Jessica Ryckewaert is one of the most specialized soloist percussionists in contemporary music in Belgium, playing premières of works for marimba, vibraphone and percussion, with live electronics, which have been written for her by the composers.
Born in Huy, Belgium, Jessica began her musical career at the age of 6, in percussion and piano. She received the Highest Diplomas, with the highest distinction, in percussion and chamber music, at the Conservatoires of Liège and Brussels. Jessica took advanced classes and studied with Emmanuel Séjourné, for marimba and vibraphone, at the Strasbourg National Conservatoire, here she obtained her specialization diploma with the congratulations of the jury.
In 1996-97, Jessica Ryckewaert won the First Prizes for piano and percussion in the National “Crédit Communal” Competition.
Early in her studies, she attended numerous master-classes with artists such as Michael Udow, John Beck, Leigh Howard Stevens and Dave Samuels.
In 2002, she received third Prize at the International Vibraphone Competition in Clermont-Ferrand.
After starting her professional career in different Belgian orchestras, Jessica quickly turned towards the world of contemporary music. She acquired a vast experience in chamber music by working notably with Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles and Ictus Ensemble.
She has performed around the world in New York, Milan, Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam, Berlin and has taken part in the premières of works by Nova, Romitelli, Schollhorn, De Mey, Fontyn, Fourgon, Ledoux, and Bartholomée.
In parallel with her career as a chamber musician, Jessica works as a soloist. In 2002, she toured Canada and played the Concerto for Vibraphone and Orchestra by Emmanuel Séjourné. In 2003, she was invited to give concerts and workshops in Singapore. 2005 was invited to play in the Senate for the Belgian Royal Family, a televised event. From 2005 she opened up her horizons to the United Kingdom by giving solo recitals at festivals, including Plymouth, Cambridge and Oxford.
The same year also saw Jessica begin working with the CRFMW (Centre de Recherches et de Formation Musicales de Wallonie) and on the premières of works by Pierre Bartholomée and Denis Bosse, pieces especially written for her to perform. She has taken part in various festivals such as Images Sonores, Ars Musica, Stuck Leuven, with these pieces and Day Dreams, Ph. Boesmans. In 2006 Jessica recorded a marimba part for a character in an animated film of Disney/Pixar. Jessica was invited to play a series of concerts with the International Pop/Reggae group UB40.
As well as being a Professor of Percussion at the conservatoire Imep, Namur, Belgium, Jessica is preparing concerts for contemporary festivals in both Belgium and the UK to promote her new CD. Released under the record label Fuga Libera, 2009, the CD contains works by Boesmans, Bartholomée and Gobert, for marimba, vibraphone and electronics.
Jessica is artist endorsed by Adams Musical Instruments for marimba and vibraphone and by Alternate Mode for MalletKAT.