By Peter Beije | Featured Image: Roberto Cifarilli
The two best known jazz festivals in the province of Zeeland (The Netherlands) have joined forces. The collaboration between Scheldejazz (Terneuzen) and the International Jazz Festival Middelburg will fall under the new name ZeelandJazz. Two legendary saxophonists will play at the festival in June: Archie Shepp and Lee Konitz. Furthermore singer Denise King and the guitarists Biréli Lagrène and Larry Carlton are booked. The famous soprano Claron McFadden will perform a jazz-opera crossover. An interesting concert is the collaboration between the Houdini’s and guitarist Anton Goudsmit.
The first edition of ZeelandJazz starts Thursday 9 June in the Schelde Theater in Terneuzen. The opening concert of the festival is the collaboration between jazz pianist Mike del Ferro and Claron McFadden. “Opera meets jazz” is the title of their performance. The trio of Mike del Ferro and Claron McFadden will be accompanied by a number of strings and horns from the famous Metropole Orchestra. The Orchestra recently received a Grammy Award for their collaboration with Snarky Puppy on the album Sylva that was awarded “Best Contemporary Instrumental Album”.
Mike del Ferro is the son of opera singer Len del Ferro (1921-1992), who has collaborated with among others Maria Callas and Leonard Bernstein. He, as it were, grew up with opera. The pianist has combined opera and jazz in projects with Toots Thielemans and Richard Galliano.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday there is jazz, blues and related music on the streets and in the cafes in Terneuzen. Main venue is Porgy en Bess, as always the heart of the festival in the harbor town.
The festival continues on Friday 17 June in Middelburg. The main stage is situated on the monumental Abdijplein (Abbey square). There the festival on Sunday 19 June will be closed with a great music spectacle, is promised.
On the days between the two weekends ZeelandJazz will organize educational events on schools in the province with the purpose of getting young people more involved in the jazz events in Terneuzen and Middelburg. The festival will also mark the start of a youth orchestra in the province.
On Thursday 16 June a special jazz boat will sail from Terneuzen to Middelburg. On board “The Zeeland Suite Revisited” will be performed. In the seventies of the last century Dutch pianist and composer Leo Cuijpers wrote The Zeeland Suite. In 2014 pianist and composer Jeroen van Vliet worked out the Zeeland Suite Revisited.
Another novelty on the festival is the ZeelandJazz Festival Orchestra. Well known musicians from the province have decided to start a band that will play at the festival each year in both Terneuzen and Middelburg. The band is led by master baritone saxophonist Jan Menu and pianist and composer Martin Fondse, who also plays the vibrandoneon. Some famous musicians will be on stage with the two leaders: Rik Mol (trumpet) and Paul van der Feen (saxophones and clarinets) are both soloists of the Metropole Orchestra. Yoran Aarssen is one of the young talented alto sax players in Netherlands. Friso van Wijck is jazz and pop drummer and classical composer. (Bass player t.b.a.)
The two festivals have decided to work together to make it possible to organize a large music festival in Zeeland. For both funders, sponsors and audiences a big festival is far more attractive. Scheldejazz is one of the oldest jazz festivals in Netherlands. The first edition was held in 1972.
More info and tickets: www.zeelandjazz.com