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Ernst Reijseger

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Cellist Ernst Reijseger became distinguished in avant-garde jazz, contemporary classical, and improvised music as the 1980s and 1990s progressed. In 1985, he won the major Dutch jazz award the Boy Edgar Prijs, was the subject of a television documentary nine years later, and received the North Sea Jazz Festival's prestigious Bird Award the year after. Born in Naarden, Netherlands, in 1954, Reijeseger began playing the cello at the age of eight. He began performing improvised music in the early '70s, collaborating with musicians including Derek Bailey, Martin van Duynhoven, and Michael Moore. Reijseger went on to become a member of the Theo Loevendie Consort, the Amsterdam String Trio, and the Guus Janssen Septet during the '80s; and the Arcado String Trio in the mid-'90s. Throughout both decades, he was a member of Misha Mengelberg's ICP Orchestra, and performed with Gerry Hemingway in various lineups, which included a trio with Hemingway and pianist Georg Graewe starting in the late '80s. Also around this time, Reijseger, Moore, and drummer Han Bennink -- all members of ICP -- formed the Clusone Trio, named for the Italian festival they first played at as a group. They toured all over the world, including a 1995 tour of Australia, China, and Vietnam. With the release of their fifth album (their second on the Hat label; there were others on Gramavision) in 1999, the group called it quits after their ten-year anniversary. Reijseger also left the ICP Orchestra that same year. He continued touring and recording in a variety of settings, including solo (1998's Colla Parte, on Winter & Winter); avant-garde jazz settings (Random Acoustics' releases of Graewe/Reijseger/Hemingway albums and in the Hemingway Quintet's Waltzes, Two-Steps & Other Matters of the Heart on GMRecordings, to name just a few); and even a collaboration with the Sardinian choir Tenore e Concordu de Orosei (released as Colla Voche on Winter & Winter in 1999). Ernst Reijseger has also performed with Yo-Yo Ma, Louis Sclavis, Franky Douglas, Joelle Leandre, Trilok Gurtu, Phil Minton, and more. On occasion, he gives children's cello workshops. ~ Joslyn Layne

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13 November 1954 in Naarden, The Netherlands

Years Active:

'80s, '90s, '00s, '10s