Big band of the future – connecting through jazz
contemporary big band jazz cannot be played much better – Jack Bower, All About Jazz (USA)
the Dutch response to modern jazz ensembles – Detlef Ott, The Gazette (Germany)
In the Netherlands the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw put big band music back on the map. Since 1999 we have been the backbone of jazz program at the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, performing alongside at many other venues in the Netherlands and abroad, with many tens of thousands of visitors every year.
We aim to make our cultural heritage of almost a century of Dutch jazz accessible to new generations and at the same time to focus on innovation and new music. [Read more]
Several times the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw was proclaimed the best and most swinging Dutch big band and since the launch of our new album Crossroads (October 2018) this is amply confirmed by the enthusiasm of our audience as well as that of the national and international press.
About our album Crossroads, the press writes:
- A revolving double album – Amanda Kuyper, NRC Handelsblad
- One of the best albums ever released in Dutch jazz – Cyriel Pluijmakers, Jazzenzo
- The JOC is a world-class orchestra, and contemporary big band jazz cannot be played much better – Jack Bower, All About Jazz (USA)
- Without a doubt the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw is the Dutch response to modern jazz ensembles such as the Maria Schneider Big Band or the WDR Big Band – Detlef Ott, The Gazette (Germany)
Prices and awards
The Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw was nominated in 1999 for the CD Festival and in 2010 received the Edison Jazz & World for the CD Blues for the Date, with Peter Beets. That last album was also named one of the best ‘large ensemble albums of 2010’ by the authoritative magazine All About Jazz New York. Founder Henk Meutgeert was awarded the Bird Award by the North Sea Jazz Festival in 1999 and was the first Dutchman to receive the Concertgebouw Award (2016).
The Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw is also highly regarded internationally. Almost every year, there is a performance somewhere in the world. During those concerts, the Jazz Orchestra plays both its own Dutch jazz and the international jazz heritage. Sometimes supported and sometimes not supported by soloists of international class. In recent years, the orchestra has performed in Jakarta, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Budapest, Brussels, Cape Town, Java, Vienna, Vilnius, Klaipeida, Tokyo, Mishima and Beijing. The 2010 World Tour included Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Mexico City and Macau. The US, Europe and China are scheduled for 2019.
From 2016, the Jazz Orchestra can be heard regularly the Dutch pop venues. The first Club tour, with the legendary Hammond B3 player Dr. Lonnie Smith was so successful that this has become a permanent part of our offer. The orchestra combines jazz, funk, soul and rhythm & blues in dazzling shows with singers such as Berget Lewis, Shirma Rouse, Pink Oculus, Fay Claassen and Sabrina Starke. view our archive material here
Dutch jazz heritage
The orchestra sees it as its task to make our cultural heritage, of almost a century of Dutch jazz, accessible to new generations and to further develop it, among other things by expressly seeking cooperation with new generations of (jazz) musicians. Orchestras such as the Skymasters, Boy’s Big Band, Willem Breuker Collective and the ICP have been important inspirers. In addition to work by Meutgeert, the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw also performed works by Dutch arrangers such as Rob Pronk, Frans Elsen, Jerry van Rooyen and Boy Edgar and collaborated with Dutch composers such as Misha Mengelberg, Willem Breuker and Theo Loevendie.
New generations of jazz musicians
In addition to the heritage function of the orchestra, artistic policy also focuses emphatically on innovation and new music. In recent years work has been done on a large library with new arrangements and compositions, mostly by Dutch composers and arrangers. In recent years, special concert series have also been developed such as Rhythm Changes, JOC Jazz Factory and the JOC goes Vreemd. In addition, the Jazz Orchestra participates in an important partnership with the Conservatory of Amsterdam, in the so-called Jazz Academy: young, almost graduated top musicians are trained in playing in and with a big band and accompanied by our experienced musicians to actually play for the public.
