Jorrit Dijkstra

  • Career Highlights
    • Saxophonist and composer
    • Leader of the Flatlands Collective, Pillow Circles, the Jorrit Dijkstra and John Hollenbeck duo, Drones in the Bones, and the Jorrit Dijkstra Trio
    • Appearances with Han Bennink, Jeb Bishop, Jim Black, Anthony Braxton, Willem Breuker, Benoit Delbecq, Marc Ducret, Jandek, Guus Janssen, Tony Malaby, Ikue Mori, and Barre Phillips
    • Ten CDs as a leader on Clean Feed, Songlines, Trytone, and BV Haast
    • Composition commissions for the Amstel Quartet, David Kweksilber Big Band, Harvard Jazz Band, Tetzepi BigTet, and electric guitarist Wiek Hijmans
    • Performances at North Sea Jazz Festival, Rotterdam; Umbrella Festival, Chicago; Vancouver Jazz Festival; Edinburgh Jazz Festival; Festival Controindicazioni, Rome; Angelica Festival, Bologna; and Edgefest, Ann Arbor
    • Current faculty member at New England Conservatory of Music and Eastern Nazarene College
    • Former faculty member at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and ArtEZ Conservatory, Arnhem, Netherlands
  • Education
    • Teaching and Performance Degree, Sweelinck Conservatory, Amsterdam, Netherlands
    • M.M., New England Conservatory of Music, Jazz Composition

In Their Own Words

"The genius of the Ear Training curriculum is that it's incredibly well designed, while not biased towards a particular style of music. And the rigorousness of it is impressive, as well, pulling in a general freshman population and bringing them up to a really high standard after four semesters. In my classes I try to give my own twist to the curriculum and always make sure the students create music, rather than drill exercises."

"I went to conservatory in Amsterdam in the 1980s. It was a small, alternative improvisation department, deliberately avoiding the name jazz so the students would explore their own music rather than just copy the American jazz masters. I was living in a great city, which was half of my education. I went to amazing concerts and jam sessions, and then I started forming my own bands and playing around, booking tours. Connecting with musicians from other countries was very important to me. I went to the Banff Jazz Workshop in Canada, then I got a Fulbright and went to NEC, because I wanted to focus more on composing and classical music topics."

"I still have strong ties with the Netherlands, which has a really great environment for ensembles and composers. In addition to my musical life in the U.S., I'm very fortunate to receive composition commissions for contemporary music ensembles over there."