Holenderska wokalistka Greetje Bijma po raz pierwszy zyskała szersze uznanie dla swojego talentu na początku lat 80-tych. Będąc całkowitym samoukiem zrobiła wielkie wrażenie na publiczności festiwali jazzowych w całej Europie. Jej śpiew charakteryzuje się wysokim poziomem wokalnym i interpretacyjnym, twórczo wykorzystującym dźwięk, przestrzeń i ciszę. Dzięki śmiałemu czerpaniu z rozmaitych, czasami dziwnych technik wokalnych, zdobyła sobie na dobre uznanie w świecie muzyki jazzowej i improwizowanej. Na przestrzeni swojej kariery występowała jako pojedyncza solistka, jak również z różnymi zespołami, takimi jak holenderski Noodband, grupa wokalna Direct Sound czy wreszcie ze swoim własnym kwintetem.
Born in Stiens, the Netherlands, Greetje Bijma began her musical career in the late seventies, singing improvised songs, which she underlined with a few basic guitar chords. In 1980, Canadian saxophone player and composer Alan Laurillard asked her to join his Improvised Music Ensemble. Shortly afterwards, Laurillard organized the Dutch "Noodband" - with Greetje as guest singer. Together with Laurillard, she formed her own quintet in 1984 and made her first record the year after ("Amycamus"). The resulting publicity made it possible to receive concert offers not only in the jazz field, but also from the theatre and rock sectors.
In 1988, her second record ("Dark Moves") was produced by Kunle Mwanga, at that time manager / producer of saxophonist David Murray. In the following years, Greetje organized a special program for theatre concerts which gave her quintet a larger audience. In 1989, she toured with the avant-garde vocal quintet Direct Sound, including David Moss and Shelley Hirsch (among others). Greetje's international breakthrough came after a successful concert at the Jazzfest in Berlin in 1989, which was completely broadcast by German television.
In December 1990 Greetje Bijma was presented the Boy Edgar Award, the greatest honour for a jazz artist in the Netherlands - and never before awarded to a lady. In 1991, she was also honoured with the Dutch 'Duke of Duketown' Award, originally meant for jazz organizers and managers. This was the first time a musician (and a woman) got this prize. The following year, a Dutch radio program, consisting of an improvised concert by Greetje Bijma and pianist / composer Louis Andriessen, was awarded with the prestigious international Prix Italia for cultural broadcast programs in 1992. In 1994 she joined the cooperative trio "Freezing Screens" with keyboardplayer Jasper Van't Hof and percussionist Pierre Favre. "Freezing Screens" had a tremendous success at the prestigious Donaueschingen Festival of New Music and continues to amaze European audiences. (enjarecords)
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