Drummer and multi-instrumentalist HAN BENNINK was born in Zaandam near Amsterdam in 1942. His first percussion instrument was a kitchen chair. Later his father, an orchestra percussionist, supplied him with a more conventional outfit, but Han never lost his taste for coaxing sounds from unlikely objects he finds backstage at concerts. He is still very fond of playing chairs. In Holland in the 1960s, Bennink was quickly recognized as an uncommonly versatile drummer. As a hard swinger in the tradition of his hero Kenny Clarke, he accompanied touring American jazz stars, including Sonny Rollins, Ben Webster, Wes Montgomery, Johnny Griffin, Eric Dolphy and Dexter Gordon. He is heard with Gordon on the 1969 album "Live at Amsterdam Paradiso" (on the Affinity label) and with Dolphy on 1964s "Last Date" (PolyGram). At the same time, Bennink participated in the creation of a European improvised music which began to evolve a new identity, apart from its jazz roots. With fellow Dutch pioneers, pianist Misha Mengelberg and saxophonist Willem Breuker, he founded the musicians collective Instant Composers Pool in 1967. Bennink anchored various bands led by Mengelberg or Breuker, and appeared in their comic music-theater productions. Bennink attended art school in the 1960s, and is also a successful visual artist in several media, often constructing sculpture from found objects, which may include broken drum heads and sticks. He has designed the covers for many LPs and CDs on which he appears. Bennink is represented by Amsterdam's Galerie Espace, and has been the subject of several one-man shows, including one at the Gemeente Museum in the Hague in 1995. In 1966, Bennink played the US's Newport Jazz Festival with the Mengelberg quartet. From the late 1960s through the '70s Bennink collaborated frequently with Danish, German, English and Belgian musicians, notably saxophonists John Tchicai and Peter Broetzmann, guitarist Derek Bailey and pianist Fred van Hove. Bennink, Broetzmann and van Hove had a longstanding trio well documented on FMP Records. There Bennink also showcased his talents on clarinet, trombone, soprano saxophone and many other instruments, also featured in a series of solo albums he began in 1971. Bennink's many recordings from the 1980s include sessions with Mengelberg's ICP Orchestra (where he remains), South African bassist Harry Miller, soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy, trombonists Roswell Rudd and George Lewis, and big-bandleaders Sean Bergin and Andy Sheppard. From 1988 to'98 Bennink's main vehicle was Clusone 3, with saxophonist and clarinetist Michael Moore and cellist Ernst Reijseger, a band noted for its free-wheeling mix of swinging jazz standards, wide-open improvising, and tender ballads. Clusone played Europe and North America, West Africa, China, Vietnam and Australia, and recorded five CDs for Gramavision, hat Art and Ramboy. Nowadays he is frequently heard with tenor saxophonist Tobias Delius's quartet and in a trio with pianist/keyboardist Cor Fuhler and bassist Wilbert de Joode, and he still collaborates occasionally with jazz luminaries such as Johnny Griffin, Von Freeman and Ray Anderson. A conspicuous feature of Bennink's musical life since the 1960s is the spontaneous duo concert with musicians of many nationalities and musical inclinations; in the '90s he recorded in duo with among others pianists Mengelberg, Irene Schweizer and Myra Melford, guitarist Eugene Chadbourne, trumpeter Dave Douglas and tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin.
JORIS ROELOFFS, born in 1984 in Aix-en-Provence (France), raised in Amsterdam (Netherlands), plays saxophones, clarinet and bass clarinet. He started to play classical clarinet at the age of six, and then started the alto saxophone at the age of twelve. He was a member of the Vienna Art Orchestra from 2005 – 2010. Joris also plays lead alto in the Jazz Orchestra Of The Concertgebouw in the Netherlands. He graduated in 2007 as a Master of Music at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, and moved to New York City in 2008. In 2001 Joris won the Pim Jacobs Prize. In 2003 he was the first non-American to receive the Stan Getz/Clifford Brown Fellowship Award in the US, organized by the International Association Of Jazz Education (IAJE). In 2004 Joris received the first prize of the prestigious Deloitte Jazz Award in the Netherlands. In 2008 he was selected for the Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition. Among others, Joris has played with Brad Mehldau, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Christina Branco, Lionel Loueke, Lewis Nash, James Carter, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, WDR Big Band. In 2010 he was asked by Brad Mehldau to perform with him at Carnegie Hall in New York and the Sanders Theatre in Boston. In 2015 Mehldau asked Joris to be part of a new project with cello, piano and clarinet: new music, written by Mehldau for a silent movie called 'Salvation Hunters' (Von Sternberg). In a Dutch TV show, at age 16, Joris performed the clarinet introduction of Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue with the Orkest van het Oosten, and was featured as a soloist with the Jazz Orchestra Of The Concertgebouw. As a leader he performed several times at the North Sea Jazz Festival, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Smalls Jazz Club in NYC, among other places. Since 2008 he's been touring in Europe with his own projects including Aaron Goldberg, Ari Hoenig, Reginald Veal, Joe Sanders, Greg Hutchinson, and Johannes Weidenmüller. In 2007 he recorded his debute album Introducing Joris Roelofs (Material Records). Joris also plays in a co-led trio, Chamber Tones Trio, with Jesse van Ruller and Clemens van der Feen. They released two albums: Chamber Tones and The Ninth Planet, and have performed in Europe and Asia. Joris’ CD Live At The Bimhuis was released in 2011 and was nominated for an Edison in 2012. He put together another trio in 2011 with Ted Poor and Matt Penman, featuring Joris on bass clarinet, and this has been his steady trio for the past few years. Pirouet Records released their album Aliens Deliberating in 2014. Their second album, Amateur Dentist, has just been released, also by Pirouet Records.
As a sideman Joris has played at a large number of international jazz festivals and jazz clubs, all over the world. Currently he is living in Amsterdam, where he is studying philosophy. The North Sea Jazz Festival gave Joris a composition assignment for the 2016 festival edition. Starting in September 2016, Joris will be teaching bass clarinet and clarinet as a main subject at the Jazz Department of the Conservatory of Amsterdam.