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portret Dirk Bruinsma 1


01-01-1962 - current


altsaxofoon, avant-garde, baritonsaxofoon, basgitaar, componist, electronic mucic and computer music, elektronica, fluit, gitaar, improvised, orgel, sopraansaxofoon, vocalen

Dirk Bruinsma

When Dirk Bruinsma (Tilburg, 1 January 1962) first makes a name for himself in the late 1980s, it is his multi-instrumentalism that stands out. With the same ease he will play a saxophone, a guitar or a bass guitar. Musicians from the independent scene between rock, improvised music and contemporary ...
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altsaxofoon, baritonsaxofoon, basgitaar, componist, elektronica, fluit, gitaar, orgel, sopraansaxofoon, vocalen

Mentioned in the biography of

1988   Han Buhrs

Biography Dirk Bruinsma

When Dirk Bruinsma (Tilburg, 1 January 1962) first makes a name for himself in the late 1980s, it is his multi-instrumentalism that stands out. With the same ease he will play a saxophone, a guitar or a bass guitar. Musicians from the independent scene between rock, improvised music and contemporary composed music, like guitarist Jacques Palinckx and singer Han Buhrs take a liking to him, and ask him to join their bands. Later on Bruinsma chooses to lead his own bands. The first of these is Blast, which he co-founds with guitarist Frank Crijns in 1989, and after a number of shake-ups in personnel still exists to this day. Since 2004 he has added Brown vs Brown to his list and since 2002 Bruinsma is a member of the international n-collective, which concerns itself with the tensions between composition and improvisation and between electronic and acoustic music. Bruinsma composes for all of the bands he is a member of, and is very active in the Amsterdam improvisation scene. Over the years he collaborated in international projects with Barry Guy, Evan Parker, Fred Frith, Elliott Sharp, Tim Hodgkinson, Günter 'Baby' Sommer and Axel Dörner.

Played in

Tetzepi   altsaxofoon, sopraansaxofoon


As a saxophonist Dirk Bruinsma joins the new line-up of Palinckx, guitarist Jacques Palinckx's band. Singer Han Buhrs also discovers Bruinsma, and includes him in his new outfit, the Sumbur Men (later shortened to Sumbur). In this band he plays the guitar as well as saxophones. In 1993 the band's only CD is released by the French label Organic Records.


Together with guitarist Frank Crijns Bruinsma founds the band Blast op. In their compositions for the quartet the two explore the no man's land between avant rock, contemporary composed music and improvised music. 'Chamber music with a rock instrumentation' is what Crijns calls it in an interview in the magazine THD. In 1991 their debut album Puristsirup is released by the Tilburg Vonk label. The title is a palindrome (it can be read forwards and backwards), and this says a great deal about the structure of the music , but also about the playfulness of the band's leaders. Play as well as seriousness are Blast's strong points. Reedist Wim van der Maas and drummer Ruud van Helvert complete the quartet. The first is replaced by Edward Capel in the course of the 1990s. When Van Helvert departs, the band works with various drummers, including Jim Meneses and David Kerman. With the first they record the CD Wire Stitched Ears in 1995, and with the latter Stringy Rugs (1997). Both are released by the American label Cuneiform. It is indicative for Blast's attitude, focusing more and more on an international career, and touring all over Europe ,the US and Japan.


Positive Nuns is a new quartet, founded by Bruinsma and drummer Jim Meneses. Saxophonist/guitarist Steve Buchanan completes the line-up. The latter eventually leaves the band, and with Frank Crijns as the new guitarist they record the album The Bible II.


Bassist Bert Palinckx starts a new orchestra to bridge the gap between a classical big band instrumentation and new forms of composition: Big Band Nieuwe Muziek. Dirk Bruinsma becomes a member of the reed section and also provides the ensemble with repertoire.


With the Swiss bass guitarist Päd Conca Bruinsma forms the duo Otholiten. The Swiss musician also join Blast, so that Bruinsma can focus more on playing the horn parts.


Bruinsma and Crijns extend Blast into a temporary octet, adding three guests to the band: trumpeter Bart Maris, violinist Erik van Regteren Altena and Michiel Weidner (cello, cimbalom). In this line-up they do an extensive tour entitled A Sophisticated Face. A year later the CD of the same name is released. For the Geneva Batie Festival Bruinsma creates a percussion installation, in which twelve percussionists play 24 hours non-stop.


Dirk Bruinsma joins the n-collective, an international conglomerate of improvisers and composers focusing on acoustic, electronic and electro-acoustic music. The collective spawns a number of groups (including the n-ensemble, office-r and DBO) as well as ad hoc formations. With the Italian Fabrizio Spera as its new drummer, and without Edward Capel, Blast continues as a quartet and records a new album for the British ReR Megacorp label: Altastrata. In this year Blast also tours as a sextet, adding guests Hester Boverhuis (vocals) and Joost Buis (trombone) to the band for a program with poetry set to music.


Blast joins the Belgian Spectra Ensemble at the Den Bosch November Music Festival to perform compositions by Frank Crijns and Dirk Bruinsma.


In drummer Gerri Jäger, guitarist Jeroen Kimman and bass guitarist Viljam Nybacka Dirk Bruinsma finds three like-minded musicians. Under the name Brown vs Brown they start a new band, combining a love-hate relationship to jazz with an alt-rock state of mind as well as an urge to make new music.


Brown vs Brown performs at the Amsterdam Bimhuis, with trombonist Wolter Wierbos as a guest. Later in the year their debut album is released by the Austrian PAO Records: Twitch and Shout. The release tour takes them to the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Germany. With Blast Bruinsma records a fully improvised album, As Nowhere As Anywhere. The Turkish vocalist Saadet Türköz and the Swiss reedist Hans Koch complete the sextet.


Dirk Bruinsma starts working on a solo project for saxophone and electronics, in which he collects and treats en extensive range of instrumental techniques and saxophone sounds. This solo is also a part of the multimedia project Operabil, for which he joins forces with video artist Marko Kosnik, with whom he has been working in multimedia performances featuring vocal performer Jaap Blonk since 1989.


The American label Cuneiform releases Brown vs Brown's second CD, Odds and Unevens. Blast continues as a quintet, featuring a new drummer (Onno Govaert), a second saxophonist (John Dikeman) and a keyboardist (Adrian Taeggi). The three can also be found in Bruinsma's freejazz group Pumporgan, which has Jasper Stadhouders (guitar and bass guitar) as its fifth member.


Muziek Centrum Nederland (Music Center the Netherlands) grants Dirk Bruinsma a commission to write a composition for the North Sea Jazz Festival. In Rotterdam he will perform it with Pumporgan. From the jury's report: '[Bruinsma's] compositions are fascinating from beginning to end, also for musical laymen. His pieces scream out in energy and dynamics, not in the least because they toy with genre distinctions. Bruinsma seems to be playing a kind of tag, in which the entire history of music is touched upon within one single composition. He makes jump cuts from rock to jazz and funk in an illogical, surprising and thoroughly exciting way.'

Discography Dirk Bruinsma

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 Dirk Bruinsma

Audio/Video Dirk Bruinsma

Video Dirk Bruinsma

Dirk Bruinsma in Studio L...
Dirk Bruinsma in Studio Loos (2)
Dirk Bruinsma
 in Studio ...
Dirk Bruinsma
 in Studio Loos (1)
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Dirk Bruinsma
 in Studio Loos (1)

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