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Information of Jan Akkerman

Jan Akkerman (born 24 December 1946) is a Dutch guitarist. Jan Akkerman is a distinctive guitarist, constantly experimenting with new equipment and guitars. Akkerman's distinctive guitar sound is characterised by his pioneering use of volume swells which produce a smooth, fluty, sustained note, although he is also capable of astonishing high-speed pyrotechnics. He also pioneered the use of the lute in a rock band, reflecting his interest in medieval and Renaissance music and culture. He first reached world acclaim in the 1970s when he was seen as the core of the Dutch rock band Focus together with Thijs van Leer.

Jan Akkerman was born in the 'Jordaan' area of Amsterdam as the son of a scrap iron trader. At age five he took guitar lessons and his first single was released when he was fourteen years old. He was a member of Johnny and The Cellar Rockers, The Hunters and Brainbox, and joined the Thijs van Leer Trio in late 1969. They continued under the name Focus and scored a few world hits in the seventies. In 1973 Akkerman was chosen Best Guitarist Of The World by the readers of the UK magazine Melody Maker.

In 1976 Jan Akkerman left Focus and continued his solo career, and collaborations with other musicians.

A reunion with Thijs van Leer in 1985 turned out to be unsuccessful. He continued to produce several albums. At the same time he was active as a session musician with André Hazes and others. Furthermore he played with Alan Price, Herman Brood, Peter Banks, Charlie Byrd, Ice-T, Paco De Lucia, and BB King.

In 1992 he was involved in a serious car accident, but resumed playing in 1993. In the late 1990s, after an absence of nearly 20 years, he was persuaded to tour the UK again and has continued to do so on a regular basis. He writes for the Dutch magazine GitaarPlus. Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson owns a guitar signed by Akkerman.