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Yuri Honing

From the very start saxophonist Yuri Honing entered the jazz scene in the early nineties, he found new ways to move people with his slightly melancholic sound and crystal clear constructions he uses for his improvisations. He started playing a/o with his famous Yuri Honing Trio - which celebrates its 15 th anniversary in 2005 - but also with highly acclaimed Dutch artists such as pianist Michiel Borstlap, trumpet player Eric Vloeimans and saxophonist Benjamin Herman.

The year 1996 is a turning point in Honing's career when he and his trio recorded 'Star Tracks', consisting of jazz arrangements of pop songs. This release caused a momentum: national and international press praised him not only for his capabilities as a saxophone player, but he was also considered one of the new leading voices in jazz. And Honing's interests went beyond jazz and pop, while improvising freely with legendary pianist Misha Mengelberg (their duo CD 'Playing' was nominated for an Edison Jazz Award, the Dutch version of the Grammy) or even exploring new grounds with virtuoso musicians from the Middle East. With this last experiment, Honing made the music of the Arab world accessible and recorded it.

The CD 'Orient Express' received favourable reviews, reached unconventional sales figures and also was nominated for an Edison. American pianist Paul Bley was so impressed by what he heard, that he suggested Honing to do a quartet recording with bass player Gary Peacock and drummer Paul Motian. 'Seven' was released in 2001 at the North Sea Jazz Festival in The Hague, where Honing performed with Paul Bley and bassist Charlie Haden. Later that year the album was awarded with the Edison. In the same year, Honing recorded 'Memory Lane', a ballad album that shows Honing's lyrical side. For this project he invited some of the finest musicians from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra to create a large ensemble with strings, wood and rhythm. In 2003 world famous guitarist Pat Metheny, Artist in Residence at the North Sea Jazz Festival, chose Honing to play with him and bassist Scott Colley, playing originals by Honing and Metheny. In 2005 Yuri Honing and guitarist Vince Mendoza joined hands for an exciting new project with the Metropole Orchestra. The CD release thereof is planned for Spring 2006. Next to that Honing focuses all his attention on his new electric quartet, called Yuri Honing Wired Paradise, consisting of his trio and featuring the famous German avant-garde guitarist Frank Möbus.

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Album Review

Yuri Honing Acoustic Quartet: Heaven On My Mind

Read "Heaven On My Mind" reviewed by Ian Patterson

So called spiritual-jazz seemed to come out of nowhere with John Coltrane in the mid-1960s. If one jazz musician was the catalyst for the emergence this sub-genre of jazz it was he. Coltrane acolytes Pharoah Sanders, Alice Coltrane and Charles Lloyd, among others, subsequently took up the mantle. No easier to define than jazz itself, spiritual jazz is hip once again. Not that Yuri Honing openly subscribes to the label, after all this is a musician who has steadfastly chartered ...

Liner Notes

Yuri Honing: North Sea Jazz Legendary Concerts

Read "Yuri Honing: North Sea Jazz Legendary Concerts" reviewed by Ian Patterson

It's fitting that saxophonist, composer and quiet visionary Yuri Honing should be acknowledged as one of the pivotal voices in the history of the Netherland's world-renowned North Sea Jazz festival, described in 1990 by Jazz Times as “the best jazz festival in the world." Honing's first appearance at the NSJF's was in 1995, where he performed with pianist {Michiel Bortslap}}'s sextet. Since then, he has played all but three of the last 18 editions, reflecting his status alongside pianist Misha ...


Yuri Honing: Sounds And Vision

Read "Yuri Honing: Sounds And Vision" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Strange that such a gruesome tale, drowning in blood, could have inspired so much great art. So it goes with Bluebeard, the seventeenth century French folktale, which continues to inspire artists to this day. Dutch saxophonist/composer Yuri Honing's Bluebeard (2020)-- his fourth album on Challenge Records with his acoustic quartet--is not just a highly personal take on the Bluebeard legend, but arguably one of the most lyrical and musically poetic. It's a stunning work, spare yet deeply layered, and beautifully ...

Album Review

Yuri Honing Acoustic Quartet: Bluebeard

Read "Bluebeard" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Since the late 1980s, Dutch saxophonist Yuri Honing has steered a singularly eclectic course, bouncing between straight-ahead jazz, the two-guitar Wired Paradise, rock-cum-electronica, and Franz Schubert. This questing musician has never sat still for long. The mesmeric True (Challenge Records, 2012), however, marked the beginning of a more stripped down, meditative acoustic jazz, an aesthetic further refined on the award -winning albums Desire (2015) and Goldbrun (2017)-also on Challenge Records. Bluebeard, inspired by the French folktale of the same name, ...

Album Review

Yuri Honing Acoustic Quartet: Bluebeard

Read "Bluebeard" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Mournful. That's the adjective that springs to mind when Dutch musician Yuri Honing blows his saxophone on Bluebeard. “Blows" is something of a mis-description though: Honing's considered approach to his instrument is closer to caressing. His sound and approach are mirrored by his bandmates, who are equally adept at such a distinctive form of creativity. The resulting album is the perfect partner for a few minutes of quiet, individual, reflection—an ideal way to diminish stress and wallow in the beauty ...

Extended Analysis

Yuri Honing Acoustic Quartet: True

Read "Yuri Honing Acoustic Quartet: True" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Yuri Honing Acoustic Quartet True Challenge Records 2012 If the dust of jazz history ever settles, saxophonist Yuri Honing may well be looked upon as one of today's trailblazers. As the debate limps/rages on (take your pick) as to what jazz is or should be, it seems clear that more and more young musicians with a deep respect for and knowledge of the tradition and its language, feel nevertheless unbound by convention, and open to all music as ...

Album Review

Yuri Honing Wired Paradise: White Tiger

Read "White Tiger" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Dutch tenor saxophonist Yuri Honing is nothing if not versatile; in the last decade he has recorded with pianist Paul Bley, bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Paul Motian on Seven (Challenge, 2001); tackle Radiohead and Wayne Shorter compositions with the 51-piece Metropole Orchestra, conducted by Vince Mendoza, with Symphonic (Challenge, 2006); and interpret Franz Schubert's Winterreise song cycle, based on the poetic lyrics of Wilhelm Muller, alongside pianist Nora Mulder. White Tiger shows another facet of Honing's craft, the electric ...

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Primary Instrument

Saxophone, tenor



Willing to teach

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contact the Amsterdam Conservatory at www.cva.ahk.nl



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Heaven On My Mind

Challenge Records



Challenge Records


North Sea Jazz...

Jazz In Motion Records


North Sea Jazz...

Bob City Records


Yuri Honing Acoustic...

Challenge Records


White Tiger

Jazz In Motion Records



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