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Jorrit Dijkstra

The music of saxophonist and composer Jorrit Dijkstra 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, contemporary opera, and African, Celtic and Balkan 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.

Dijkstra’s current projects include his Flatlands Collective, with leading Chicago improvisers, and an electro-acoustic duo with New York drummer/composer John Hollenbeck. In his solo saxophone project, he incorporates an array of electronic effect devices to process his saxophone improvisations live on stage. Dijkstra’s use of analog electronics - including the Lyricon, a vintage electronic wind instrument from the seventies - extends his already flexible saxophone style into an idiosyncratic mix of cool jazz, free improvisation, and electronic minimalism.

Dijkstra has released eight of his own CDs and has performed at North Sea Jazz Festival, Vancouver Jazz Festival, Rome’s Festival Controindicazioni, New York City’s Tonic, the Chicago Cultural Center, ICA Boston, BIMhuis Amsterdam, and Stadtgarten Cologne. His work has won him a Fulbright grant, a prestigious Podium Prize for jazz musicians in the Netherlands, and composition commissions for ensembles and theatre companies around the world. Jorrit Dijkstra studied improvisation and composition with Misha Mengelberg, Steve Coleman, Steve Lacy and Lee Hyla, and he has taught at the Conservatory in Arnhem, New England Conservatory, and University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.


Podium Prize 1995 (Dutch Jazz Foundation award for new talent) Fulbright Grant 1998


Album Review
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“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

“The most compelling feature are the melodies… that allow for delicious textures that sound at once modern and very nostalgic." " Andrey Henkin, www.allaboutjazz.com

“Dijkstra hears the stylistic diversity within the networks that link his cohorts, and gives it space not just to breathe, but also occasionally to snort, howl and laugh riotously

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Primary Instrument

Saxophone, alto


Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


Driff Records



Driff Records



Driff Records


Music for Reeds and...

Driff Records


Pillow Circles

Clean Feed Records



Clean Feed Records



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