(1953) is an elusive personality on the jazz and improvised music scene; a sometimes recalcitrant but also very true musician (alto sax player, composer, arranger, producer) with an impressive CV. He was born in New York and learned to play several instruments at an early age in that city. After a while he went toSt. Louis to study music and focused on the saxophone and composition. This is where he seriously got enthralled by the jazzscene. Zorn soon left school, returned to New York and started working with free jazz musicians and rock bands. He also started composing.The results soon were played with Naked City, his band, which used to perform in the famous jazz club The Knitting Factory, among other places. Zorn's compositions in those days were already spectacular collages. Zorn is also a big film music fan, especially of the work of Carl Stalling, who made the soundtracks for many cartoons. Stalling's approach (working with sound blocks) has had a great influence onZorn's composition technique. He used to first scribble a number of musical ideas on cards, then arrange them until some structure started to appear - a kaleidoscopic approach. Meanwhile Zorn has grown into an icon of post-modernism. He has a wide variety of line-ups at his disposal: Naked City (dismantled, and yet, one never knows), Pain Killer, Spy vs. Spy, AcousticMasada… For his own record label, Tzadik, he made the series Radical Jewish Culture
, a platform investigating his own Jewish roots. His music, which can be enjoyed on CDs and during his concerts, but also on soundtracks and in video games, is wide-ranging, multi-colored and surpasses all genres.
At North Sea Jazz, Zorn is involved in various projects. He will, for instance, conduct The Dreamers, to achieve a warm mix of surf and movie music; and with Filmworks he will perform a selection of his soundtracks covering a collection of 22 albums. Furthermore he performs on alto sax with the Masada Sextet, as a member of the trio with Bill Laswell & Milford Graves, and as a prompter in the spectacular happening, or game piece, Cobra. Zorn 'directs' this piece and the musicians of the ensemble with the aid of signals with his hands, signs, 'the hat' and a detailed set of rules for style, duration, volume and so on. However, the musicians can also rule against him. A further titillating happening will be Bar Kokhba: exciting, adventurous music with elements of surf music and the Middle East. Zorn as artist in residence: it will be a kaleidoscopic event true to its name.