Artists from the Netherlands selected for jazzahead! 2023

19 January 2023

When the team producing jazzahead! announced at the end of their 2022 edition that Germany would take centre stage as the focus country in 2023, they also immediately called for four Commissioned Projects. The aim: to initiate sustainable, future-oriented projects. In consultation with organising partners in the US, France, Austria and the Netherlands, four new line-ups were assembled around bandleaders of German origin. In the Netherlands inJazz is partner, and drummer Felix Schlarmann (known from Bruut! among others) is the one who gets to present his project at jazzahead! – and in June at inJazz in Rotterdam as well!

Felix Schlarmann’s Tree House
Amsterdam-based drummer Felix Schlarmann is deeply rooted in the Dutch jazz scene – Germany’s neighbouring country has been his home for almost twenty years now. There he plays with numerous formations, teaches at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and is a dedicated organiser and curator, among other things through his successful festival Jazzfest Amsterdam. With his Tree House project, Felix presents a large ensemble, a group of musicians reflecting the diverse and international jazz scene in the Netherlands. The collective process is central in the development of the repertoire and the general band sound. Felix describes the septet as ‘a project that is both a challenge and an inspiration because of its line-up alone’. Playing with him are Ben van Gelder (alto saxophone), Mete Erker (tenor saxophone), Līva Dumpe (voice), Olivier van Niekerk (guitar), Franz von Chossy (piano), and Pat Cleaver (bass). Read more here.

Wolfert Brederode with Matangi Quartet & Joost Lijbaart
Given his impressive career, Wolfert Brederode hardly needs any introduction. After playing with his own quartet, trio and duo (with Joost Lijbaart), and next to the Yuri Honing Acoustic Quartet and the Celano/Baggiani/Badenhorst collaboration, the pianist exceeds himself with a deeply personal project. Brederode’s fourth album for ECM, Ruins and Remains (2022), is a transcending mix of jazz and contemporary classical music that is as intriguing as it is emotionally charged. With deep melancholy the strings of the renowned Matangi Quartet balance Wolfert’s sparse and reflective playing, while Lijbaart adds percussive subtleties to the arrangements. Critics unanimously lauded the album and the subsequent concerts in the Netherlands (and Brussels). As it was recorded in Bremen’s Sendesaal in August of 2021, with its selection for the jazzahead! showcase program, Ruins and Remains project returns home, so to speak.
> read our interview with Wolfert Brederode

AVA Trio
Together since 2015, Giuseppe Doronzo (IT; baritone saxophone, mizmar, hulus, sola), Esat Ekincioglu (TR; double bass), and Pino Basile (IT; frame drums and other percussion) are erudite and virtuosic guides, navigating through rich and diverse sonic surroundings. As AVA Trio’s bio states: “Their destinations need no justification; their music is timeless.” Already with their debut release Music from an Imaginary Land (2017), AVA Trio came to the attention of lovers of adventurous music and borderless improvisation. To much critical acclaim, the trio played festival stages around the world, from their hometown Groningen to Shanghai, also making it to the 2018 selection of inJazz in Rotterdam. Digging The Sand (2019) expanded their take on Mediterranean moods mixed with free improvisation, again with great success. In January 2023 AVA Trio records their third album, which raises the expectations for their appearance at jazzahead! 2023.
> read our interview with AVA Trio

Sun-Mi Hong Quintet
During the jazzahead Clubnight on Friday 28 April, renowned British label Edition Records will feature three of their artists at Sendesaal in Bremen, Amsterdam-based Sun-Mi Hong Quintet being one of them. The Quintet’s latest album, Third Page: Resonance, was featured on Bandcamp as one of 2022’s jazz highlights. Info on the Edition Records Label night here.
> read our interview with Sun-Mi Hong

Dutch inJazz at jazzahead! 2023 Buma Cultuur is happily hosting the Dutch inJazz stand again at jazzahead! 2023, which takes place 27 – 30 April 2023. Are you living in and/or working from the Netherlands, then you can still register for jazzahead! as a co-exhibitor with a discount code. Read more here.