Expression of Art Award
By The Set Hotels for the Art of Musical Expression
The Conservatorium hotel has established a strong collaboration with the Conservatorium van Amsterdam; Amsterdam's University of the Arts, since the day of its opening in 2011. The award emphasises the heritage and history of the building, which has been the house of the former Sweelinck Conservatory of Music from 1983 to 2008. As well as giving the students of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam a podium to perform every weekend in the Lounge of the hotel, the award will give four bands the opportunity to perform within the hotel and compete for the scholarship of €5000,- offered by The Set hotels. Additionally Sennheiser, the premium headphone brand, offers the Audience Prize of €750.
All guests who purchased a ticket, supported the Papageno Foundation that focuses on the development of children and young people with autism by offering music therapy and a place to work. €10 of every ticket will be donated to the Papageno Foundation.
Jazz concert #1 - Ella Zīriņa Quartet
Sunday 26 January 2020, 11.30 a.m to 1 p.m.
The first concert of the series will be a performance by the Ella Zīriņa Quartet on Sunday 26 January. The recently formed Ella Zīriņa Quartet plays own compositions and explores the jazz tradition. The key elements of the group are the blend of the sounds of guitar and clarinet which results into strong, harmonious melodies and exploration of timbres and textures in music.
Ella Zīriņa – Guitar
Martí Mitjavila – Clarinet
David Macchione – Double bass
Eloi Pascual – Drums
Jazz concert #2 - Marcello Cardillo Trio
Sunday 23 February 2020, 11.30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The second concert of the series will be a performance by the Marcello Cardillo Trio on Sunday 23 February. The unique sound of this band is characterized by the combination of electric and acoustic elements melting together, shaping the melody, harmony and rhythm in an original and creative form. Rooted in the African – American music tradition, this band proposes mainly original compositions traveling through contemporary experimentations.
Marcello Cardillo – Drums
Massimo Imperatore – Guitar
Jort Terwijn – Bass
Please note, following the announcements of the Dutch government and in order to protect the health of our guests and staff, the Conservatorium hotel decided to cancel the last three editions of the Sunday Jazz Concerts part of the Expression of Art Award 2020. Once new concerts will be held, all information will be shared on this page.
Edo Righini: Associate Director & Dean of Jazz and Pop Music Studies at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Next to that, he is the Executive Board Member of the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw.
Lucas van Merwijk: Has been at the forefront of the European jazz, Latin and percussion scene for over 25 years. He studied at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and took an intensive course in Afro-Cuban drums with Oscarito Valdes in Cuba. He was elected 'Best Jazz Drummer' and 'Best Fusion Drummer' for many years in the Benelux countries by the readers of Dutch drum magazine ‘Slagwerkkrant’ (running between 1993 and 2015). Lucas is the coordinator of the drums department of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and gives workshops, masterclasses and lessons throughout Asia and America.
Benjamin Herman: One of the most original and productive jazz musicians in the Netherlands exploring influences beyond the confines of the jazz world. His fame spread beyond jazz circles in the 1990s when he formed the groundbreaking ensemble New Cool Collective. Having made a name as soloist while still a teenager, Benjamin Herman has appeared on over a hundred records with all kinds of artists, from Candy Dulfer to Misha Mengelberg.
Maarten van der Grinten: is known as an outstanding and versatile guitar player, but also as a gifted composer and arranger. He is teacher and chairman of the guitar section of the Jazz Faculty at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.
Photographs and/or video will be taken at today’s event. By taking part in this event you grant the event organisers full rights to use the images resulting from the photography/video filming, and any reproductions or adaptations of the images for publicity or other purposes to help achieve the hotel’s aims. This might include (but is not limited to), the right to use them in their printed and online publicity, social media and press releases. If you do not wish to be photographed please inform an event organiser.
Should you have any questions for the organisation, please email email@example.com.
Edo Righini - Associate Director Dean of Jazz and Pop Music Studies at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, Executive Board Member Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw
Jasper Blom - Leading tenor and soprano saxophonist of the Dutch jazz scene and one of the most versatile players in the Benelux. Jasper has performed with the likes of Lee Konitz, Chet Baker, Nat Adderley, Bob Brookmeyer, George Duke, Randy Crawford, David Liebman, Conrad Herwig and many other internationally recognized artists.
Reinier Baas - prominent figure in the contemporary European jazz scene. As a soloist, he has performed with the Metropole Orchestra, the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw and the New Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra.
Ian Cleaver Quartet - Ian Cleaver (1996) is a promising young jazz trumpeter born and raised in Amsterdam. He started improvising at a young age. Performing professionally since the age of 16, he performed with various small/big bands at venues including the Concertgebouw, BIMHUIS and at the North Sea Jazz Festival.
Stan van de Wetering Quartet - Stan van de Wetering is a well-known face in the Amsterdam jazz-scene, a saxophonist with a strong personal voice deeply rooted in the jazz tradition. His band has a classic jazz line-up consisting of Floris Kappeyne on piano, Cas Jiskoot on double bass and Wouter Kühne on drums, 3 distinguished musicians of the young jazz generation.
