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The Instant Composers Pool Artists in Residence at the 13th Gateshead International Jazz Festival

Posted on 17 March 2017

Sage Gateshead welcomes Amsterdam’s ten-strong Instant Composers Pool Orchestra as artists in residence at Gateshead International Jazz Festival, which takes place Friday 31 March – Sunday 2 April. Celebrating their 50th anniversary the Instant Composers Pool Orchestra (ICP) will be in residence all weekend with performances, a family show, improvisation masterclass, as well as a film screening and exhibition. Although some individual members such as Han Bennink, Misha Mengelberg and Ab Baars have performed before in the North East, this is the first ever visit of this hugely significant group in European Jazz to this region,.

The Instant Composers Pool is a unique and internationally renowned collective of Dutch composer-improviser-instrumentalists formed in 1967 by Misha Mengelberg, Han Bennink and Willem Breuker. Playing ragtime to swing, bop to free jazz, classical to carnival, the group continue to be at the forefront of the creative music scene they helped create over four decades ago.

Bookers can expect a spectacle of surprise in the ICPs evening concert (Saturday 1 April, 7pm) as the orchestra decides just a few minutes before the performance what they will be playing. The orchestra will also present a special family edition of the festival concert on Saturday afternoon (2pm).

Over the years, the ever-evolving orchestra has collaborated with many giants of the experimental music world. Their current line-up consists of ten of the most innovative musical voices from around the globe, including co-founder Han Bennink, one of the most in demand drummers in Europe, saxophonists/clarinettists Michael Moore and Ab Baars, and trombonist Wolter Wierbos.

Sadly co-founder Misha Mengelberg, who appeared along with Han Bennink at the 2006 Gateshead International Jazz Festival, passed away earlier this month and the weekend will mark a celebration of his life and contribution to music. Misha and So On is a documentary which follows Misha Mengelberg during his final international tour with the ICP and will be screened on Saturday afternoon (3.30pm). A selection of images by international and Dutch photographers that document the long career of Misha Mengelberg will also be on display in the building throughout the weekend.

Co founder Han Bennink said: “I cannot wait to come and play at Gateshead International Jazz Festival with ICP! Misha’s spirit will be with us – as always.”

Along with their performances, the ICP invite budding improvisers of all ages and abilities to join them in a two hour practical workshop for singers and instrumentalists (Sunday 2 April, 3pm).

To book tickets please contact Sage Gateshead Ticket Office either in person or by calling 0191 443 4661 or visit


For further information, images, interview requests please contact:
Jackie Thompson, Marketing & Communications Coordinator, Sage Gateshead
E. T. 0191 443 4602

Notes to Editors

The festival, produced by Sage Gateshead and London-based music producers Serious, is now in its 13th year.

Friday 31 March–Sunday 2 April
Misha Mengelberg Exhibition

Saturday 1 April, 2pm, Northern Rock Foundation Hall
Family Show with the Instant Composers Pool Orchestra

Saturday 1 April, 3.30pm, Northern Rock Foundation Hall
Misha and so on… A film on Misha Mengelberg

Saturday 1 April, 7pm, Northern Rock Foundation Hall
The Instant Composers Pool (ICP) Orchestra from Amsterdam plus Garibaldi Plop

Sunday 2 April, 3pm, The Barbour Room
Improvisation Masterclass with the Instant Composers Pool Orchestra