Opus Jazz Club Dutch Focus 2023 – A weekend of vibrant Dutch jazz

Dutch Focus 2023 – A weekend of Dutch jazz
7 to 9 December
Opus Jazz Club

Dutch Focus, a mini-festival presented in cooperation between Budapest Music Center and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Hungary, will once again bring the vibrant colours of Dutch jazz to Opus Jazz Club. From 7 to 9 December, we can meet the trio of 81-year-old drum legend Han Bennink; Bonsai Panda, splashing in a wide range of instruments and sounds; and Fenix, roaming electro-acoustic soundscapes.

Dutch drum legend Han Bennink, 81, likes sounds from unlikely objects. This is why he can play on anything he encounters, from a kitchen chair to the stage floor. The co-founder of Instant Composers Pool has played in countless formations over the last 55 years, with jazz titans such as Sonny Rollins and Wes Montgomery. Now he will perform with two musicians who are less than half his age: saxophonist Ben van Gelder and guitarist Reinier Baas. Bennink affectionately calls this his “Children’s Trio”, even though Baas and Van Gelder have reached an age and a career path that deserve respect. The three of them have performed nationally and internationally, from the Concertgebouw to the Umbria Jazz and North Sea Jazz festivals. At the opening concert of the Dutch Focus mini-festival on 7 December, they will entertain themselves and the audience with radiant virtuosity, drawing on the legacy of Thelonious Monk.

Bonsai Panda is a collaboration between young guitar lion Jelle Roozenburg and trombone maverick Louk Boudesteijn. Roozenburg & Boudesteijn each wrote a dozen compositions – all dripped in blues, charged with jazz and heavily influenced by the great composers of the 20th century, including Stravinsky, Shostakovich, and Messiaen. Their mutual love for composing and improvisation makes this a truly magical collaboration. In this sonic adventure they team up with eclectic reedmaster David Kweksilber, saxophonist Jesse Schilderink and the uncompromised beats & sounds of Jimmi Jo Hueting. This group of likeminded souls, to be heard in Budapest on 8 December, are all masters of their instrument. But doubling on other instruments gives Bonsai Panda an even wider spectrum of sound and instinctive playfulness.

The Dutch Focus mini-festival will be rounded off on 9 December by Fenix, an electro-acoustic jazz band merging ambient synths, playful melodies and raw grooves. Their music has an open, playful character, where their shared love for improvisation and musical spontaneity results in honest music-of-the-moment. With their receptive interplay they paint a musical landscape that evolves and moves to unexpected places. The band is a musical collective made out of four young, yet decorated musicians and composers: Kika Sprangers, Robert Koemans, William Barret and Willem Romers. As bandleaders and side-men they have toured Holland’s main stages with regular appearances at venues like the legendary North Sea Jazz Festival and the Bimhuis. Inspired by artists like Flying Lotus, Donny McCaslin and Avishai Cohen, they join arms for an intimate and at the same time festival-banger-worthy experience.

Programme and tickets

7/12/2023 Thursday 20:00 Han Bennink Trio

8/12/2023 Friday 20:00 Bonsai Panda

9/12/2023 Saturday 20:00 Fenix