Forest Light - Forest Light is led by singer and songwriter Marta Arpini. The quintet works on Marta’s original material, giving life to a special microcosm of deep enchantment. With a personal and unique research on sound and storytelling, Forest Light melts evocative atmosphere and powerful interplay.
Ben Fitzpatrick Quartet - The Ben Fitzpatrick Quartet is a group featuring some of the rising stars of jazz from around the world. Their leader Ben Fitzpatrick comes from Dublin, Ireland and has developed a name from himself not only in Europe but America as well.
On Sunday 26 May 2019, Ben Fitzpatrick Quartet was awarded with the Expression of Art Award 2019 by the Conservatorium Hotel. For four consecutive years the awarded has been handed out as an initiative by the Conservatorium Hotel and the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, where jazz students get the chance to win a scholarship of €5000.
They bring a soulful, fun and groovy performance soaked in the tradition of the music, but also in search of something new. This group will be sure to have you tapping your feet and grooving all night long.
We are very happy to be able to add a second price which was sponsored by Sennheiser. They have offered the amount of €750,- for the winner of the Public Award. All voting forms of the four concerts have been reviewed and the Public Award was handed out to Stan van de Wetering Quartet.
The professional jury of 2018 which was appointed to make the final judgment included:
- Ben van Gelder is an authority on the alto saxophone and a composer with a contemporary view. Peers and critics alike praise him for his unique sound and originality as a writer and improviser. His music is rooted in tradition but is distinguished by a unique blend of “lyricism, energy, grace and rhythm.”
- Edoardo Righini, Associate Director Dean of Jazz Studies at . Conservatorium van Amsterdam He is also the author of the highly-praised book: Guitar Lessons.
- Jan Jasper Tamboer, writer, critic and interviewer on jazz for amongst other Het Parool and Jazzism.
- Mo van der Does Quartet / 28 January 2018
This young group of jazz musicians was brought together by alto saxophonist Mo van der Does. They play original music that represents the modern jazz trend. Focus points are improvisation and interaction, leading to an adventurous and challenging collaboration. The musicians have known each other for a long time from the Amsterdam jazz scene, but their debut as a group was last August during the Grachtenfestival. Their performance was a big success and with both the audience and the performers being excited about the project, they decided to continue this musical journey.
- Casares Brothers Trio / 25 February 2018
Lluc and Joan Casares have been playing music together since they were kids. Despite the fact that their genetic bond is irreplaceable, they have found their third sibling in Kimon Karoutzos, a double bass player from Greece. Both of the Casares brothers moved to the US to proceed their studies and are looking forward to playing in the Netherlands again, where in 2017 they received the second prize at the Keep An Eye International Jazz Award. This band has been described as ‘joyful, energetic and really swinging.
- Matthias van den Brande Group / 25 March 2018
This new project of saxophonist and composer Matthias Van den Brande offers an exciting new view on what jazz could be in the 21st century. By adding a classical wind quintet to his existing jazz quartet, Matthias explores new pathways of colors and feelings that provide him the inspiration to write refreshing compositions that cross boundaries of both jazz and classical music, ending up in a new and original musical universe. This way, he strives to evoke a sense of both wonder and melancholy, providing the listener a story-telling journey through the unknown.
- Tommaso Perazzo Trio / 29 April 2018
Genoa, Athens, Naples: the musical meeting point between these cities begins in September 2015, when the three musicians start playing together during their studies at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.
The different influences and musical background of each component of the trio led to an original musical direction, creating a sound that goes from the old jazz tradition to more modern tendencies. This reflects in the repertoire that offers interpreted jazz standards as well as original compositions, developing a powerful swinging piano trio sound with a strong blues influence.
On the 27 May, our judges were proud to hand the third Expression of Art Award and the winning prize of a €5000,- scholarship to the Mo van der Does Quartet.
In 2018 we were very happy to be able to add a second price which was sponsored by Sennheiser. They have offered the amount of €750,- for the winner of the Public Award. All voting forms of the four concerts have been reviewed and the Public Award was handed out to Matthias van den Brande Group.
The funds of the Expression of Art Award gave the Mo van der Does Quartet the possibility to record and conceptualize their debut album. This has been an important step in the career of this starting band. The album ‘Common Myths’ will be released in the Summer of 2019.
For the 2017 award, the jury consisted of:
- Edoardo Righini; Associate Director at Conservatorium van Amsterdam and head of Online Learning and Continuing Education. He is also the author of the highly-praised book: Guitar Lessons.
- Maarten Hogenhuis; an Amsterdam-based saxophonist. He is a member of the exhilarating powerjazzgroup BRUUT!, The More Socially Relevant Jazz Music Ensemble, the two-drummer band Krupa & The Genes and leads his own quartet and trio.
- Maarten van der Grinten; guitarist and most well known for his duet with Jesse van Ruller and the Van der Grinten Herman Quartet. He studied at the Hilversum Conservatory and the Manhattan School of Music. He is currently a professor and coordinator of the guitar department at the Conservatorium of Amsterdam.
