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John Dikeman

John Dikeman is an American saxophonist currently residing in Amsterdam. Drawing inspiration from a wide range of sources, John’s playing runs the gamut of improvised music and technique. He is currently active as a member of numerous groups including Cactus Truck, a band made up guitarist/bass guitarist Jasper Stadhouders and Onno Govaert; Universal Indians with Norwegian rhythm section Tollef Østvang and Jon Rune Strøm and often featuring Joe McPhee; the trio Dikeman, Parker, Drake with William Parker and Hamid Drake, and numerous other collaborations including projects with Andrew Barker, Dirk Serries, Steve Noble, Luis Vicente, Alexander Hawkins, Roger Turner, Hugo Antunes, Peter Jacquemyn, Peter Ole Jorgensen, Aleksandar škorić. John is one of the newest members of Spinifex, a genre defying ensemble which combines intricate rhythms and advanced compositional techniques. Dikeman also collaborates regularly with producer Jameszoo. John is a tireless performer in the Amsterdam scene which has recently exploded to include a number of new bands that perform compositions with a specific link to various traditions and offer something of a danceable aesthetic, such as the brass band the Zebra Street Band and cumbia project Bacchanalia. Dikeman has performed as a soloist for groups ranging from Godspeed You! Black Emperor and the Metropole Orkest to Mohamed Mounir and the Cairo Symphony Orchestra.

John grew up in Wyoming and started performing professionally at the age of 16. Dikeman left Wyoming in 1999 to study saxophone and composition at the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy. John later attended Bennington College in Vermont to study with Milford Graves while at the same time studying privately with the late Joe Maneri. After Bennington, John moved to Boston, then New York City and Philadelphia. While on the east coast John performed extensively with many of the top musicians from the USA including Nate Wooley, Mike Pride, Daniel Carter, Tatsuya Nakatani, etc… In 2004 Dikeman moved to Cairo, Egypt where he worked full time as a professional musician and educator, leading numerous ensembles as well as freelancing in a wide range of settings. After Egypt, John moved briefly to Budapest, Hungary, then Paris, France and finally settled in Amsterdam in 2008.

Since moving to Amsterdam, John has been very active in the Dutch improvised music scene as both a performer and curator. John was selected for the 2012 Young VIP tour which featured the trio Cactus Truck plus guests on tour throughout the Netherlands. John was invited to join Stichting Doek as a core artistic member in 2012.

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Album Review

John Dikeman, Pat Thomas, John Edwards, Steve Noble: Volume 2

Read "Volume 2" reviewed by John Sharpe

An incendiary outfit returns for a second volume (perhaps the second set?) of free jazz mayhem from London's Cafe Oto, recorded in February 2019. It comprises four players, each with a big sound, regardless of amplification, and a big personality to match--Amsterdam-based American John Dikeman, on tenor saxophone, and the British threesome of Pat Thomas (hailed by drummer Tyshawn Sorey as one of the best in the world, following their duet in the 2023 London Jazz Festival) on piano, John ...

Album Review

Orquesta del Tiempo Perdido: Sepk

Read "Sepk" reviewed by Alberto Bazzurro

Un'aria vagamente zappiana, ma del resto prossima anche a svariati altri (eventuali) referenti fra quanti amino mettere a “friggere" insieme ingredienti di diversa provenienza (colpendo fin da una copertina abbastanza sorprendentemente à la Baglioni degli anni d'oro...) è quanto ci arriva da questo singolare album olandese (ma portoghese per produzione), il terzo dell'ensemble diretto dal chitarrista-tuttofare Jeroen Kimman. Nel mare magnum dei dodici brani proposti, tutti targati Kimman (due decisamente ampi, gli altri molto meno), si respirano ...

Album Review

Luis Vicente 4tet: House In The Valley

Read "House In The Valley" reviewed by John Sharpe

Portuguese trumpeter Luis Vicente wrote the four compositions which make up House In The Valley during lockdown. His intention was to evoke childhood memories of times at his grandparents' rural house. Judging from the outcomes there must have been a lot of '60s American New Thing on the turntable at the time. In particular the way the group realizes Vicente's melodies recalls Don Cherry's outings from that period such as Complete Communion (Blue Note, 1966) and Symphony For Improvisers (Blue ...

Album Review

John Dikeman / Pat Thomas / John Edwards / Steve Noble: Volume2

Read "Volume2" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

If ever oh ever there was a more ornery conversation between four highly-charged, time-defiant individuals, Volume2 sets the mark. Arguing, as great men do, about all things seen and unseen, secular and sublime, consummate free jazzers saxophonist John Dikeman, pianist Pat Thomas, bassist John Edwards and drummer Steve Noble circle the wagons once again at London's Cafe Otto and chase the demons and angels that co-inhabit each and every one of us. “No," its half-hour plus mad rush mix of biblical ...

Album Review

Luís Vicente 4tet: House In The Valley

Read "House In The Valley" reviewed by Mark Corroto

There is a synergy in simplicity and, with the Luís Vicente 4tet, a simplicity which comes from the synergistic effects of this unpretentious quartet. The four musicians--Portuguese composer, leader & trumpeter Luís Vicente, Dutch drummer Onno Govaert, and the Americans, tenor saxophonist John Dikeman and bassist Luke Stewart--assembled for a series of concerts in Portugal in 2021. This recording was captured in Caldas da Rainha on July 19th. The simplicity here is the same honesty we hear in the early ...

Album Review

Orquesta del Tiempo Perdido: Traantjes

Read "Traantjes" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

L'Orquesta del Tiempo Perdido è un visionario progetto dell'olandese Jeroen Kimman, che ha debuttato nel 2018 con l'album Stille ed ora riconferma tutto il suo eclettico e bizzarro universo stilistico con Traantjes (in olandese lacrime). In contraddizione con le nostalgiche illustrazioni della cover (ma anche qui si può discutere, vista la somiglianza con test proiettivi come il T.A.T., che fanno emergere l'inconscio), la musica assembla frammenti stilistici diversi, indulgendo sulle musiche popolari e bandistiche centroamericane e sul ...

Album Review

John Dikeman, Pat Thomas, John Edwards, Steve Noble: Volume 1

Read "Volume 1" reviewed by John Sharpe

For those worried about soaring energy bills, the inflammatory foursome of tenor saxophonist John Dikeman, pianist Pat Thomas, bassist John Edwards and drummer Steve Noble certainly offers one solution. They must have truly warmed the room at London's Cafe Oto on a cold February evening in 2019, on the evidence of the forty-minute program presented on Volume 1. It is hard to think of a more potent set of practitioners of the free jazz vernacular than this particular agglomeration, all ...

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“He has the most powerful voice in the Dutch jazz music of the last decade: saxophonist John Dikeman.”

Tim Sprangers, Jazzism.

“The saxophonist… puts fire to the fuse with the Old Testament fury that Charles Gayle displays on his best trio records. More than improvisation or free jazz you hear übergospel: reeling with religious conviction and tortuous dynamism, with roaring pounding in the low register, split tones and a timbre that is almost torn to pieces.”

Guy Peters, Enola.



May 2 Thu


Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Volume 2

577 Records



Clean Feed Records


Volume 1

577 Records





Sunday At De Ruimte

Tractata Records



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