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Ben van Gelder

Ben van Gelder has not only proved his merit as an alto saxophonist and composer, but also as a leader of bands on both sides of the ocean. Since he was 18 he has been traveling between The Netherlands and New York, becoming a vital connection between rising stars of the current jazz generation. His mentors include Lee Konitz, Guillermo Klein and Jason Moran, and he has formed bonds with, among others, Ambrose Akinmusire, Han Bennink, Mark Turner and Reinier Baas. In his recent work he incorporates surprising influences from, for example, expressionist painting and Afro-Cuban culture. Ben recommends the following concerts in February.

10 feb Jasper Blom Quartet feat & Nils Wogram

Jasper is my former teacher. He was the first to give me formal composition lessons and who taught me to listen analytically. He also helped reshape my sound in a fundamental way and I’m still thankful for that. Jasper is a monster soloist and an equally great composer with a tremendous band. His quartet has been together for years. As a result, their group sound is robust. Nils Wogram is an impressive, colorful addition to the group.

17 feb David Kweksilber Big Band

The David Kweksilber Big Band is a unique gathering of uncompromising musical personalities. I have performed with the band several times as a substitute and have learned so much from that. There are very few bands that utilize such a wide range of textures, diverse repertoire and always manage to harbor true devotion when performing the music.

23 feb Jure Pukl Doubtless feat. Melissa Aldanda

Jure and Melissa are a power couple. Both tenor players have such amazing discipline and drive, which really comes across in their music. At this moment Joe Sanders and Greg Hutchinson form one of the most prominent rhythm tandems.

24 feb Verheyen / Copland / Gress / Hart

Billy Hart is one of my favorite drummers ever. I’m curious to hear the music that Robin has selected for this quartet. Robin has been living in New York for a long time and he has an impressive track record as a band leader and composer.

Recommended by Ben van Gelder