Dutch saxophonist/composer Marike van Dijk began playing jazz as a precocious 14 year old. She went on to study at the Rotterdam Conservatory from which she graduated (cum laude) in 2006. She continued her studies at the Amsterdam Conservatory, obtaining her master's degree in jazz performance (cum laude). In 2009 Marike was nominated for the prestigious Dutch "Deloitte jazz award" and the "Amersfoort jazz talent award". JazzNL, a foundation for promoting young Dutch jazz talent, selected her as an "artist deserving wider recognition". Prior to moving to the Big Apple, van Dijk toured Europe extensively, performing at prestigious festivals and venues with her quintet, and the European Jazz Orchestra, among others. In May 2013 she obtained her second masters degree, this time from New York University, for which she was awarded a full scholarship by the Dutch government. In 2014 van Dijk was awarded a sizeable (and quite competitive) composition grant from the Dutch Performing Arts Fund for composing for large ensembles, and she is currently a member of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, led by Jim McNeely. The Brooklyn-based artist's debut album Patches of Blue was released in 2010, and she now offers the brilliant follow up, The Stereography Project on BJURecords.
The Stereography Project is a twelve-piece jazz group with string quartet led by van Dijk. This New York based group features young, creative, musically-powerfully individuals, all deeply rooted in the jazz tradition, and like van Dijk, committed to furthering that tradition: Marike van Dijk (saxes/compositions), Ben van Gelder on bass clarinet/alto sax (Monk Competition semi-finalist), Alan Ferber on trombone (Grammy Nominee), Anna Webber on flute/tenor sax (Charlie parker award winner), Lucas Pino on clarinet/tenor sax (DownBeat Magazine award winner), and Sita Chay/Eli Speirs (violin), Eric Lemmon (viola), Amanda Gookin (vocals), Manuel Schmiedel (piano), Rick Rosato (bass), Mark Schilders (drums), Defne Sahin & Ruben Samama (vocals), Dan Pratt (conductor), John Davis (recording and mixing), Scott Hull (mastering)
Van Dijk's compositions mix contemporary classical music with jazz and improvisation. All compositions were inspired by images and music van Dijk experienced throughout her childhood in The Netherlands as well as her life in New York City; contrasting her experiences of spacious views of fields, forests and lakes with the ever changing, but non-stop energy, of New York City. Van Dijk's highly narrative, compelling style of composing is best described as, "film music without the film".