Jim Black (1967) is an American drummer, band leader and composer who studied at the Berklee College of Music. Since the mid-90's, Black has played a major role in the incorporation of new sounds and techniques into the jazz/creative music context. Black has also been an innovator in the use of electronics in improvisation, bridging the gap between electro-acoustic improv and more jazz-based traditions.

Michael Moore (1954) was born in Arcata, California, USA. He studied at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston with Jaki Byard, Gunther Schuller, Ran Blake, Joe Allard, George Russell and Joe Maneri, graduating in 1977. Since 1982 he has lived in the Netherlands.

Michael Moore has a deep understanding of both the American jazz and the Dutch improvised music traditions, but his writing and playing are also influenced by music from other cultures. He has played Turkish music with Ogüz Büyükberber and Hüsnü Senlendirici, Malinese with Toumani Diabate, Keletigui Diabate and Habib Koite, Portuguese with Fernando Lameirinhas and Cristina Branco, and Brazilian with Rogerio Bicudo, Banda Mantiqueira and Paulo Moura. The musics of Sicily, Madagascar, Istria and Indonesia have also been particularly influential. He has collaborated with and been influenced by poets and poetry, dancers and other visual artists. Michael continues to write, improvise, play and prepare new releases for Ramboy and other labels.

Pianist Wolfert Brederode (1974) has worked as a musician and composer since 1996 and he has developed into one of the most prominent and authentic musicians of the younger Dutch generation. A refined and focused touch, concern for natural flow, openness to all kinds of music, and his relentless search for new horizons are characteristic features of his music.

The Dark Sessions
Wolfert Brederode/Tony Overwater

Voor de projectweek hebben hoofdvak docenten Wolfert Brederode en Tony Overwater een nieuw concept ontwikkeld dat tot nu toe nog niet is verkend: the Dark Sessions. Het idee is om in groepen van ongeveer 7 studenten gezamenlijk te improviseren zonder dat je elkaar of je eigen instrument ziet en zo uitsluitend op je oren en intuïtie afgaat. Dit heeft ten doel een aantal routines en/of cliché’s die soms kunnen optreden bij het improviseren te doorbreken en zo tot nieuwe klanken, inzichten en manieren van improvisatie te komen en buiten gebaande paden te treden. Tony en Wolfert zullen zowel actief meespelen als coachen om improvisaties richting te geven en te sturen indien nodig.

Bas Cornelissen is a PhD student at the University of Amsterdam, where he also finished his bachelors and master studies, majoring in mathematics. In his research, Bas uses computer methods to study how musical traditions differ, hoping to learn more about the cultural evolution of musics. Bas also studies music without computers: as a baritone at the Utrecht Conservatory.

Marianne de Heer Kloots studied linguistics and is currently finishing her masters at University of Amsterdam in cognitive science and artificial intelligence. She has studied vocalizations made by seal pups in a care center and languages created by humans in lab experiments, and is broadly interested in everything related to sounds and communication systems made by humans and other animals.

Mark Haanstra is a versatile bass guitar and double bass player living in the Netherlands. He started playing classical piano at an early age but switched to bass in his teens after hearing the music of James Brown. Soon after he started his studies at the Conservatory of Amsterdam where he graduated cum-laude in 1997. His recognizable sound, groove and flexibility make him a much sought after musician by artists, ensembles and orchestras in many genres.

Henkjan Honing is professor of Music Cognition at both the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Honing studies what musicality is, or can be, and to what extent human beings share musicality with other animals. His aim is to define the cognitive and biological mechanisms that underpin musicality. In addition to a research agenda (The Origins of Musicality, 2018, The MIT Press), Honing has published several books for the general public, including Musical Cognition (2014, Routledge) and The Evolving Animal Orchestra (2019, The MIT Press).

Mijke Loeven (1965), director of the Bimhuis, one of Europe’s leading concert promoters, will speak about listening in the context of curating and promoting music, also sharing thoughts of new audience development.

Loeven has an extensive experience in the Dutch jazz world. Before taking up her position in the Bimhuis, she worked as the director of Jazz International Rotterdam. She studied vocal jazz at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague and has worked as a producer for radio and television. As a promoter, she carries on the Bimhuis tradition of quality, adventure and contemporary developments, and seeks to create new connections between jazz, the listening public and the society as a whole.

Jazz trumpeter and session musician Rik Mol (Goes, 1984) began playing trumpet at the age of eight and went to the School of Young Talent at the Royal Conservatoire as a teenager. Initally he focused on the classical trumpet, but after lessons from Wynton Marsalis, he also began to orientate more and more towards the jazz and pop. "I cannot rule out any genre. I like almost all types of music and do not like to think in boxes", said Rik Mol, who in his musical career received several prestigious music awards like the Berlin Yamaha Soloist Jazz / Pop Award, the Princess Christina Competition, European Trumpet Contest in 2004 and the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund Prize.


Tony Overwater is an award winning bass player whose sound and unique way of playing have established him as a key player in the European music world. He is a remarkable solo performer and leader of his own projects but also a collaborative and attentive sideman. He is well known for his pioneering work in Arab music.

The Dark Sessions
Wolfert Brederode/Tony Overwater

Voor de projectweek hebben hoofdvak docenten Wolfert Brederode en Tony Overwater een nieuw concept ontwikkeld dat tot nu toe nog niet is verkend: the Dark Sessions. Het idee is om in groepen van ongeveer 7 studenten gezamenlijk te improviseren zonder dat je elkaar of je eigen instrument ziet en zo uitsluitend op je oren en intuïtie afgaat. Dit heeft ten doel een aantal routines en/of cliché’s die soms kunnen optreden bij het improviseren te doorbreken en zo tot nieuwe klanken, inzichten en manieren van improvisatie te komen en buiten gebaande paden te treden. Tony en Wolfert zullen zowel actief meespelen als coachen om improvisaties richting te geven en te sturen indien nodig.

Dr. Loes Rusch is on the faculty of the RC and teaches Jazz History and Critical Jazz Studies. She is also a research supervisor for MA students from both the classica l and jazz departments.

Rusch studied musicology at the University of Amsterdam and saxophone at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and completed a PhD in 2016.

Felix Schlarmann is a German born jazz drummer, composer and educator based in Amsterdam. Born into a musical family in northern Germany’s countryside, Felix picked up the sticks at the age of 10. After a music driven youth playing the drums in rock and jazz bands next to building a career as a classical percussionist, he finally chose the drums to continue and moved to the Netherlands to study music.

Felix holds a master’s degree in jazz drums from the Conservatory of Amsterdam. Beside that he studied with John Riley at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City.

Diderik Wagenaar

Dutch composer Diderik Wagenaar (1946, Utrecht) studied music theory at the Royal Conservatoire where he has been teaching since 1990. As a teenager in the early 1960s he loved Renaissance music, Bach, Ravel, and Thelonious Monk. In addition to his fascination with jazz, an important encounter at that time was with the music of Charles Ives, which taught him the value of inclusivity. It also encouraged his tendency to attempt a synthesis between tonality and atonality, to connect previously disparate systems of musical thought. Today Wagenaar feels that the notion of a "music of inclusion" can be seen as an important aspect of the new Dutch music as a whole.

His works include commissions for the ensembles Orkest de Volharding, Hoketus, Slagwerkgroep den Haag and Icebreaker and for the Concertgebouw Orchestra.