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DASH! is an Amsterdam based modern free-funk group spearheaded by award-winning saxophonist, clarinetist and composer Maarten Ornstein. The music of DASH! draws from jazz, blues, funk and contemporary music as well as using a number of ethnic influences. Bassist Alex Oele and drummer Eric Hoeke provide solid yet unpredictable, ever evolving foundations for Ornstein's eclectic style which ranges from Arab quarter-tone maqams to bop and back.
A winner of several awards for outstanding soloist, Maarten Ornstein strives continually to learn new styles and forms and use them in his highly personal compositions. Having studied with great masters such as Harry Sparnaay for bass clarinet, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia for bansuri as well as the great John Ruocco for saxophone, Ornstein has developed a very personal approach to playing and composing. This approach is clearly reflected in the music Ornstein writes for DASH! as well as for other ensembles. Strong rhythmic foundations with a distinct funk and afrobeat flavour propel shifting melodies that are easily remembered yet intricate in their construction.
In concert the group engages in complex interplay, often leading each other into new directions. Stretches of free improvisation are interrupted by tight and hard swinging ensemble work. Audiences always comment on how accesible the music is. despite its complexity. Watching DASH! live is an engaging, almost physical experience as you see the musicians push each other and themselves to the limits, making the group one of Holland's most exciting modern music ensembles.