Jazz & Classical Mix with Dutch Saxophonist Aart van Bergen

Posted April 13th, 2011 at 5:21 pm (UTC+0)
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Aart van Bergen

Diaa Bekheet | Washington, DC – Do you remember Gunther Schuller’s Third Stream? It’s a mix of classical and jazz music. Also known as symphonic jazz, the style started in 1957 in an effort to bring jazz and classical music closer in spirit and play. It was popular until the mid 1970’s, but then receded and became part of music history.

Dutch saxophonist Aart van Bergen and his Crescent Double Quartet have revisited the style in their new Album “Radio Mundial.” It will be released later this year, but we have an interview and exclusive preview of the album here on Jazz Beat:


Van Bergen studied world music: jazz, pop, contemporary expressions of music, Western classical music, music cognition, theory of music, and cultural musicology.  He graduated from the University of Amsterdam in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in Musicology. His thesis ‘Freedom and Limits of Jazz Improvisation’ posed the question of how free and how limited the jazz improviser is in his music.  He was invited to present his thesis at the ICT Sangeet Musicology Conference in Bombay, India.

Crescent Double Quartet was founded in 2010 and it includes Dutch saxophonist Aart van Bergen, Turkish pianist Kaan Biyikoglu, Hungarian bassist Sandor Kem, Dutch drummer Remco Menting, Latvian violinist Anastasija Zvirbule, Dutch violinist Anne Bakker, Dutch viola player Yanna Pelser, and Spanish cello player Eduard Ninot.

Crescent Double Quartet

The group’s music has been positively received by a broad constituency of jazz fans in Europe. One distinctive example is “Tanpura Song” by Turkish pianist Kaan Biyikoglu:


In 2009, van Bergen founded his first band, “Aart van Bergen Sextet,” and released his first CD.  Three years earlier, in 2006, he had another group called “Starlight Jazz Trio.” It still exists and it plays traditional jazz in the footsteps of American jazz icons John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Lester Young and Hank Mobley.

The Crescent Double Quartet’s is planning to finish recording its CD “Radio Mundial” and release it in October, just before its planned European and Asian tour.

For more on jazz music, listen to VOA’s Jazz America

Diaa Bekheet
Diaa Bekheet has worked for a host of media outlets, including Radio Cairo in English, ETV News, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) and the Associated Press. He joined VOA in Feb. 1989 as an International Broadcaster, hosting a variety of popular news and entertainment shows such as Newshour, Radio Ride Across America, Business Week, and Jazz Club USA. He has interviewed a number of Jazz celebrities, including the legendary Dizzy Gillespie, Ramsey Lewis, Wayne Shorter, and George Benson. Diaa is currently an editor for our main English site, VOAnews.com.

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