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. A logical extension of such giants as Jackie McLean, Frank Morgan and Art Pepper among others, Wirtz has his own sound and open-minded approach to playing jazz. Born in the Netherlands, he attended the Rotterdam Conservatory, winning several honors (including the Erasmus Jazz Prize, the Leiden Jazz Award and the Breda Jazz Prize) while in the conservatory. Wirtz graduated in 2002 and then spent a half-year in New York. Returning to Amsterdam, he became very busy with his career and has not stopped since. Bart Wirtz has become an important member of five different jazz groups. The Young Sinatras is a ten-piece band that includes singer Paul van Kessel. Monsieur Dubois is quite a bit different in style, mixing together funk, soul jazz, jungle beats and Afro grooves. Monsieur Dubois has thus far recorded two CDs for Challenge: Ruff and Soul Integration. 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. Wirtz describes the 16-piece Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra as “the best young Dutch musicians in one big band conducted by Johan Plomp.”
For his new album, with a brand new American band with a great line-up, he recorded in New York!