12 Points Festival

BIMHUIS, Amsterdam
September 25-28, 2019
text: Storm Bakker

pics: Françoise Bolechowski

From September 25 till 28, the Amsterdam BIMHUIS was dominated by the thirteenth edition of the bustling European 12 Points festival: 4 days, 12 bands, 12 cities, 1 stage. "The freshest, hottest sounds in jazz and contemporary experimental music." (Irish Times).”12 Points presents promising European acts that distinguish themselves through their courage, energy, boundlessness and talent. During 12 Points you can feel the breadth, energy, diversity and ambition of the jazz musicians of the future!" A beautiful program was compiled, packed with surprising and promising acts, including Kasia Pietrzko Trio (POL), Trio Heinz Herbert (CHE), No Tongues (FRA), Family Band (GBR), The Brums and JUNO (NOR). This line-up attracted a nice mixed audience, with a particularly large number of young people striking.

ProgJazz reports.

photography © Françoise Bolechowski / BIMHUIS f.l.t.r. Sun-Mi Hong, Xavi Torres, Guy Salamon

Orange Line

Artists such as Sun-Mi Hong (KOR), Xavi Torres (ESP) and Guy Salamon (ISR) were also added to the program. These are talented artists in the Netherlands, sometimes called "the new jazz scene in Amsterdam". During the international 12 Points festival, these talents were cleverly presented as "the sparkling fringe program ORANGE LINE". The funny thing is that none of these Orange talents actually comes from the Netherlands. English is the official language in Amsterdam, the AHK (Conservatory) and the BIMHUIS, where the Spaniards, Koreans and Scandinavians are the main tone, also tonight. We meet a Finnish student there, besides a German jazz photographer who runs down between Amsterdam and Nordhorn every day.


BIMHUIS Amsterdam (*), founded by musicians like Willem Breuker and Han Bennink in 1974, is nowadays one of the most important venues in international jazz. Especially since the move to 't IJ, the intimate concert hall with a view of the city and the railway, the BIMHUIS has been a household name at home and abroad. The Place To Be for improvising artists and an audience of enthusiasts, music lovers and connoisseurs, enjoying concerts by up-and-coming talents such as Sun-Mi Hong, Kika Sprangers and Sanne Rambags, to great masters such as John Scofield, who gives a concert every year, or Jack DeJohnette, who once ate some 'bitterballs' with us in the café. Since 2018, Frank van Berkel is the programmer and Mijke Loeven the director. A dynamic duo with a clear, committed mission.

Mijke Loeven

The latter surprised us on the final evening of the four-day 12 Points Festival, in the role of hostess at the door. That shows character. We also spoke to her once again in the evening, at the closure of the event. It is striking that Loeven is inspired and personally involved. We wanted to congratulate her on a very successful project week, but she continued to flood with enthusiasm for the young girls from JUNO, the popjazz-band that had just performed. Emphatically, she pointed out the importance of the feminist element of these young Norwegian women.


After the concerts it was nice to be in the BIMHUIS-bar, with delicious service and quick beers. Led by the cheerful drummer Guy Salamon, there was a high level jamsession, that sounded more like a concert. The players (Danisch guitarist Teis Semey, Mexican singer Fuensanta Méndez and Scottish trumpet player Alister Payne) seemed well acquainted with each other and each other's materials and arrangements. They enjoyed more 'ad libitum' moments in the club than on stage. Lively and versatile, energetic en conjunctive. Also Mona Krogstad (sax), Georgia Wartel Collins (bass) and drummer Ingvald Vassbø (**) from JUNO stepped in, next to Irish saxophonist Riley Stone-Lonergan (Familyband). All three are students from the prestigious Jazz Academy in Trondheim. This way, BIMHUIS is not only the home of the so-called 'new jazz scene in Amsterdam' or even 'The Next Generation of Dutch Jazz', it is =in essence- on the eve of becoming the firebox of a worldwide scene. Korean drummer Sun-Mi Hong had the final say. Cherished by Dutch masters like Karel Boehlee and Jasper Blom, the studious Sun is heading for years of uninterrupted prosperity, growth and success. With her magic, sagacity and humor Sun brings joy to our world.

(*) BIM stands for 'Beroepsvereniging van Improviserende Musici' = Professional Association of Improvising Musicians)

(**) Ingvald is a great progjazz-drummer with sudden death fills and high speed hi hat statements. He is a super hyggelig young man, raised by his father in the tradition of Zeuhl. He is also a brave man, for in november Ingvald takes his dazzling girlfriend Thea Ellingsen Grant to the concert of Magma at the Cosmopolite.