DutchCulture
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Jazz pioneers

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Dutch jazz is characterised by a varied mix of style icons and opinions, but is primarily renowned for the strong self-willed nature of its musicians. The avant-garde of the ICP Orchestra and its entourage has proved to be highly influential, although it is not only the disciples of the ICP who account for the jazz being made in the Netherlands. Take for example alto saxophonist Benjamin Herman, who was born in England but brought up in the Netherlands. In the early 1990s he was one of the acid-jazz pioneers in the Netherlands with his group the New Cool Collective. This group spawned the New Cool Collective Big Band, which has since built up an international reputation. In the meantime Herman is making the most of his opportunities alongside ‘New Cool’: playing with the British pop star Paul Weller and making records with his jazz idols. Another talent with great international potential is the young singer Wouter Hamel, sometimes irreverently called the Dutch Jamie Cullum. Less than a year after the release of his very successful debut CD Hamel, he was performing to packed houses in Japan. The full extent of the ICP’s influence can perhaps best be seen in the career of pianist Michiel Borstlap. This spring the flamboyant playboy of Dutch jazz musicians is flying from Chicago via Amsterdam to Jakarta, and from the capital of Angola, Luanda, via Hawaii to Estonia. He composed an opera in Qatar and wrote the ‘almost standard’ Memory of Enchantment, which was recorded by Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, among others.