"Necessity is the mother of invention." - Frank Zappa

Tony Overwater is an award winning bass player whose sound and unique way of playing have established him as a key player in the European music world. He is a remarkable solo performer and leader of his own projects but also a collaborative and attentive sideman. He is well known for his pioneering work in Arab music.

In 1995 Tony Overwater went on tour with the Yuri Honing Trio through the Middle East, notably Lebanon and Syria, and fell in love with Arab music culture. He met musicians from lebanon, Syria and Iraq and started a long time collaboration with the Lebanese singer Rima Khcheich.

He has been involved in Arab music ever since and developed a unique new playing style on the acoustic bass which allows him to play the microtonality of the Arab scales. He has been studying the maqams (scales), rhythms and songs of classical Arab music. He recorded several albums with Rima Khcheich and eventually became the musical director of her ensemble. Regularly Rima Khcheich and Tony Overwater play duo concerts in which they perform classical Arab music in muwashah style in which the acoustic bass replaces the Oud. This has never been done before and is highly successful at festivals around the world.

Tony Overwater played concerts with many arab musicians among which Moroccan ud player Said Chraibi, Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh and Algerian violinist Kheiredinne M’Kachiche. 

He started a salon of Arab music in the Netherlands, Salon Joussour, creating a bridge between musicians from the Middle East and Europe. 

in 2009, together with pianist Rembrandt Frerichs and percussionist/drummer Vinsent Planjer, Tony Overwater formed  the Rembrandt Frerichs Trio. Three musicians with strong interest and highly developed skills in Arab music and with roots in Western classical music and jazz united in the trio to play with different guest musicians from the Middle East. 

Tony Overwater has created the music for many documentaries, among which the Berlin Award winning documentary Justice For Sergei and Om de Oude Wereldzee about Dutch politician Abraham Kuyper.

Featured on

Tony Overwater | Atzko Kohashi
Madar Ensemble
It’s Still Autumn
Kayhan Kalhor / Rembrandt Frerichs / Tony Overwater / Vinsent Planjer
Atzko Kohashi / Angelo Verploegen / Tony Overwater
The Contemporary Fortepiano
Rembrandt Frerichs Trio
Washwishni (vinyl)
Rima Khcheich
Rima Khcheich
Yuri Honing Trio
Ik ben een held
Levantasy (East-West Intercultural Adventures in Music)
Kepera Trio & Yoram Lachish
Jungle Boldie
Jungle Boldie
Rima Khcheich
Kikker heeft de blues
Overwater, Tony Quintet & Vries, Nico de
En blanc et noir #10
Roon, Marc Van & Overwater, Tony & Kegel, Wim Ft. Vloeimans, Eric
Yuri Honing Wired Paradise
Ellington Suites
Overwater, Tony Trio & Calefax Reed Quintet
Kikker swingt
Tony Overwater Kwintet & Max Velthuijs
Faces of China
Tony Overwater
Tony Overwater
Yuri Honing Trio
Up Close
Tony Overwater
Motion Music
Tony Overwater


Rima Khcheich at Paradiso Amsterdam