Joris Roelofs (1984) is a (bass) clarinettist and composer from Amsterdam. Joris started to play classical clarinet at the age of six and then started the alto saxophone at the age of twelve. He was a member of the Vienna Art Orchestra from 2005 – 2010. Joris finished his masters at the Conservatory of Amsterdam in 2007, and moved to New York City in 2008. In 2016, Joris started teaching bass clarinet and clarinet as principal subjects at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. As of September 2018, he will be teaching a new Master Elective on music & philosophy: Freedom and Improvisation. In 2001, he won the Pim Jacobs Prize; and in 2003 he was the first non-American to receive the IAJE Stan Getz/Clifford Brown Fellowship Award in the US. In 2004, Joris was awarded with the first prize at the prestigious Deloitte Jazz Award competition in the Netherlands. In 2008, he was selected for the Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition. Among others, Joris has played with Brad Mehldau, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Christina Branco, Lionel Loueke, ICP Orchestra, Han Bennink, James Carter, and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. In 2010, he was asked by Brad Mehldau to perform with him at Carnegie Hall in New York and the Sanders Theatre in Boston. In 2015 and 2017 Joris played in new project by Mehldau with cello, piano and clarinet: music written by Mehldau for a silent film. In a Dutch TV show, at age 16, Joris performed the clarinet introduction of Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue with the Orkest van het Oosten, and was featured as a soloist with the Jazz Orchestra Of The Concertgebouw. As a leader, he performed several times at the North Sea Jazz Festival, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Smalls Jazz Club in NYC, among other places. Since 2008 he has been touring in Europe with his own projects including Aaron Goldberg, Ari Hoenig, Reginald Veal, Joe Sanders, Greg Hutchinson, and Johannes Weidenmüller. In 2007, he recorded his debut album Introducing Joris Roelofs (Material Records). Joris also plays in a co-led trio, Chamber Tones, with Jesse van Ruller and Clemens van der Feen. They released two albums: Chamber Tones and The Ninth Planet, and have performed in Europe and Asia. Joris recorded two albums on Pirouet Records with his trio featuring Matt Penman and Ted Poor: Aliens Deliberating (2014) and Amateur Dentist (2015). In 2016, Joris started a new duo with the legendary drummer Han Bennink; their first album Icarus just came out. As a sideman, Joris has played at a large number of international jazz festivals and jazz clubs, all over the world. Joris also plays lead alto in the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw and is a regular member of Reinier Baas’ projects. As a result of the North Sea Jazz composition assignment in 2016, Roelofs composed Rope Dance: music for bassoon, piano, drums and bass, based on Friedrich Nietzsche’s notion of the rope dancer in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Joris has given two different lectures about the relationship between music and philosophy: Great Philosophers on Music and Nietzsche’s Muses.

Photo: Gemma Kessels

Joris Roelofs is a Buffet Crampon Artist:


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