The Marit van der Lei Nextet is founded in 2015. Intrigued by the horn sections she had heard during her school years and through years of bigband singing, she started writing for a jazz combo starring a small horn section, and decided that she wanted to fulfill one horn part herself. This resulted in her debut album ‘in Other Words’. Marit writes contemporary music for her ‘nextet’, inspired by the music of Kenny Wheeler and Cecile Mclorin Salvant.
Marit van der Lei Nextet sounds sober, subtle and somewhat unpolished, in attempt to avoid the big gesture. Without excessive frills, lyrical compositions sounds through without falling into melodrama or patheticity for a single moment. 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.
In 2018, the Marit van der Lei Nextet debuted their first album 'In Other Words', which was received with enthusiasm.
Kika Sprangers Large Ensemble
The "Kika Sprangers Large Ensemble" plays original music composed by Kika. The compositions are melodic and lyrical, but are always worn by a solid groove. With the band Kika went looking for the reconciliation of these two elements in one band sound. On the 23rd of August we played our debut concert with the 'large ensemble' in Tivoli Cloud Nine. This ensemble consists of Kika's quintet, extended with three vocalists and a unique horn section (bass clarinet, horn, trumpet and flute). Because of this line-up a new sound has been added to our band sound and with that sound we have written new arrangements for this group. In September 2019 our new album will be released in a.o. Bimhuis Amsterdam.
Free The Voices
Together with colleague - vocalists and dear friends Anna Serierse and Sanne Rambags, Marit forms the vocal impro trio "Free the Voices". They met in the Large ensemble of Kika Sprangers. The three strong voices blend seamlessly, and their sounds are coming straight from their souls, with the intention to move spirits. Without a clear framework, they are free to ride on the waves of emotion and feminine energy towards a meditative state of being.
Doremikado/ De Ontspoking
These are two shows in collaboration with dance company "De Stilte". "De Ontspoking" is musically led by Martin Fondse and choreography/ artistically led by Jack Timmermans. "Doremirado" is a show with music by Helene Jank and and dance by Jenia Kasatkina.
Alice in Dixieland
Dutch Vintage Jazzband Alice in Dixieland is a group of six professional female jazzmusicians, who gleefully slalom between swing, mainstream, musical, dixieland and bebop. Beside their impeccable instrument control the musicians display their vocal qualities. That’s why the close-harmony vocals (Andrews Sisters) are one of the high features of the band.
Alice was founded in 1978 and has treated the audience to inspired soloing, sparkling close-harmony vocals, splattering horn collectives and a sympathetic stage performance from the Azores to Northern Finland, from Schotland to Poland, from Tunesia to Germany.
The band is named after the famous book of the English writer Lewis Carroll: “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, written in 1865. (Drawing of John Tenniel)
Marit's first experience with jazzmusic was at age 14, when her neighbor brought Marit to his bigband 'Melody & Rhythm'. Immediately impressed with the accompaniment of the bigband, singing along felt like coming home to her. At age 16, she brought along her own repertoire and started perform with them.
Along the way, Marit played many gigs with (semi) professional bigbands like Bigband Utrecht, Laundry bigband a.o.. The biggest highlight was to sing in the Matthew Herbent Bigband Choir, led by Maartje Meijer.
Under the leadership of twin brothers Aaron & Thomas Hanenberg, the band ABINTU conquers her place as one of the pioneers within their genre. The new group is one of the few afro-jazz oriented bands that use Surinamese texts. The passion for this genre originated from a mix of their Surinamese background, African rhythms and love for the harmonious depth of jazz. The brothers write and arrange both the music and the lyrics for the quintet. Their compositions are often inspired by Surinamese themes and stories. For example, some songs tell about forest spirits from the Winti culture and others talk about Surinamese Oddo's (proverbs / wisdoms).
Sources of inspiration are greats like Lionel Loueke, Jeff Ballard and Gretchen Parlato.