Our projects in 2015 and 2016

1) Zapp4 + Jan Bang

‘a beguiling quintet’ (BBC Radio) 

‘a highly dynamic, increasingly intense piece of work’ (All About Jazz)

These are two of the reactions to the concert performed by Zapp4 and Jan Bang last September at the renowned Punkt Festival in Norway.

Jan Bang had been a high entry on the list of players/producers Zapp4 wanted to work with for years.  This Norwegian live-sampling wizard makes brilliant CDs (for the ECM label) and works in music with the biggest names on earth (including Arve Henriksen, David Sylvian and Tigran Hamasyan). 

Last year, Festival November Music invited Zapp4 to do a concert with Jan Bang.

This first collaboration was an immense success; the boundaries between acoustic instruments and electronics fused into a new universe in which Zapp and Bang told a story that remained fascinating from beginning to end.

A new highlight of the collaboration consisted of two performances at the Norwegian Punkt Festival in 2014. Two press quotations:

Fiona Talkington (BBC radio 3) on the London Jazz News website: ‘Jan Bang proudly showed off one of his own finds, the Dutch experimental string quartet Zapp4 with whom he had been working in the Netherlands. They make a beguiling quintet with hints of Janacek, Bartok and Richard Strauss whipping up a frenzied standing ovation from the audience.’

Henning Bolte on the All About Jazz website: ‘The music departed into dark moods, deep abysses and inferno sceneries moving on to forcefully hammered pizzicatos reminiscent of cellist Tom Cora at times. Zapp and Bang maintained the gripping high tension over the whole, the complete stretch with lots of impressive shiftings and swelling overflows, a highly dynamic, increasingly intense piece of work that, in the end, triggered a standing ovation and made a real mark.’ 


2) Zapp4 looks back and flows forward: ZappXplosion

 After the successes of the CDs ‘Radiohunter’ and ‘We Suck Young Blood’, winning the Sena Performers Toonzetters Award (2012) and the numerous concerts this renowned quartet has played at home and abroad over the last few years, they find it is time for some retrospection. However, there is no looking back without looking ahead. The result: a collage of compositions and sounds as you are accustomed to from Zapp4, plus new work, inspired by recent collaborations with the Norwegian producer Jan Bang and the intractable guitar virtuoso Marc Ribot. Radiohead, poetry, pure deformed sounds, Zapp4 is caught up by raw reality. And the gents? They think nothing of it and come up with the wildest rocking novelties.


Jasper le Clercq - violin
Jeffrey Bruinsma - violin
Oene van Geel - viola
Emile Visser - cello


 3) Ballet Imaginaire

Zapp4 + Jörg Brinkmann (cello) and Ernst Glerum (double bass)

Consisting merely of personal compositions, Ballet Imaginaire is an uplifting and agile ode to dance of all times and styles. Inspirations for this adventure include music from ‘West Side Story’ by Bernstein, the ‘Nutcracker Suite’ by Tchaikovsky, but also the work of Duke Ellington, James Brown and Squarepusher.

Assisted by the quintessential improviser Ernst Glerum (Boy Edgar Prize 2009) and the unique jazz cellist Jörg Brinkmann (cellist with Eric Vloeimans), Zapp4 creates a landscape of sultry passacaglias, dreamy ragtime and angular hip hop.

An Imaginary Ballet in the broadest sense of the word, without dance!

Ernst Glerum – double bass
Jörg Brinkmann – cello


 4) Meestervervalsers (Master Forgers)

 Zapp4 and Kapok are on a raid

 They travel from place to place, live in quiet, stately places and then suddenly reappear somewhere to sell their wares. Are we dealing with a ‘Wayne Shorter’, a ‘Brad Mehldau’, ‘Igor Stravinsky’, ‘Hermeto Pascoal’ or a fresh ‘D'Angelo’?

As quickly as they unpack their instruments and play, they disappear again. The sounds continue to float in everyone’s memory. And there is always that question: Could it be we are dealing with quirky personal concoctions here? But hang on, you can hear the influence of the great masters…

It seems a life full of romance but not one without risks. The judicial system is in full swing but the gentlemen prove to be chameleons (‘of Herbie Hancock?’) and have been elusive up until now…

 Zapp4 +:


Morris Kliphuis horn
Timon Koomen guitar
Remco Menting drums

 Meestervervalsers is booked by:

Rob van den Bosch
+31 (0)20 2333 697

5) Our project outside of the Netherlands: The Radiohead songbook

The music of Radiohead is beyond category. This passionate English rock band has been immortalized because of their originality, catchy songs and their urge to innovate. They keep experimenting and navigate between spicy guitars, hypnotizing grooves and mysterious electronics. The unmistakable voice of Thom Yorke combined with the, at times, almost baroque harmony of their songs, distinguish Radiohead from other contemporary bands and makes them one of the most remarkable rock bands of this era.
In the year 2012 string quartet Zapp4 takes the challenge to play “The Radiohead songbook”. In this program Zapp4 interprets songs of possibly the most popular band since the Beatles and plays its own fresh and sparkling arrangements of songs like Paranoid Android and We suck young blood. The playfulness and timeless lyrical approach of Radiohead fits seamlessly with the spirit of Zapp4. The core of each song stays intact while they contribute to it with complete original Zappian ingredients.