Jorrit Dijkstra

Jorrit, a saxophonist, and composer, has a music that draws on the spirit and sound of jazz, but also crosses stylistic and cultural boundaries to express his strong and evolving personal vision. Dijkstra spent his childhood in Amsterdam’s lively improvisation community, playing jazz, free-improvisation and world music. Dijkstra moved to the United States in 2002. He has maintained a close relationship with his Dutch musical roots, and has developed a deeper affinity with American experimental music. Dijkstra has recently been involved in The Whammies Play the Music of Steve Lacy, a group featuring top improvisers from Chicago, Boston, and Amsterdam. He also formed an electro-acoustic duo along with John Hollenbeck, a New York drummer/composer. Dijkstra’s use analog electronics, including the Lyricon (an electronic wind instrument that dates back to the seventies), expands his already flexible sound. It creates a unique mix of cool jazz and avant-rock as well as free improvisation and electronic minimalism. Dijkstra’s work in improvising has earned him a Fulbright grant as well as the Podium Prize for Dutch jazz musicians. Jorrit’s compositions balance between two similar stylistic boundaries. Jorrit’s Pillow Circles Project, which was commissioned by the North Sea Jazz Festival 2009 brings together eight top improvisers to create a captivating sound world full of indie-rock and free jazz influences. Dijkstra also received commissions from Tetzepi Big Band and David Kweksilber Big Band. Many of his commissioned pieces incorporate electronic soundtracks or other forms of improvisation. He has also composed the soundtracks for several theater productions and scored document films. Jorrit has recorded twelve albums as a leader and has performed at many events, including the North Sea Jazz Festival and Vancouver Jazz Festival, Rome’s Festival Controindicazioni and New York City’s The Stone. He has also performed at the Chicago Cultural Center and ICA Boston, BIMhuis Amsterdam and Stadtgarten Cologne. He has collaborated with Gerry Hemingway and Tony Malaby as well as Willem Breuker, Willem Breuker, John Butcher, John Butcher, Han Bennink, Gerry Robertson, Gerry Hemingway and Willem Robertson. His involvement in projects ranged from Ghost Trance by Anthony Braxton and Guus Janssen’s opera Noach, to rare performances of Texas’ outsider musician Jandek. Jorrit co-founded Driff Records, an independent label that promotes “transatlantic improvised musical” (TIMP). Jorrit studied composition and improvisation with Misha Mengelberg and Steve Coleman. He also worked with Bob Brookmeyer, Steve Lacy and Lee Hyla. He is currently an Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music and a faculty member of the New England Conservatory of Boston. He has taught master classes in improvisation at numerous conservatories in Europe as well as North America. from

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