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Bik Bent Braam is a 13-piece improvising 'big band' from the Netherlands, led by pianist/composer Michiel Braam. Bik Bent Braam performs without a setlist - it employs a strategy in which the musicians all provide input, calling out tunes in mid-phrase and deciding tempo and instrumentation, to generate a new musical direction for the ensemble. Compelling themes, echoing jazz history, and precise ensemble work alternate with wild, screaming improvisations. Michiel Braam writes his material with his musicians in mind, thus getting the best out of each orchestra member. The 2008 program 'Extremen' investigates the outer limits of musical possibilities. Using an ingenious system of cues, the musicians force each other to explore the extremes of the music and of their instruments. It turns each performance into an adventure.

"Bik Bent Braam is currently the most exciting music machine around." (Koen Schouten)

Michiel Braam (piano), Wilbert de Joode (double bass), Michael Vatcher (drums), Frank Gratkowski (altosax, clarinet, bassclarinet), Jan Willem van der Ham (altosax, bassoon), Bart van der Putten (altosax, clarinet), Frans Vermeerssen (tenorsax, baritonesax), Peter van Bergen (tenorsax, clarinet, bassclarinet), Peter Haex (euphonium), Carl Ludwig Hübsch (tuba), Eric Boeren (cornet), Angelo Verploegen (trumpet), Wolter Wierbos (trombone)

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