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, 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.
dijkstra’s current projects include the 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, indie-rock and electronic minimalism.
jorrit’s work as a composer balances between similar stylistic boundaries. commissioned by the north sea jazz festival 2009, jorrit’s pillow circles project brings together eight top improvisers in a mesmerizing sound world filled with indie guitar-rock and free jazz influences. dijkstra has received other commissions from the tetzepi big band, amstel saxophone quartet, kiada duo, duo x, the harvard jazz band, electric guitarist wiek hijmans, and from theater companies. his pieces often incorporate electronic soundtracks and various forms of improvisation. dijkstra’s work has won him a fulbright grant and the prestigious podium prize for jazz musicians in the netherlands.
jorrit has released ten cds as a leader, and has performed at the north sea jazz festival, vancouver jazz festival, rome’s festival controindicazioni, new york city’s the stone, the chicago cultural center, ica boston, bimhuis amsterdam, and stadtgarten cologne. he has worked with tony malaby, gerry hemingway, herb robertson, barre phillips, john butcher, willem breuker and han bennink among others. he 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.
dijkstra studied improvisation and composition with misha mengelberg, steve coleman, steve lacy and lee hyla. he has taught at the conservatory in arnhem, netherlands and is currently an associate professor at berklee college of music, and a faculty member of the new england conservatory in boston.