This year, the Composition Assignment North Sea Jazz 2009 wasallocated to saxophonist/composer Jorrit Dijkstra. Dijkstra (1966)was intensively involved in the Amsterdam improvised music scenebut left for Boston in 2002. There, he became active in free jazzand new music. Besides his saxophone, Dijkstra also makes use ofthe lyricon, an electronic wind instrument, and other electronicmeans. Because of his background as a jazz musician, he can createan exciting balance between his own playing of the saxophone andelectronic distortions. In his compositions, composed elements andfree impro go hand in hand. Dijkstra plays his new compositionswith an octet, consisting of members of two of his American bands,The Flatlands Collective and Tone Dialling, as well as a number ofleading improvisers. The entire collective is known as PillowCircles.
Dijkstra's project is made possible through grants from TheNetherland-America Foundation and Muziek Centrum Nederland. Thecomposition assignment is a joint initiative of the North Sea JazzFestival and Muziek Centrum Nederland in cooperation with the'Nederlands Fonds voor Podiumkunsten' (Dutch Fund for theperforming Arts).