Raised in Belgium in an environment full of music, Lieven Venken began playing the violin at the age of four. Soon he expanded his training to include percussion, which, while he excelled as a vocalist and violinist, became his primary focus and love. Lieven then entered Belgium's "Lemmensinstuut", studying with world reknowned jazz drummer h Dré PALLEMAERTS. He graduted in '99 "cum laude".
He also studied in Amsterdam with Kees CRANENBURG and with Billy HART (New York).
Private lessons, Billy HART, Brian BLADE, Jorge ROSSY, jazz drums New York 1997
Summer camp, jazz drums by Billy HART, ensemble by Mark LEVINE, jazz drums, ensemble Dworp, Belgium Aug.1997, Aug. 1998.
After his studies, he rapidly becomes a very active drummer on the Belgian jazz scene.
As a freelance musician he played concerts all over Europe and in the U.S. with people such as:
Mark TURNER, Claudio RODITI, Tim ARMACOST, Hein VAN DE GEYN, Jonathan MORITZ, Brian LYNCH, Pete McCANN,
Jesse VAN RULLER, Michiel BORSTLAP, Matt RENZIE, Norma WINSTONE, Martin GJAKONOVSKI, Nicolas SIMION, Norbert
SCHOLLY, Rupert STAMM, Noah HOWARD, Darek OLES, Shane ENDSLEY, Mike LE DONNE, Gulli GUDMUNDSON,
Chantal WILLIE, Danny GRISETT, Mike CARR, Dan MARCUS, Al DE FINO, Frank VAGANÉE (sax), Nic THYS (b),
Bart DEFOORT (sax), Lindsey HORNER (b.),
Kris DEFOORT (p), Bo VAN DER WERF (bar. sax),
Erwin VANN (sax), Michel HERR (p),
Ron VAN ROSSUM (p), Peer BAIERLEIN (tp), Bas COOYMANS
(b), Pierre VAN DORMAEL (gt), Manuel HERMIA (sax),
Peter HERTMANS (gt), Steve HOUBEN (sax),
Nathalie LORIERS (p), Paolo RADONI,
Sal LA ROCCA (b), Bruno VANSINA (sax), Jozef DUMOULIN (p), Piet VERBIST (b),
Erik VERMEULEN (p), Jean-Louis RASSINFOSSE, Czech pianist Emil VIKLICKY (p) etc...
He had the opportunity to play with Erwin VANN's WORLDS Project (sextet version) with a.o. Norma WINSTONE (voc.), Eric VLOEIMANS (tp), Michel HERR (p) and Stefan LIEVESTRO (b).
He also worked in trio with US saxophonist Jonathan MORITZ, with Lindsey HORNER on bass. They recorded the album "Xanadu" J.A.S. 06).
While best known as a jazz player, his eclectic background enabled him to branch out easily into other styles, and he worked with a diverse range of artists, such as American gospel singer Lea Gilmore, with whom he toured and recorded the live album Gospels For Damien.
Once arriving in the United States, in 2002, Venken became a dynamic presence on the New York jazz scene: he has worked in the top NY jazz clubs with artists such as Tim Armacost, The Brooklyn Bigband, Toots Thielemans, Gregory Tardy, and many others.
Radio Performances :
De Vlaamse Opera, Antwerp-Gent, "Die Tote Stadt", Korngold (composer)
Radio 3, 1995
Bart Van Caenegem trio Radio Klara, "Take Five", June 2, 2001
Kris Defoort-Mark Turner quartet Radio Klara, "Take Five", Feb. 17, 2001
High Voltage sextet Radio Klara, rec. live in De Werf Brugge, May 4, 2001
Steve Houben quartet Radio Klara, rec. in studio Toots, Brussels, Nov. 13,14, 2001
Jef Neve Trio Radio Klara, rec. live in Lier, May 18, 2002
He is the drummer of several bands :
With the "High Voltage-sextet" we received the price for Belgian Artistic Promotion of SABAM 2000 (B.A.P. -prijs)