de Bende van DrieWaterproof liveTetzepi


de Bende van Drie – Tightrope

A search for balance at dizzying heights

The trio takes you on a journey to the depth of our souls, what music is truly meant for. The performance feels like a great gift after which gratefulness and respect prevail.

EMILY CUMMINGS 1st Prize European Federation of Art Critics, London Biennale 2013

The story of Philippe Petit, who in 1983 walked 400 metres above the ground between the Twin Towers provided the inspiration for this project. Petit’s absolute passion for tightrope walking; for becoming one with the wire. Tightrope walking as art form. The magic of balance and concentration. Aesthetics in full awareness of mortal danger: one moment’s loss of concentration means the end.

In this production De Bende van Drie are working in partnership with filmmaker Miranda van der Spek, who mixes original material from tightrope walkers with images specially filmed for the project. In live performances these images are projected behind the musicians in a dynamic interaction. Not only the music, but also the images are improvised: timing and editing are carried out on the spot. The symbiosis between music and images and between composition and improvisation, the tension between the concrete and the abstract, the interplay between relaxation and utter concentration reflect the endless quest for the perfect balance.

Onno van Swigchem – concept and composition
Miranda van der Spek – film and live editing
De Bende van Drie – music



In a very intimate setting, Onno and his colleagues were able to create an atmosphere that was compelling and clearly held the audience’s attention from beginning to end. An atmosphere was created where time stood still!

NATHALIE CARIS, former prima ballerina at the National Ballet
currently teacher at the National Ballet Academy

As a spectator you dissolve and become part of what happens. The addition of the constantly changing video is in perfect harmony with the layering of the musical compositions.

EMILY CUMMINGS winner London Biennale 2013



illustration by Birgitta Schwansee

de Bende van Drie

SJU Onno van Swigchem2

It’s all about the spark. A musical unit that grabs hold of the audience and won’t let go. Improvisations played from the heart, and a direct connection with the audience: every sigh, every moan, every murmur is audible. A setting where the interaction is tangible. That’s the power of De Bende van Drie. We take nothing at face value: we play our music as if we’re inventing it on the spot. And in the same way as we’re absorbed in our playing, so you too – our audience, our partners in creation – are swept up in the moment and lose yourself in the music.

It no longer matters if we’re talking about jazz or world music here… this music transcends labels as it journeys through the never-ending landscape of improvisation. One of today’s most intriguing bands.
CONCERTZENDER, radio station

… you can only conclude that Onno van Swigchem, Pieter Jan Cramer van den Bogaart and Dion Nijland have added a masterpiece to Dutch musical culture… Seldom have such beautiful tone colours been created as by the De Bende van Drie. The possibilities of saxophones, accordion and double bass are explored to the full…
RINUS VAN DER HEIJDEN, Jazzenzo jazz magazine

Onno van Swigchem – soprano, alto and baritone saxophone
Pieter Jan Cramer van den Bogaart – accordion
Dion Nijland – double bass


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Waterproof live

Waterproof live 3

Water is ostensibly something simple. Something you live with every day. Waterproof performances let you see water with new eyes and listen to it with new ears. The enchantment comes about because the various disciplines (dance, music, film) reinforce one another: you ‘hear’ water in the images, you ‘see’ its movement in the music, the image of water flows through the dance.

Waterproof Live creates films and live performances based around water. The wonder of how the element of water can move you and deeply touch you stands at the source of all Waterproof projects. Looking at water, listening to water and feeling water invoke all kinds of images. Water stimulates the senses, creates sensations and gives access to unexpected, surprising emotions. Waterproof Live takes on the challenge of giving form to this wonder in a compelling manner.

‘I have seldom seen such a beautiful combination of originally composed and performed music and film images interwoven with them to form an organic unity… a remarkable talent.’
RUUD MONSTER, filmmaker


the WATERSUITE by Waterproof live

Waterproof live with harmony orchestra Amicitia
Hermine Schneider – video, trumpet, flugelhorn
Onno van Swigchem – saxophones
Fredrike de Winter – marimba, percussion

Waterproof live KhalifaWaterproof live Andrea Hacklde WatersuiteWaterproof live 4


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Tetzepi’s intriguing jazz is a choice find for open-minded music lovers. This Amsterdam-based big band formation advocates experiment and adventure. Tetzepi regularly invites Dutch and foreign composers working in jazz, improvised and contemporary music to explore the musical boundaries of their 14-strong ensemble. The result is an intriguing repertoire, performed by individual, passionate professionals resonating as a collective.


Tetzepi with Louis Sclavis

Tetzepi with Louis Sclavis in the TV programme ‘Vrije Geluiden’

Sclavis first encountered Tetzepi at a jazz festival held aboard a boat, and quickly became very excited about the band, its sound, and its potential. Sclavis considers himself to be a source of ideas and “bits and pieces”, rather than a full-blown composer. His ideas will form the seed for the next Tetzepi programme. The unrelenting energy of this extraordinary musician and his stirring way of working with grooves and sounds fits perfectly with Tetzepi and gives us an inspirational boost.

The beautiful opening solo by Onno van Swigchem transforms the music into a dialogue

STEFAN DE GRAAF, Jazzenzo jazz magazine
go to the review (in Dutch)

Onno van Swigchem concludes this invigorating concert with an impassioned solo on baritone sax
JAIR CHONG, Volkskrant go to the review (in Dutch)




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