Composition project North Sea Jazz

Each year the NN North Sea Jazz Festival awards a composition assignment to a talented Dutch jazz musician. This year it has been assigned to composer and conductor Tijn Wybenga.

This year Tijn, collaborating with Metropole Orkest, presents four new compositions at the North Sea Jazz Festival: one for Ambrose Akinmusire, one for Lizz Wright and two for them together. In addition, the ensemble will play compositions of the two guests, arranged for Metropole Orkest, as well as pieces Wybenga wrote for the orchestra last year. He will mix the inspiration he got from Akinmusire and Wright with that from members of his band AM.OK, with which he won the Deutscher Jazzpreis 2021 for Best Debut Album. This will be Wybenga’s first time conducting Metropole Orkest, which he considers “a true honour.”

For North Sea Jazz’s annual composition assignment, the jury unanimously chose Tijn Wybenga, whom they consider ‘among the most striking talents of the current generation.’ This year, the jury consists of Paula Hoorn (programmer Boerderij Driebergen and North Sea Jazz Round Town) on behalf of the VNJJ, Mike Bindraban (jazz connoisseur and director/owner Good Music Company) and Sander Grande (programmer North Sea Jazz). A quote from Mike Bindraban states: “Tijn belongs to the vanguard of a special group of young and progressive composers. Authentic, energetically intriguing and above all the sound (and reflection) of today. A shining light within the Dutch music landscape.”

Tijn Wybenga (1993) is a composer and conductor who combines orchestral colours with electronics and improvisation. His music contains elements of classical, hip-hop and jazz music, mixed with influences from South African, Turkish and Indian styles. He graduated from the Conservatory of Amsterdam and is currently active in the Amsterdam music scene, where he was Artist in Residence at the jazz club BIMHUIS from 2019 to 2021. After graduating, he founded the orchestra AM.OK, which was recently renamed Brainteaser Orchestra, after his last album Brainteaser (2021). Over the years, Wybenga received several awards, such as the Rogier van Otterloo Award for the best young composer, conductor and arranger in 2018.

The premiere will take place on Friday 12 July in the Amazon.

The North Sea Jazz composition commission is realized in collaboration with the VNJJ (association of Dutch jazz venues & festivals) and is co-sponsored by the Dutch Performing Arts Fund.