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Jorrit Dijkstra


05-04-1966 - current


altsaxofoon, componist, contemporary classical music, elektronica, improvised, jazz, klarinet, sopraansaxofoon


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Jorrit Dijkstra

Jorrit Dijkstra (Eindhoven, 5 April 1966) tries to interweave elements from the jazz tradition with contemporary forms of improvisation. In his own groups he combines this with strong compositions and the use of analog electronics. He also started playing an almost obsolete electronic wind instrument, the Lyricon. From the beginning ...
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altsaxofoon, componist, elektronica, klarinet, sopraansaxofoon

Mentioned in the biography of

2010   Arjen Gorter

Biography Jorrit Dijkstra

Jorrit Dijkstra (Eindhoven, 5 April 1966) tries to interweave elements from the jazz tradition with contemporary forms of improvisation. In his own groups he combines this with strong compositions and the use of analog electronics. He also started playing an almost obsolete electronic wind instrument, the Lyricon. From the beginning he has taken up a role in Amsterdam improvisation scene, and has also been playing with foreign musicians, both in Europe and outside. Since 2002 he has been living in the United States, but he regularly returns to the Netherlands, to play with his own bands (such as the Flatlands Collective and his duo with drummer John Hollenbeck), and as a guest or sideman with other ensembles.


Jorrit Dijkstra starts his own trio, with bassist Mischa Kool and the British drummer Steve Argüelles. They mainly play compositions by the leader, but also reworkings of pieces by Herbie Nichols, Ornette Coleman, Thelonious Monk, and Balkan traditionals. In 1992 the eponymous debut CD is released by the Groningen Disckus Records. The album is received well; monthly Jazz Nu chooses it as the CD of the month. Two more albums by the trio follow, with the British violinist and guitarist Stuart Hall (Whistle, 1995) and the French pianist Benoît Delbecq (European Echoes, 1997) as special guests respectively.

Mischa Kool


Willem Breuker writes theater music for the production Kees de Jongen (based on the novel by Theo Thijssen). Jorrit Dijkstra takes part in the specially composed ensemble.

Willem Breuker


The Stichting Jazz en Geïmproviseerde Muziek in Nederland (SJIN) awards him the Podiumprijs. This award for young talent deserving wider recognition is given in view of his work to this date. Guus Janssen asks Dijkstra for the orchestra that performs his opera Noach.

Guus Janssen

1995 - 1996

Jorrit Dijkstra surfaces more and more as a sideman in various groups, including Maurice Horsthuis's Amsterdam Drama (with which he also records two CDs), bassist Egon Kracht's Ekra Troupe and Guus Janssen's septet. He is awarded a commission by the NPS broadcasting company for a composition for the Klap op de Vuurpijl festival, which he performs with horn players Guillaume Orti and Lothar Ohlmeier, pianist Benoit Delbecq and drummer Jim Black.

Egon Kracht Maurice Horsthuis


After a successful Scottish tour with his trio the idea arises to collaborate with Scottish improvisers. The Bancroft brothers (drummer and bodhran player Tom and saxophonist Phil) and concertina virtuoso Simon Thoumire take on Dijkstra, guitarist Paul Pallesen and trombonist Joost Buis. As Drones In The Bones they give a series of concerts in the Netherlands, and they play the 1999 North Sea Jazz Festival. Pallesen also includes Dijkstra in his new group Bite The Gnatze, with which he produces improvised music with strong roots in folk music. Besides saxophone Dijkstra plays tin whistle in this ensemble. He can be heard on the band's first three CDs: North West South East (1998), Throw The Plates (2000) and Wilde Dans In Een Afgelegen Berghut (2003). Joost Buis asks him for his band Astronotes, which mainly plays music by Sun Ra.

Joost Buis Paul Pallesen

1999 - 2000

The Canadian band Talking Pictures invites Dijkstra as a guest in Vancouver. They tour both The Netherlands and Canada, and record the CD Humming. In the same period he also performs in the orchestra for a theater production with the Ruby Slippers Theatre Company in Vancouver.


In the alternative internet café ASCII in Amsterdam Jorrit Dijkstra organizes a weekly concert series with the new trio Tone Dialing, consisting of guitarist Paul Pallesen and percussionist Steve Heather. In addition to their conventional instruments the threesome play all kinds of (analog) electronics, and Dijkstra opts for the nearly obsolete Lyricon. Together they go in search of a new idiom, inspired by the minimalist clicks & cuts music, but from an improvised base. In 2001 they release a limited edition CD-R, Elektrodoki, but it isn't until 2008 that a first official CD is released: Rigop Me. Dijkstra and pianist Guus Janssen express their common interest in cool jazz by starting the quartet Sound-Lee!, mainly aimed at performing the compositions of Lee Konitz. The Geestgronden label releases the CD Sound-Lee! Plays The Music Of Lee Konitz. In 2005 the quartet performs the het project New Crosscurrents, for which guitarist Wiek Hijmans and reed player David Kweksilber are added to the group.

David Kweksilber Wiek Hijmans


Improvised interaction with electronics plays a great role on Jorrit Dijkstra's first solo CD, entitled 30 Micro-systems. The Amsterdam TryTone label releases the album.


Jorrit Dijkstra Jorrit Dijkstra decides to move to the United States, where he settles in Boston, and also builds good connections with musicians in Chicago. The irregular duo he has been forming with drummer John Hollenbeck since 1998 takes on a more steady base here. In 2006 their debut CD Sequence appears. Dijkstra collaborates with composer and reed player Anthony Braxton on the project Ghost Trance, and together with pianist Steve Drury he organizes a series of concerts in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that combine improvisation and contemporary composed music.


With five musicians from Chicago's jazz scene he starts the Flatlands Collective, a name referring to the Dutch polder landscape, but also to the similarly flat surroundings of Chicago. Their first CD Gnomade is released by Skycap Records; a second one Maatjes, by the Portuguese Clean Feed Records in 2008.

2007 - 2009

During the summer Jorrit Dijkstra stays in San Francisco, where he gives concerts with local improvisers. In 2007 he does a rare live concert in Boston with the bizarre Texan outsider musician and recluse Jandek.

2009 - 2010

Jorrit Dijkstra The North Sea Jazz Festival commissions a composition from Dijkstra. He writes a series of pieces entitled Pillow Circles, which he performs with a transatlantic octet with members from the Dutch and American ensembles he is a part of. A studio CD of the music is released by the Portuguese label Clean Feed in 2010.

Discography Jorrit Dijkstra

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.

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