Guitarist Reinier Baas (32) and saxophonist Benvan Gelder (28) are prominent figures in the Dutch music scene, and long time collaborators. They have played over 150 shows together in the past years, performing as a duo, as a trio with drum legend Han Bennink and with both their quintets. Their joint efforts have resulted in a collaboration with the multiple Grammy Award winning Metropole Orkest.
An active bandleader, Reinier Baas has toured with his quintet ‘The More Socially Relevant Jazz Music Ensemble’ in Europe, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. He was awarded the prestigious Edison Award in 2013, as well as in 2017. As a soloist, he has performed with the Metropole Orkest, Jazzorchestra of the Concertgebouw and the New Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra. In 2015, the North Sea Jazz Festival granted him their annual composition assignment. In 2016, Baas released his fourth studio record “Reinier Baas vs. Princess Discombobulatrix, a ‘mostly instrumental opera’. This collaboration with illustrator Typex and a line-up of 15 prominent improvisers and classical musicians received wide-spread critical acclaim: “Ravel, Prokofiev, Poulenc, Baas, truly!” – VILLA D’ARTE. In July of 2017, Reinier Baas was the Artist In Residence of the Südtirol Jazz Festival.
Ben van Gelder is an authority on the alto saxophone and a composer with a contemporary view. His music is rooted in tradition but is distinguished by a unique blend of “lyricism, energy, grace and rhythm.” His albums ‘Frame of Reference’ and ‘Reprise’ garnered outstanding reviews in the Dutch and international press. The album ‘Reprise’ was named ‘best jazz album of the year’ by de Volkskrant. Van Gelder has won various awards, such as the Deloitte Jazz Award and the Stan Getz/Clifford Brown fellowship, and more recently a composition assignment from the Jazz Gallery in New York. He was a resident of the city for over 10 years and has collaborated with forward thinking musicians such as Mark Turner, Ambrose Akinmusire and Nasheet Waits. His latest outing is ‘Among Verticals’, a record inspired by the painting of Frantisek Kupka that received 5-star reviews in Dutch newspapers NRC and Volkskrant. Ben van Gelder is a faculty member at the Conservatory of Amsterdam.
Kit Downes is a BBC Jazz Award winning, Mercury Music Award nominated, solo recording artist for ECM Records. He has toured the world playing piano, church organ and harmonium with his own bands (‘ENEMY’, ‘Troyka’, ‘Elt’ and ‘Vyamanikal’) as well as artists such as Squarepusher, Thomas Strønen, Aidan O’Rourke and Django Bates. He has written commissions for Cheltenham Music Festival, London Contemporary Orchestra, Stavanger Konserthus, ReWire Festival, Cologne Philharmonie, BBC Radio 3 and the Wellcome Trust, as well as collaborating with film-makers, video game developers and classical composers.
“An exceptional soloist” – Wormser Zeitung
“It testifies to his world-class stature” – The Guardian
“One of the finest pianists of his generation” – Jazzwise
“Considerable chops and flowing imagination” – Downbeat