Talent development and musical innovation are central. World-class guest soloists The Jazz Orchestra regularly worked and collaborates with world-class guest soloists, including Toots Thielemans, Kurt Elling, José James, Chick Corea, Branford Marsalis, Oleta Adams, Benny Golson, Christian Scott, Roy Hargrove, Patti Austin, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Georgie Fame and national artists such as Caro Emerald, Trijntje Oosterhuis, Fay Claassen, Sabrina Starke, Berget Lewis, Ruben Hein, Mathilde Santing, the SE! Choir and many others.
Over the past 20 years we have played and worked with dozens of arrangers and soloists on much larger and smaller stages and festivals, always under the same motto: connecting through jazz. From 1999, on the initiative of the then director Martijn Sanders, the orchestra bears the name of the Royal Concertgebouw, the only concert hall in the world that, in addition to a classical orchestra, has attached a jazz orchestra to its name. The Jazz Orchestra consists of the best Dutch jazz musicians, is firmly rooted in the Dutch big band tradition and rightly occupies a prominent position in it. Together with our conductors Dennis Mackrel (chief conductor) and Rob Horsting (co-conductor and our main arranger) give our band members a unique sound at the JOC. The sound of the Jazz Orchestra is based on that of the second half of the 20th century and is distinguished by a full and warm sound of the wind instruments, a sharp timing and an exciting musical interaction between the musicians themselves. [/ read]
From its pioneering role in the Dutch jazz scene, the Jazz Orchestra is constantly developing new projects for top talent in jazz and expanding and deepening the big band repertoire. These projects enrich the big band field with new music and build bridges between generations of musicians and the audience.
Rhythm Changes Series
to give Dutch top languages a stage … [read more]
The Rhythm Changes series has top Dutch talent such as Reinier Baas, Ben van Gelder, Simin Tander, Maarten Hogenhuis, Gideon van Gelder, Morris Kliphuis and Sebastiaan van Bavel gave a stage and were challenged to develop compositionally by writing for a large line-up. [/ read]
Arrangers Project … [read more]
The Arrangers Project gave young arrangers the opportunity to gain the first experience in working with big band under the supervision of an internationally renowned arranger / band leader. In this project we collaborated with CODARTS, Hogeschool Zuyd and the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. The arrangements written above have been made available to amateur big bands in the Netherlands. View the full library of the Arrangers Project [/ read]
Jazz Academy New
collaboration with the Master’s students of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam … [read more]
The Jazz Academy is an initiative of the JOC i.s.m. the CvA in which master students receive intensive supervision and can play as an internship in the JOC. The project is always being worked on towards a performance. [/ Read]
The chapel of Hotel Arena was the breeding ground for new music from the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw in 2017-18 … [read more]
The chapel of Hotel Arena became from 2017 the breeding ground for new music of the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw. On the basis of always a new theme, the audience was included in the creative process of developing our new music. Each concert had a central theme, which was presented with stimulating interviews with musicians and in texts by young opinion makers / writers / poets, nominated by Lucas De Man – known among others for Kunstuur and Nieuwe Helden. [/ Read]
Jazz Orchestra Gaat Vreemd
Het Jazz Orchestra meets young multi-talents with their own musical style … [read more]
A number of band members with a number of young multi-talents have recently plunged into the various studios to jam – literally and figuratively from the comfort zone – and to work on big band arrangements with the pieces of the participants as a starting point. View the story of Jazz Orchestra Gaat Vreemd [/ read]
The Jazz Orchestra consists of a selection of the best jazz musicians in the Netherlands: all excellent soloists, improvisers and ensemble players. Many also work as a composer / arranger and most also have their own (inter) national career.
The excellent qualities of our band members as arrangers and composers are shown on our album Crossroads, an own production with compositions exclusively by our band members. Many of our musicians combine their affiliation with the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw with an appointment as principal subject teacher at one of the Dutch conservatories. [A-team-showcase id = “169”]