Gijs Idema Trio- The Gijs Idema Trio, consisting out of Gijs Idema (guitar), Cas Jiskoot (contrabass) and Tim Hennekes (drums), is grounded in the jazz tradition but is also known for exploring the modern field. The trio is often praised for their unique sound which can be classified as dynamic and lyrical with a lot of room for interpretation.
Little Olifant- At the heart of 'Little Olifant' lies a restless desire to create, curate and collaborate. The project is led by bassist Abhishek Mangla with an intention of using some of the socio-cultural aspects of Indian society as an inspiration for his music.
Hähnlein/Müller/Lotz- The trio of Thomas Hähnlein (saxophone), Christian Müller (bass) and Clemens Lotz (drums) was founded shortly after the three German musicians met at the Amsterdam University of the Arts in September 2016. Already at their first relaxed get-to-know-jam, the three master students discovered that their playing styles matched easily. This was also confirmed by their conservatory who selected the trio to play as one of four bands at a special bands night. Motivated by the great joy they had playing together, they now meet regularly and dedicate their time not only to the traditions of jazz, but also developing a modern sound which is influenced by each musicians personal tastes and background.
Sun-Mi Hong Group- During her time in Amsterdam, Sun-Mi didn't assimilate only musical craft, but also experienced a different culture with people from all over the world. There is a lot of sensitivity in her playing and a well-tempered swing feel which shows her personal identity within the music. Her trio presents new compositions that have a strong connection to her life. Sun-Mi’s music is free-spoken, honest and intense in a very organic way.
On the 28th of May, our judges were proud to hand the Expression of Art Award and the winning prize of a €5000,- scholarship to the Gijs Idema Trio. The trio is often praised for their unique sound which can be classified as dynamic and lyrical with a lot of room for interpretation.
The winner of 2017, the Gijs Idema Trio, has finished the work on their album ‘Squares’. They were already working on the album before the Expression of Art Award, but winning this great prize enabled them to take the final steps in the process, like mixing and mastering.
Gijs Idema realized his plans to move to New York where he recently finished his Master studies at the Manhattan School of Music. In 2017, the Expression of Art Award funds aided him in financing auditions and flight tickets.
Edo Righini (Vice Director, Head of Jazz Department, Conservatorium van Amsterdam):
'Gijs is one of the brightest new stars on the Dutch guitar horizon. Rooted in the great Jazz tradition, he is astonishingly fluent and narratively elegant whenever he cuts loose on guitar.'
The first concert on the 21st of February was by Mateusz Pulawski, guitarist and composer of the jazz band the Lunar Quartet. The second concert on the 10th of April was by the Gideon Tazelaar trio, who are inspired by music of John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. The final concert and day of the award ceremony was held on the 12th of June with the final performer being Tom Ridderbeekx, trumpeter who made his debut at the North Sea Jazz festival in 2011. The award consisted of a €5000,- scholarship to be used by the winner to further their musical career.
The professional jury of 2016 which was appointed to make the final judgment included:
- Jasper Blom, a leading tenor and soprano saxophonist of the young Dutch jazzgeneration and one of the most versatile players in the Benelux. Jasper has performed with the likes of Lee Konitz, Chet Baker, Nat Adderley, Bob Brookmeyer, George Duke, Randy Crawford, David Liebman, Conrad Herwig and many other international reknowned artists.
- Edoardo Righini, teacher at Conservatorium van Amsterdam and head of Online Learning and Continuing Education. He is also the author of the highly-praised book: Guitar Lessons.
- Juan Martinez, General Artistic Director of the Jazz Orchestra at the Royal Concerthall.
On the 12th of June, our judges were proud to hand the Expression of Art Award and the winning prize of a €5000,- scholarship to the Gideon Tazelaar trio. The trio are known for taking a simple repertoire as a starting point to investigate the playfully melodic, harmonic and rhythmic elements. The trio consists of:
Gideon Tazelaar (1997) - Started with saxophone lessons at the age of seven and at the age of eight he performed at the Royal Concert building in Amsterdam. When Gideon turned 11, he contributed to the North Sea Jazz Festival with his quartet and has played along side some big names such as Simon Rigter, Peter Beets, Martijn van Iterson and Joost Patocka. Gideon will graduate at the end of 2016 from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.
Ties Laarakker (1989) - Has been playing the double bass since the age of 14 and got accepted to the Conservatorium van Amsterdam when he was only 16 years old. In his spare time he studies Mathematics at the University of Amsterdam.
Wouter Kühne (1996) - Had his first drum lessons at the age of seven and when he was 16 he entered the North Sea Jazz Festival. He is currently in his second year of his Bachelor degree at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.
After winning the Expression of Art Award, Gideon Tazelaar moved to New York where he got accepted in the Masters program of the prestigious Juilliard school. At this institute, Gideon studied and played with artists such as George Coleman and Wynton Marsalis, he graduated in Spring 2019.
Rick Margitza (renowned saxophone player):
“Gideon has a strong command of the jazz vocabulary and is able to use it in an organic way. He has a warm and round sound reminiscent of Stan Getz and Joe Lovano”.