Ronald Snijders is considered to be the most swinging flutist in the Netherlands (Jazz magazine Jazz nu), and the inventor of African Surinam kawinajazz. He was born in Paramaribo, Suriname in 1951 and started to play the flute at the age of seven, influenced by his professionally fluteplaying father.
In his youth he also practised guitar, sax, some piano and percussion, playing popular music, classical music, Brazilian music plus jazz.
In september of 1970 Ronald Snijders settled in Delft, the Netherlands to study civil engineering, but about five years later he was a professional selftaught musician. Among his awards shines the Press prize at the prestigious NOS jazzconcours of 1973 in Laren, won with a flute solo.
The legendary bandleader Boy Edgar who was presiding the jury said: Ronald Snijders has extreme skill and creativity. Jazzpianist Chick Corea wrote him in 1976: You're a great flutist and an excellent composer
I'm sure people here in the United states will like your music a lot. And as jazz journalist Rudy Koopmans put it some years later: the most brillant fluteplayer in the field of improvised music in the Netherlands (Volkskrant).
The World Broadcasting Corporation of the Netherlands made a documentary film about Ronald Snijders in 1973 and in 1999 the Dutch NPS television portrayed him in both the Netherlands and Surinam (which he visites frequently).
Ronald Snijders produced and released twenty albums (cds and lps) with innovative compositions of his own, varying in style from North American jazz and fusion to new African Caribbean jazz (among which Surinam kasekojazz and kawinajazz), Brazilian grooves and other worldjazz. He also released three cds with Surinam childrens songs performed by Surinam children.
Furthermore Ronald Snijders played on albums of the Dutch Willem Breuker collective (in which he worked between 1974 and 1976), the partly Surinam Fra Fra bigband and the Moroccan Weshm. He performed as a flute soloist and with the Ronald Snijders Band (earlier named Ronald Snijders Black Straight Music) and the now very succesful Ronald Snijders extended Band in the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, Suriname, the USA, Cuba, Curacao, Mali, Senegal and Burkina Faso. Jazztrumpeter Lester Bowie from the Art Ensemble of Chicago played a full concert with Ronald Snijders in the Netherlands. In march/april 2000 he toured with his band to Mexico, Nicaragua and Guatamala.
Ronald Snijders composed music for films (South Bronx, Kon Esi baka, Desiree, Domburg), tv and radio tunes, balletmusic and classical music for ensembles and symfonic orchestra. He lives in Delft. Beside fluteplaying, composing and producing he is an author and a master of ethnomusicolgy. He wrote a couple of books among which the biography The man with the piccolo, where Ronald Snijders pictured his musical father Eddy Snijders (1923-1990), the lexicon Sranantongo fu strati with slang creole Surinam words and expressions, and a sheetmusic book with traditional melodies of kaseko, the most popular music of Surinam. He presents readings on Caribbean (and other) music at universities, cultural centres and the like, and leads music workshops for improvisation.
In 2001 Ronald Snijders was awarded Ridder in de orde van Oranje Nassau from the Netherlands and Ridder in de orde van de Gele Ster from Suriname for his many contributions in connecting musical cultures. He performed with the Metropole orkest and the Dutch Jazz orchestra of the Concertgebouw. In 2001 the NESKO (students symfonic orchestra) performed his composition Paramaribo rhapsody.
Ronald Snijders's recent projects are two Brazilian-Surinam projects (Projeto Subraz en Paramaribo-Bahia), the Surinam jazz music projects Bijlmerjazz I, II, and music theater for children (Tropische verrassingen, Tak en Wortel and KANGA). Coming projects are Bijlmerjazz III and Caribbean Chameleon with funk and rap influence.
Ronald Snijders is a frontrunner of African Caribbean music.