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Biography

Wessel Ilcken was a Hilversum-born Dutch jazz drummer (1923-1957). He was married to jazz singer, Rita Reys. He played with many international jazz greats, including Dizzy Gillespie, Tony Scott, Herbie Mann, Bob Cooper, Joe Carroll, Bengt Hallberg and Lars Gullin. Ilcken lived in Sweden for a long time. He died on 13 July 1957 of a brain haemorrhage, after a waterskiing accident. Six years after his death an important jazz prize was named after him: the Wessel Ilcken Prijs.

In the final years of his life his Wessel Ilcken Combo contributed some selections to the famous 'Jazz Behind The Dikes' LP series (1955-1957).

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