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MASHA BIJLSMA

Summary | Biography | Discography | Photos | Audio/Video

Masha Bijlsma

Period

05-05-1971 - current

Genre

componist, jazz, lyricist, zang

Online

Officiële website

Pseudonyms

Masha Bijlsma Band

Masha Bijlsma

Masha Bijlsma (Utrecht, 5 May 1971) sings both jazz classics and original compositions. In arrangements by members of her band, and often with her own lyrics Bijlsma makes the works of composers like Thelonious Monk, Fats Waller, Charlie Haden and Nat Adderley completely her own. Masha Bijlsma is inspired ...
Full biography

Instruments

componist, lyricist, zang

Mentioned in the biography of

2010   Greetje Bijma

Biography Masha Bijlsma

Masha Bijlsma (Utrecht, 5 May 1971) sings both jazz classics and original compositions. In arrangements by members of her band, and often with her own lyrics Bijlsma makes the works of composers like Thelonious Monk, Fats Waller, Charlie Haden and Nat Adderley completely her own. Masha Bijlsma is inspired by the American jazz singer Abbey Lincoln, but she isn't afraid of interpreting pop songs by Kate Bush and Noa or chansons by Edith Piaf. Her voice is powerful and supple, with a great range, both high and low. Bijlsma's band, usually a quartet in which her father Dries Bijlsma plays the drums, is regularly extended for recordings and concerts with guest soloists from the Netherlands and abroad, like trombonist Bart van Lier, saxophonist Bob Malach, trumpeter Jarmo Hoogendijk, saxophonist Tony Lakatos and trumpeter Benny Bailey.

1990 - 1994

In her teens Masha Bijlsma plays bass guitar and piano, but at the age of nineteen she opts for a singing career. She likes jazz, but also pop and hardrock. She sings the latter genre with the band Caveman, but her teachers at the Arnhem Conservatory are not happy with this, and they send her off in 1990. Their verdict is that she can't sing. In 1990 she forms the Masha Bijlsma Band, featuring her father Dries Bijlsma on drums, Gé Bijvoet on piano and Eric van der Westen on bass. A first highlight for the popular band is a concert at the international jazz festival in the German town of Gronau in 1992. In 1994 Bijlsma's debut album, Winds Of Change, is released, featuring trumpeter Eric Vloeimans as guest soloist.

1995 - 2000

Masha Bijlsma's reputation grows, first in Germany, where she gives many concerts, but soon also in the rest Europe and outside, of which successful performances in Indonesia and the US bear witness. In 1996 she invites the American tenor saxophonist Bob Malach to play on her second CD, Lebo. The album is well received. De Volkskrant critic Erik van den Berg writes: 'Her tour-de-force is The Way You Look Tonight, performed at breakneck speed, in which she reminds one of the young Rita Reys: the same defiant recklessness and bold vitality.' For Lebo Bijlsma writes the gloomy song Low Down together with pianist Jasper van't Hof, a childhood friend of her father. Hein van de Geyn is the producer of the 1999 CD Profile, which is nominated for an Edison Jazz Award 2000 (the Dutch Grammy). Hungarian born tenor saxophonist Tony Lakatos is Bijlsma's guest both in the studio and on stage. Pianist and arranger Rob van den Broeck becomes Bijlsma's new musical director in the band.

2000 - 2010

Hein van de Geyn also produces the CD Lopin' in 2003. The album contains a remarkable version of Thelonious Monk's Ruby My Dear, with a lyric by Sally Swisher. In the newspaper Utrechts Nieuwsblad critic Jeroen de Valk writes that Bijlsma has a lot of potential: 'She engages in abstract vocal art, but also sings familiar standards. She interprets tender ballads à la Abbey Lincoln – a source of inspiration and a good friend – but can also belt out like a dangerous big fat mama.' Bijlsma's version of the standard How Long Has This Been Going On is on the 2003 compilation CD The Finest In Female Vocal Jazz, an album which puts her in the company of Cassandra Wilson and Diana Krall, to name but a few. Then a few quieter years set in for Masha Bijlsma. She becomes the mother of two children, Ella and Teun. In June 2008 she records a ballad album in Wuppertal: Whispers And Moans, featuring trombonist Bart van Lier and Tony Lakatos. Bert Jansma writes in Den Haag Centraal: 'I don't know any other singer with such a deeply felt, intense approach as she has. She turns every piece into a personal story.' Masha Bijlsma expresses her admiration for Abbey Lincoln with CD For The Love Of Abbey, which will be released in August 2010.

Greetje Bijma

Discography Masha Bijlsma

In the discography you will find all recordings that have been released listed chronologically. We restrict ourselves to the title, the type of audio, year of publication or recording, label, list of guest musicians, plus any comments on the issue.

Photos Masha Bijlsma

Audio/Video Masha Bijlsma

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