Han Buhrs - voc,
This is one of the strangest and most acerbic groups appearing in the Festival this year. Han Buhrs sets the tone with his insistent and somewhat aggressive vocals bringing to mind the expression of Tim Buckley, the madcap American innovator active in the 60s-70s, and the experiments of avant-gardist Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart).
Nonetheless, Han Buhrs’ eccentricity and lyrics do not overshadow the skills and uniqueness of his stage partners. Intense, compelling grooves come from all four equally strong musicians from very different directions.
Rubatong fuses blues and rock energy, modern percussion colours and flavours of electronics with the performance passion. Every piece is a short film, a story in itself.
The group was formed in 2006 on the initiative of Han Buhrs, a multifaceted artist who apart from being an improviser has since 1984 been active in various fields such as (sound-)poetry, contemporary music, rock, theatre, dance and art manifestations.
He was the leader of The Schismatics (1983-1997), Nine Tobs, Sumbur, Diftong, Palinckx (1997-2007), collaborated with the renowned contemporary music collectives Asko Ensemble and Dutch Vocal Laboratory, as well as with Ab Baars, Wilbert de Joode, René van Barneveld, Ernst Reijseger, Misha Mengelberg, Johannes Bauer, The Ex Orkest, Han Bennink, George Lewis, Wolter Wierbos, Sean Bergin, Pierre Bastien, Jaap Blonk, Joseph Bowie and other coryphées.
In 1993, Han Buhrs received the Dutch Jazz Foundation’ Podiumaward.
Percussionist Tatiana Koleva is a celebrity on contemporary academic music scene. Born and having started her education in Bulgaria she has settled and made her name in the Netherlands – a country where modern art and music are so well developed. Even more, she has become a champion of music innovations. Next to her activities as a classical musician she is often involved in cross-genre projects with improvised jazz, rock and film music.
In addition to the existing repertoire, Tatiana Koleva has commissioned a number of compositions specially written for her and her projects and ensembles. Most of the pieces use her new performing technique of ‘marimba extended’ developed during the intense collaboration with the composers, using other percussion instruments, sound tracks and her voice. These experiments were crowned with her solo projects Rituals & Confessions and Hallandse Slag!
Tatiana Koleva chooses untraditional expression in collaborations with organist Jan Hage as well. Besides written compositions the duo’s performances feature improvisations, soundtracks and film excerpts.
The percussionist’s exceptional talent drew attention 20 years ago. In 1994, she has been awarded with the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis in Darmstadt (Germany). In 1995 she was finalist in the First World International Marimba Competition in the USA.
Performances of hers are regularly broadcast on Bulgarian, Dutch, German, Italian and Mexican radio and television. She works in the Netherlands and Bulgaria.
René van Barneveld is known worldwide as guitarist Tres Manos from Urban Dance Squad, one of the first rock bands that played with a rapper and a deejay. The band played all important rock festivals in Europe and the US; received the Dutch BV Popprijs in 1990 and their single Deeper Shade of Soul got a 21st position in the Billboard Hot 100 (the US) that same year.
He had also contributed to bands such as Gaga, Rufus Thomas and Fatal Flowers; has performed in a wide range of musical projects, varying from rock singer Anouk, Sjako!, Yearlings and Palinckx.
René van Barneveld teaches at the Amsterdam Sweelinck Conservatory.
Bassist Luc Ex once started off playing punk. Until 2002, he was one of the driving forces in The Ex, the group known for its unconventional interpretation of various musical styles. The Ex worked with a wide range of musicians and other artists amongst them Dutch drummer Han Bennink, the American cellist Tom Cora, the Belgian absurdist Kamagurka, the Malian group Lanaya and pop groups like Tortoise and Sonic Youth. In 1991, The Ex won the Dutch BV Popprijs.
Between 1995 and 1998 Luc Ex also toured with Roof, a quartet that he set up with Tom Cora, Michael Vatcher and Phil Minton. After Tom Cora died this group reformed itself into 4Walls with the English pianist Veryan Weston.
The bassist presently plays in Franz Hautzinger’s Regenorchestre (with Japanese multiinstrumentalist Otomo Yoshihide) and Speeq. Moreover, Luc Ex is one of the founders and persons responsible of Konkurrent, an independently operating CD-producer and distributor.