"Marit's beautiful long notes are interspersed with clear fluent diction and rhythms, poetic words and story lines. And everywhere you hear the love for Jazz! "- Fay Claassen
Marit van der Lei (1994, Eibergen) is a Dutch vocalist, born in the very east of Holland. Her warm and expressive voice originates in the inspiration she gets from horn players like Branford Marsalis and Kenny Wheeler. This intrigue with horn players led her to a very instrumental way of thinking about sound, phrasing and composition.
As a result, the music she writes for her own ‘Marit van der Lei Nextet’ sounds intense, sometimes low-key, in which the expressiveness seems to increase exponential. Her debute album ‘in other words’ (2018) was received with enthusiasm, and Marit name is now often being called in the next generation of jazz vocalists of the Netherlands by a.o. Jazzism magazine.
Her broad musical interest brought her a concert during the Montreux Jazz Festival, let her be a part of the strings section the 'Startas Orkester' (Keep an Eye award 2014) and let her work with the 'Matthew Herbert Brexit Big Band Choir,' with which she performed during North Sea Jazz 2017 and Middelheim Jazz.
At the moment, besides following her own exiting journey with her Nextet, she is a.o. singing in the Large Ensemble of Kika Sprangers with Anna Serierse and Sanne Rambags, too other vocalists with whom she is going on tour with the children theatre play ‘de ontspoking’ led by Martin Fondse (Boy Edgar Prijs 2018) starting June 2019.
After graduating Utrechts Conservatory with a 9 'with distinction', Marit is currently doing a masters research at the Royal Conservatoire in Den Hague. She explores the possibilities of the voice as a part of a horn section, as a singer and as a composer. Doing this mostly by researching the music of Kenny Wheeler (with Norma Winstone) and Cecile Mclorin Salvant, she forms her own story by singing. Her singing is characterized by not only using words and lyrics as a way of expression, but mostly dancing around the endless possibilities and sounds a voice can have. She hereby is led by none other than Yvonne Smeets and Henk Huizinga.