Hans Dulfer (1940) is one of Holland’s best-known and most versatile tenor saxophonists. Closely following the latest trends, he still maintains that he is a typical jazz musician. For many years he chose to operate as a stage performer par excellence, putting recording on the back burner. When, in the nineties, he finally became serious about recording, large-scale success followed in the Netherlands and he attained star status in Japan.
In 1990 Hans was appointed director of Amsterdam’s famous pop music concert hall Paradiso, but he left after a year because of an internal disagreement. Hans subsequently presented jazz radio shows like ‘Streetbeats’, ‘Hothouse’ and ‘In the Midnight Hour’ for Dutch broadcaster VPRO. In 1992, together with the Surinam Music Ensemble led by Eddie Veldman, Dulfer presented the ‘Kid Dynamite Suite’, a tribute to the legendary tenor saxophonist Kid Dynamite from Surinam. In 1993 Hans received the North Sea Jazz Bird Award and soon after this he decided to change his musical direction.
In 1995 Hans recorded a dance music album, titled ‘Big Boy’. This album led to the hit single ‘Streetbeats’ and Hans became ‘world famous in Japan’. In response to the success in Japan, Hans recorded ‘Hyperbeat’ for his fans there and it became the best-selling instrumental album of the year. The music on the new album ‘Dig!’ (1996) was comparable with the music of ‘Big Boy’. For the single ‘Dig!’ from the album, a video clip was produced. ‘Dig!’ was a big success in several European countries, but especially in Japan. Hans toured in Europe, played at the Danish festival Roskilde and performed in the Far East. Throughout the years Hans has kept recording and performing in the Netherlands and internationally.
In 2015 Dulfer celebrated his 75th birthday with a spectacular musical party featuring his daughter Candy and a host of guest musicians at Amsterdam’s pop music hall ‘De Melkweg’. On his birthday, Hans received the Andreaspenning of the City of Amsterdam, an acknowledgement of his contribution over the years to jazz music in Amsterdam and to the genre in general.
Rob IJsendijk (1953) has worked as a lawyer since 1987. Together with three partners, he founded the FORT Law firm in 2001. Rob has a broad experience in town and country planning law, including building permits and development plans, and in the field of catering and related permits.
Rob is also a lead specialist in the field of the Public Administration Property Screening Act (Wet Bibob), in which area he has established an excellent reputation. The municipality of Amsterdam makes comprehensive use of that Act, including for the “cleaning up” of the Red Light District.
Rob has a great deal of experience in conducting Bibob proceedings. In 2011 he prevented the closing of jazzcafé the Cotton Club. Rob promotes the interests of many business owners, but also assists and advises clients in other areas of administrative law, such as environmental proceedings, traffic, damages and expropriation.
Rob is a board member of several cultural institutions, including the Vondelpark Openlucht Theater foundation and the Amsterdam Fringe Festival, and is involved in local politics as a board member of the local party Red Amsterdam. Rob is also a jazz enthusiast, playing the bass in various bands.
Rob was one of the main characters in a popular soap ‘Medisch Centrum West’ (‘Medical Center West’) which ran on National TV from 1988 until 1994. After that Rob hosted his own television show about the Red Light District.
Since 1980 Rob and his team have been offering behind-the-scenes-tours in the Red Light District, featuring, among others, unique conversations with local policemen and prostitutes.
Martijn Barkhuis a.k.a. DJ Maestro (1970) clearly knows the meaning of great sounds. He embraces an enormous variety of styles: a quick look into his massive music collection and you’ll find John Coltrane next to Cerrone, Nina Simone next to Fela Kuti, or, even better, Masters at Work next to Chet Baker. Hear him spin and you’ll understand why he is called DJ Maestro.
Martijn has a broad musical background. Raised in a musical family, he started playing the violin at an early age. After working successfully with different orchestras during his youth, his parents encouraged him to keep playing. But while studying Musicology at the University of Utrecht, Martijn developed new passions: jazz and radio. This saw him trading his violin for a job at national Jazz Radio.
Meanwhile, he discovered the party scene and fell in love once again: in love with the beats, in love with the life style, in love with the late nights and early mornings. Through never-ending support of one of Holland’s biggest deejays, Eddy de Clercq, Martijn soon stood in front of major crowds in Amsterdam-based clubs such as Roxy, Escape and Paradiso.
His love for classical, jazz and club music resulted in the crazy yet amazing musical phenomenon of DJ Maestro.
Maestro released 9 platinum-award albums for Blue Note records, 2 albums for Verve/Universal, played all 5 continents, just signed at Bethlehem Records, got his house in order and became a father. The only thing that didn’t change was his love for JAZZ.
Finally Amsterdam has it’s real own jazz festival. Maestro supports this initiative cause of the great love for music which you can see in this years program.
Janny Alberts was raised as a farmer’s daughter. She was organizing projects for long-term unemployed people when she was asked to work for NV Zeedijk, a private-public company founded in 1985, named after the street where the company initially started its activities: the economic recovery of the totally impoverished Zeedijk, with in particular the improvement of the living and working in the area and elsewhere in the center of Amsterdam.
She was tasked with buying real estate in downtown Amsterdam, restoring it, managing the buildings and renting them out, with the aim of restoring balance in the neighborhood. Characteristic of NV Zeedijk is that it always searches for balance between the neighborhood’s businesses, residents and visitors.
Janny’s mission as director of NV Zeedijk is to preserve a balance on the Zeedijk allowing residents and businesses to live in harmony side by side while maintaining space for visitors. Janny recognizes and supports the Red Light Jazz Festival as an initiative where interests of businesses, residents and visitors meet.
