Musician Thijs van Leer has received the PUMA Lifetime Achievement Award for his significant contribution to Dutch music culture. Van Leer (73 years old) will receive the award on Monday, September 20, during the PUMA Awards ceremony at Bimhuis in Amsterdam.
Van Leer is best known in the Netherlands as a flutist and pianist, but also a singer, music teacher and bandleader. Van Leer began his career, which lasted over fifty years, in the 1960s as a backing singer with Ramses Shafi.
His real breakthrough came in the 1970s when he released the song Hocus Pocus with his band Focus. The song was an international hit and is still used in major television and film productions. Hocus Pocus can be heard in the American film Baby Driver, the remake of Robocop, Trolls 2 and in a 2010 Nike commercial.
Van Leer, who has also won the Export Prize, Silver Harp and Edison Awards, remains active in the music world today. This week he releases his new album Parce que, with French lyrics by Annelies Lommen.
In November he will begin a UK tour with Focus.
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