One of the most iconic players on the European free-music scene, Dutch jazz drummer Han Bennink is currently on the road in the United States with his 70th birthday world tour.
Displaying dazzling technique, and possessing the flexibility to interact quickly and creatively with other musicians, Han has also been known to inject slapstick and absurdist humour into his performances.
Here are some of the master drummer's scheduled live performances:
Friday the 13th Improvisers Summit at Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, San Diego, CA on January 13. Han will be joined by violinist Mary Oliver, plus Mark Dresser on contrabass and trombonist Michael Dessen.
Mad Monday Improvisation Summit at Blue Whale live jazz bar in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, CA on January 16.
UC Berkeley Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT) in Berkeley, CA on January 22. Han will perform with Mary Oliver on violin and Myra Melford on piano.
University of Virginiaís Brooks Hall on Friday January 27. Han will perform with violinist Mary Oliver, along with several guest improvisers from the Charlottesville area.
Philadelphia Art Alliance in Philadelphia, PA on January 30. Han will perform with Dave Burrell
MITís Killian Hall in Cambridge MA on February 1. Han will be part of a quintet led by fellow Dutchman Jorrit Dijkstra, and Greek pianist Pandelis Karayorgis, who both live and work in Boston.
About Han Bennink Born in Zaandam near Amsterdam in 1942, Han Bennink first played percussion instrument using a kitchen chair. Later his father supplied him with a more conventional drum kit, but Han never lost his taste for coaxing sounds from unlikely objects he finds backstage at concerts. He is still very fond of playing chairs.
In the Netherlands in the 1960s, Han Bennink was quickly recognized as an uncommonly versatile drummer. As a hard swinger in the tradition of his hero Kenny Clarke, he accompanied such American stars as Sonny Rollins, Eric Dolphy and Dexter Gordon.
He participated in the creation of a European improvised music scene, and with fellow Dutch pioneers, pianist Misha Mengelberg and saxophonist Willem Breuker, he founded the still active musicians collective 'Instant Composers Pool' in 1967.
Over the years Han has toured tirelessly and appeared on hundreds of recordings with the likes of South African bassist Harry Miller, soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy, trombonists Roswell Rudd and Ray Anderson, and big-bandleaders Sean Bergin and Andy Sheppard.
Since 2008 Han has his own Han Bennink Trio consisting of Han Bennink, Joachim Badenhorst on clarinet and Simon Toldam on piano.