The music of saxophonist and composer Jorrit Dijkstra (Eindhoven, Netherlands, 1966) draws from the jazz tradition in spirit and sound; but has crossed stylistic and cultural borders in order to express a strong, evolving personal vision. He spent his formative years in Amsterdam’s vibrant improvisation community playing jazz, free improvisation, and world music. Since moving to the United States in 2002, Dijkstra has deepened his affinity with the experimental forces of American music, while staying in touch with his Dutch musical roots.
His recent projects include his quintet Cutout, quartet BOLT, The Porch Trio, and the large ensemble Bathysphere in Boston, and his Music for Reeds and Electronics, his Solo project with electronics, and The Whammies play the Music of Steve Lacy. In 2009 he received the composition commission from the North Sea Jazz Festival for his nonet Pillow Circles. Dijkstra uses the Lyricon – a vintage electronic wind instrument from the 1970’s – to extend his musical palette into an idiosyncratic mix of cool jazz, free improvisation, and electronic minimalism.
As a composer he has received commissions from the David Kweksilber Big Band, Tetzepi Big Band, Amstel Saxophone Quartet, The Harvard Jazz Band and saxophonist Ties Mellema. Dijkstra has released over twenty CDs as a leader, and has participated in projects ranging from Anthony Braxton’s Ghost Trance, and Guus Janssen’s opera Noach to a rare live performance of Texas outsider musician Jandek. He is a co-founder of the independent record label Driff Records, and an Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music.
“He takes his audiences on a quirky, energetic, captivating journey through a world of sound and emotion…Jorrit Dijkstra has already distinguished himself as a man to watch. A highly accomplished musician, he is a cerebral improviser who nevertheless plays with warmth and rhythmic excitement.”–Kevin Lowenthal, The Boston Globe
M.M., New England Conservatory. B.M., Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten. Studies with Misha Mengelberg, Steve Coleman, Steve Lacy, Lee Hyla, and Michael Gandolfi. Former faculty of Arnhem Conservatory, Netherlands, Rivers School Conservatory, Umass Dartmouth. Currently Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music. Recordings on Driff, Clean Feed, Skycap, Evil Rabbit, Trytone, Geestgronden, Songlines, BVHaast, and Disckus.