Bigband of the future – connecting through jazz
‘contemporary big band jazz cannot be played much better‘
‘the Dutch response to modern jazz ensembles’
The Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw has put big band music on the map in the Netherlands. Since 1999 we have been the backbone of jazz programming at the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, alongside many other venues in the Netherlands, with many tens of thousands of visitors every year. We see it as our task to make our cultural heritage of almost a century of Dutch jazz accessible to new generations and at the same time focus on innovation and new music.
Several times the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw was voted the best and most swinging Dutch big band and since the launch of our new album Crossroads this has been amply confirmed by both the enthusiasm of our audience and that of the national and international press. … Lees meer
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 (Duitsland)
… read more about this album and read, watch and listen more here!
Awards and prizes Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw
In 1999 the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw was nominated for the CD Festival and in 2010 received the Edison Jazz & World for the CD Blues for the Date, which 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 is the first Dutch person to receive the Concertgebouw Jazz Award.
The orchestra itself consists of a large number of laureates: during his successful career to date, Peter Beets has won the Pall Mall Swing Award, the Princes Christina Competition and the prestigious Prix Martial Solal.
Guitarist Martijn van Iterson received the Bird Award (2004) and won the Laren Jazz Award (2012). Lead saxophonist Joris Roelofs, winner of the Pim Jacobs Jazz Award and the Deloitte Jazz Award was also the first non-American to win the prestigious IAJE Stan Getz / Clifford Brown Fellowship Award. Roelofs also won the composition prize of the North Sea Jazz Festival (2018). Ruud Breuls is the winner of the Wessel Ilcken Prize (1988) and the Laren Jazz Award (2013). Trombonist Ilja Reijngoud is winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk Award in 2003 (for his composition No Substitute) and received an Edison for his Shakespeare Album in 2003.
internationally the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw is also held in high esteem. Almost every year the orchestra is somewhere abroad to present its music somewhere abroad. During those concerts, the Jazz Orchestra plays both its own music made by Dutch 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 on the Dutch pop stages. 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.
… read more
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 explicitly seeking collaboration 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 music and 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 Thierlemans, 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.
For the past 20 years we have played on much larger and smaller stages and festivals and worked with dozens of arrangers and soloists, 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 also attached a name to a jazz orchestra.
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), our band members give the JOC a unique sound.
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, sharp timing and an exciting musical interaction between the musicians themselves.
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 different generations of musicians and the audience.
Jazz Orchestra Fooling Around
Jazz Orchestra meeting young multi-talents, getting out of their comfort zone … Lees meer
Recently, a number of band members with a number of young multi-talents dived into the various studios to jam – literally and figuratively from the comfort zone – and to work on big band operations with the pieces of the participants as their starting point.
.. read more about Jazz Orchestra Gaat Vreemd
Jazz AcademyA new collaboration with the Conservatory of Amsterdam for master students … Lees meer
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. Project-based work is always carried out towards implementation.
Arrangers ProjectYoung arrangers experience arranging for and working with a professional bigband … Lees meer
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 packages that have been written above have been made available to amateur big bands in the Netherlands.
Project to present young Dutch top talent composers … Lees meer
The Rhythm Changes series has given Dutch top talent such as Reinier Baas, Ben van Gelder, Simin Tander, Maarten Hogenhuis, Gideon van Gelder, Morris Kliphuis and Sebastiaan van Bavel a stage and challenged themselves to develop compositionally by writing for a large line-up.
The Jazz Orchestra consists of a selection of the best jazz musicians in the Netherlands: 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 from our band members. Many of our musicians combine their solidarity with the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw with an appointment as principal subject teacher at one the Dutch conservatories.
The organization is supported by a small, enthousiastic team of Jacks of all trades.