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Netherlands’ First Double Bass Festival

Having sat in the shadows for a long time, the double bass has been rising in popularity over the last years and continues to thrive in the spotlight.

Principal bassist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Dominic Seldis has become a household name appearing as jury member of Maestro; artistic leader of the festival – James Oesi – was named as one of the highlights of last year’s Dutch prestigious Wonderfeel Festival and has been a featured guest on dutch national tv programs; and jazz superstar Esperanza Spalding appears in the biggest festivals and on the biggest stages of the world winning Grammy’s for her work.

The Dutch Double Bass Festival will offer a broad selection of music: from solo bass to ensembles and bands with bassists as their leader. Classical, jazz and avant-garde music will all be represented, from rising talents to world stars. Dutch Double Bass Festival is a festival not only for bass lovers, but for every music lover! A unique festival, not only for the Netherlands, but for the world: there currently isn’t another festival centred around the double bass that also appeals to a wider audience.

The founder and artistic leader of the festival is double bassist James Oesi (South Africa, 1988), who, since his arrival in the Netherlands in 2009, has established himself as a well know face within the classical and contemporary music world in The Netherlands. As one of the few people focusing on the bass as a solo instrument he has performed, as a soloist, at (among others) the Amsterdam Grachtenfestival, Bach Festival (Dordrecht), Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Oosterpoort in Groningen, Wonderfeel festival and soon at CrossLinx Festival. James has made several appearances on dutch national tv and radio. James is also active as a performer of contemporary music and has been a guest member of Insomnio, Oerknal, Ives Ensemble and Ensemble Modern, James also performs regularly with Asko|Schönberg. In May 2012 James graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague, receiving a 10 with distinction and the Fock Meddaille for best final exam of the year. James was also the only double bassist to complete a masters in solo performance at the Royal Conservatoire.

“A lot of people don’t quite realise just how multifaceted the double bass is, it is one of the few instruments that is just as integral to a jazz trio as it is to a symphony orchestra, from bluegrass to pop, classical to jazz the bass is unmissable and this just goes to show what a genre transcending instrument it is. In the Netherlands alone we have so many truly fantastic bassists who play all over the world and it is because of this that I really believe the time has come to show the world what a fantastic instrument the bass really is and just how much it can touch any music lover!” – James Oesi about the Dutch Double Bass Festival.

Practical Information

The Dutch Double Bass Festival takes place on the 19th, 20th and 21st of May in De Electriciteitsfabriek in The Hague (De Constant Rebecqueplein 20, 2518 RA Den Haag). The 19th of May is reserved for an educational programme with the regular festival taking place on the 20th and 21st of May. The early bird tickets are for the regular festival and cost €55. The option to further support the festival is also available via the purchase of a Golden Support Ticket for €200.

The festival is made possible by support from the Municipality of The Hague, the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, BNG Cultuurfonds, Het Kersjesfonds and Uniper.

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