One of the finest young saxophonists in Europe today, Bart Wirtz has a flexible and versatile style that ranges from hard bop to freer explorations. Wirtz has his own sound and open-minded approach to playing jazz. After winning several honors (including the Erasmus Jazz Prize, the Leiden Jazz Award and the Breda Jazz Prize) he became very busy with his career and has not stopped since.
Bart Wirtz has become an important member of different jazz groups.
Monsieur Dubois is a danceable hardjazz group mixing together funk, soul jazz, jungle beats and afro grooves. Monsieur Dubois has thus far recorded three CD's: Ruff, Soul Integration and Slow Bombastik. The Artvark Saxophone Quartet gives Wirtz another separate area of music to explore. The a capella quartet, grooves while also being open to playing free and adventurous solos and ensembles without the comfort of a rhythm section. They made two albums and are touring with the famous soprano Claron McFadden. The Very Next is a ten-piece band with all original compositions, mostly written by Wirtz. And as a member of the Rotterdam Jazzorchestra he performed with many great artists. The last of the main groups that feature the altoist is his own quartet which has been together for five years. “ I believe that all of the best music that I listen to and play is music that is being played by coherent working collectives. Performing with the other bands has given me the extra inspiration and drive to pursue my own musical vision.”
This young and dynamic Quartet features Jasper Soffers on piano, Jeroen Vierdag on bass and Joost van Schaik on drums. They released the album 'prologue' in 2009 and played on different big stages and festivals like the North Sea Jazzfestival.
Besides performing all over the world with these different groups, Bart Wirtz has his own radioshow on Arrow JazzFM. Together with another altoplayer and radiohost Rolf Delfos, he features dutch jazz on national radio.
His new album 'iDreamer' (awarded the Edison Jazzism Audience Award 2012), which was recorded in New York, features a fantastic and unique line-up:
Nicholas Payton - Trumpet
Xavier Davis - Piano
Richie Goods - Bass
Kendrick Scott - Drums
With this amazing quintet, Bart Wirtz delivers an album with pure chemistry from the beginning.