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.
While touring in more than 40 countries around the world and making numerous records,
Honing built a unique personal style which is based on jazz, pop music and non-western
musical traditions. "Jazz is not a style but a language", is how Yuri Honing once described