New York—New Orleans, for sure—and perhaps London or Milan are cities that pop into mind when thinking of a jazz city. The Netherlands certainly isn’t the first country one thinks of as a cradle of jazz music, but if taking a closer look, it certainly has some jazz in it.
First, tune in to the Dutch Swing College Band while you read this:
The Dutch actually have a rather nice heritage when it comes to jazz with artists such as the Dutch Swing College Band, Louis van Dijk, Rita Reys, and Hans en Candy Dulfer being internationally renowned. Nowadays, there’s a string of jazzy Dutch artists active, often combining jazz with hip-hop or electronica. Typhoon, for example, does a great job storming the Netherlands with his jazzy raps and hip-hop, and the Kyteman Orchestra is so damn impressive and versatile that it seems too big for just one genre. For some classic jazz tunes I can always recommend saxophonist Benjamin Herman and his band the New Cool Collective.
A jazzy night out
When it comes to festivals the Netherlands has some great options like the grand three-day North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam and the up-and-coming Summerjazz in Leiden. But the best option for a night out to a jazzy club I have encountered, so far, must be the North Sea Jazz Club (NSJC) in Amsterdam.
The North Sea Jazz Club
What makes the NSJC great is the fact that it brilliantly combines good food with awesome live jazz. Sure, there’s a price tag involved, but nothing beats enjoying a nice three-course dinner followed up by a great live show in an intimate jazz club setting. Their programming is both versatile and filled with top of the league jazz artists. Check it out here.
Just around the holidays I had the pleasure of visiting the NSJC and seeing two talented Dutch artists, Peter Beets on the piano and Ruben Hein, covering the best of Frank Sinatra’s oeuvre. The NSJC really shined on that occasion, especially since Ol’ Blue Eyes’ songs are best enjoyed in a somewhat intimate setting. The food was good, the seats were excellent (show up on time to have some options!) and Peter and Ruben were thoroughly entertaining (I did spill some wine all across the table in my enthusiasm, ruining a dress, but I can only blame the people at NSJC for getting me too excited). Anyway, here are some pictures that tell it all way better than I could:
A photo posted by DutchReview (@dutchreview) on
So if you’re looking for a classic and great jazzy night out, the North Sea Jazz Club is the place to be! Make sure to buy tickets a decent time ahead of the show; the better ones tend to sell out quickly.
P.S. Perhaps I forgot to mention some quintessential Dutch Jazz people, fill me in in the comments!