10/22/2012 11:51 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Fearless Lieder of the David Kweksilber Big Band (Video)

I've just come home from a three week musical odyssey that took me from The Netherlands, to Wales, and to Greece. More about this in upcoming posts-- which will contain a veritable cornucopia of music!

The opening night of the Dutch Jazz and World Meeting at Amsterdam's Bimhuis featured a performance by the very very big band of David Kweksilber. It was an excellent way to kick off the event, and I was impressed (as usual) with the overall level of playing and the intelligent fun of the compositions. The band combines contemporary classical, jazz, improv, r&b, and pop into their repertoire, and Guus Janssen's four "Love Songs" demonstrates all of the above. Janssen deconstructs Otis Redding's "Sad Song" and "I've got Dreams to Remember", Elvis Presley's "Love Me Tender" and a Barry White classic and turns them into musical collages that hint at the originals but only obliquely quote them.

The Fearless Lieder of the David Kweksilber Big Band from Michal Shapiro on Vimeo.

DKBB is: Werner Herbers, Alban Wesly, David Kweksilber, Leo van Oostrom, Michiel van Dijk, Peter van Bergen, Jasper Blom, Katharina Thomsen - reeds, Wolter Wierbos, Koen Kaptijn, Joost Buis, Toon van Ulsen, Mark Boonstra - trombone, Tjeerd Oostendorp - tuba, Anton Weeren, Erwin ter Bogt, Bert Langenkamp, Felicity Provan, Sanne van Hek - trumpet, Guus Janssen - piano, Wiek Hijmans - guitar, Sjeng Schupp - bass, Joey Marijs, Niels Meliefste - percussion, Peter Kok - dj/vj

This edition of the Dutch Jazz and World Meeting may well be the last one, as the government has cut funding for the organizations that promote contemporary art. Plans are being made to merge organizations, and find private donors, and I truly wish them well, but already the wonderful MCN has been liquidated, and the archives carted away.

A word to those who have cut the purse-strings: Van Gogh, whose paintings now make millions for The Netherlands in tourist money, was an avant garde "experimental" artist. How many more wondrous works of art might he have created with some encouragement, support, and most importantly, a public educated about the value of innovative art?