of jazz euphonium at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, where he studied with John Ruocco and Kris Defoort, among others. Attending masterclasses and private lessons by Sergio Carolino, Chris Speed, Brian Bowman, Ellery Eskelin and Samuel Blaser. In 2010 he formed the band Ifa y Xango, together with six fellow musicians. The band won the prestigious Gent Jazz Contest 2011 and played at the Gent Jazz Festival in 2012. Their critically aclaimed debut album ‘Abraham’ was selected as ‘best debut of the year’ by the New York City Jazz Magazine.
Among his regular bands and projects are Veder, Linus, Book of Air, MikMâäk, Chantal Acda and Lynn Cassiers’ Imaginary Band. In 2017 he made his first solo record, co-released by granvat and Smeraldina-Rima. His quartet Veder’s debut album ‘evergreen’ was released on Aspen in the same year. In 2018 Niels won the Sabam Jazz award for young talent. Since 2015 he is working with choreographer and theater director Alain Platel, having toured in over 30 countries among which South-Africa, Brazil, Canada, Australia and many more.
Over the years Niels has collaborated with people like Bill Frisell, Jakob Bro, Billy Hart, Shahzad Ismaily, Ernst Reijseger, Christian Wallumrød, Fabrizio Cassol, Eric Boeren, Jozef Dumoulin, Eric Thielemans, Lander Gyselinck, Joachim Badenhorst, Fulco Ottervanger, Teun Verbruggen, Nils Økland, Ingar Zach, Eivind Lønning, Arno Bakker, among others.