Jeroen de Rijk (1962) came to Amsterdam at the age of 19 in 1981, dreaming about playing percussion on the Paradiso main stage at least once. Taught by teachers Steve Boston and John Engels, Jeroen became a very successful musician and music entrepreneur. He’s been voted best percussionist of the Benelux 10 times by the readers of drummers magazine ‘Slagwerkkrant’. He played live on stage and/or in studios with David Guetta, Mr. Probz, Gino Vannelli, Mezzoforte, Yellowjackets, Metropole Orchestra, George Duke, Jazz Orchestra Of The Concertgebouw, Pat Metheny, Toots Thielemans, Monty Alexander, ‘Toppers’, The Passion, Lange Frans and many other national and international artists. His contribution to Michael Jackson’s “Love Never Felt So Good” by Michael’s posthumous ‘Xscape’ album is one of the absolute highlights in his career as a studio musician.
Since 1998 Jeroen runs Baileo Music Productions, a booking agency for live music and record label that has so far released 60 albums with, among others, Louis van Dijk and Madeline Bell. Baileo Music Production books music for festivals like the Laren Jazz festival and private companies and people. Since 2008, Jeroen is also bandleader for the Cape Verdean star singer Suzanna Lubrano. They’ve played in front of tens of thousands of Cape Verdeans on seven of the nine Cape Verdean Islands. Jeroen also produced a live DVD with Suzanna with as special guest Candy Dulfer. Jeroen already played in her band in the 80’s, and yes, several times in Paradiso, on the main stage…
In 2014 Jeroen initiated together with friend Prof. Cees Hamelink ‘Amsterdam World Jazz City’, an intiative to put the capital of The Netherlands back on the map as a significant jazz city. Red Light Jazz initiator Marcel Kaatee and Jeroen immediately understood the importance of using “Jazz” to increase social cohesion in our city. ‘Jazz’ and a ‘Jazz Mind’ are indeed about communication: say what you have to say, listen to each other and swing together!
Jeroen knows the red light district well. For the past 35 years he’s paid regular visits to the neighbourhood with his girlfriend to eat (Chinese) food. Steamed oysters, crispy pork, ginger broccoli and eggplant stuffed with fish are a basic life necessity within their relationship. In addition, Jeroen is happy to sit at outdoor cafes, eat ice cream and walk around with guests from home and abroad to show them the wonders of the old center of Amsterdam. Over the years he’s played in Casa Blanca, the Bethaniënklooster, the Amsterdam Academic Club, Captain Zeppos, the Beurs van Berlage and the Winter Garden of the Krasnapolsky Hotel. Memorable was a super chique evening at the St. Olof Chapel to mark the 50th anniversary of a well known entrepreneur on the Zeedijk. Baileo Music Productions handled all the music programming and production. He himself – in tuxedo! – played bongos that night.
Of course Jeroen endorses the importance of the Red Light Jazz Festival for the red light district, the city and the country.
Saskia Laroo (1959) was hailed by American public and press at large as “Lady Miles of Europe”. She is one of the few women trumpet stylists and a delight on the music scene for almost four decades. Born July 31, 1959 in Amsterdam, it began for her on trumpet at age 8, never dreaming herself becoming a professional musician. That all changed when Saskia, turned 18, after briefly majoring in Mathematics at University of Amsterdam switched her focus to a career in music. She worked extensively in various groups from this point, primarily on upright bass, though eventually, on both bass and trumpet. Saskia Laroo combines today’s music by uncontrived romps into new styles, eagerly limned as “nu jazz” or “swingin’ body-music”–a vivacious blend of hip-hop, jazz, salsa, funk reggae, and world, that a select few others would dare venture. Her artistry and her groove ring vibrantly and free on her seven CD albums and a DVD, journeying us through all the music she has absorbed, played with heart and soul.
Saskia performs throughout the whole world, mainly her own compositions and primarily her own formations—consisting of two to eight musicians—occasionally in combination with local artists, and as special guest soloist. One of her formations is “Duo Laroo/Byrd”, a duo with the American pianist/vocalist and composer Warren Byrd, who also performs with her other bands “The Saskia Laroo Band” (funky jazz) and “Jazzkia” (pure acoustic jazz). In recent years, Saskia and her various formations have performed in countries such as South Korea, India, China, the United States, Brazil, Canada, Russia, Zimbabwe and several other European countries. Of course Saskia can be regularly heard on Dutch stages and keeps faithful to her birth city Amsterdam by performing there as often as possible and with much joy. Jazz cafe Casablanca was for years her monthly “gig” with events such as the release party of her CD “Jazzkia”. Now she is very happy to return there to give a Red Light Jazzfestival Concert coming June 1 with her jazz quartet ”Jazzkia” featuring Warren Byrd.
Saskia is very proud that she became an ambassador for the Red Light Jazz festival. Born in another famous part of Amsterdam, named “De Jordaan” on July 1959, she performed in the early eighties in the Red Light District (locally called; “De Wallen”), in Club 26 on double bass with the Nedley Elstak Trio. This jazz trio founded by Surinam born pianist / trumpet player and composer Nedley Andrew Girke Elstak, often performed at this Club 26, a grand casino located next to another famous landmark venue Casa Rosso.
Now because of her many foreign tours Saskia is increasingly realizing the cultural and historical value of this area: “De Wallen are totally unique in the whole world. That is still far too little recognized by Dutch people especially Amsterdam’s own citizens, I think. One would have to treasure this area “, says Laroo. The Red Light District has a special place in her heart because of the atmosphere that she imagines is reminiscent of how it used to be when jazz music was inextricably linked to places of entertainment where people danced and were looking for joy and excitement. That is why she thinks it is fantastic and fitting that the Red Light Jazz Festival has been taking place here since 2014…And also a worldwide recognition for all those people who have worked there for years and have given the area its fame.