Free jazz veteran Sam Rivers, who blows the notes on his tenor sax with striking precision and knowledge, is one of the avant-garde scene's most complete musicians. Born in El Reno, Oklahoma, the musician studied composition and viola in Boston and played sax in local bands. Not only did he work as a background singer in various R&B show bands, he also worked with Miles Davis ('64) and Cecil Taylor ('68-'73). An old acquaintance of Rivers also present at the festival is bass player Dave Holland, with whom he recorded two albums in 1976 for the Improvising Artists label. But other names in The Hague can be linked to Rivers too. Like Andrew Hill and Bobby Hutcherson, with whom he recorded in the mid-sixties. In the seventies, Rivers' own studio RivBea (named after his wife Bea) was one of New York's hotspots where new jazz could be heard. His own Rivbea Orchestra performed there too, as did his free jazz trio and his Winds of Change ensemble. During the eighties and nineties Rivers moved his jazz studio to Orlando where he became the supercharger of a whole new scene. He made extensive use of local musicians in his renewed RivBea Orchestra and released albums on his own label and on RCA. He also played with, among others, Jason Moran on the latter's album Black Star. On Rivers most recent album Firestorm he is accompanied by Doug Mathews and Anthony Cole with whom he also performs at the festival.