Arend Niks

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Dutch avant jazz drummer/composer Arend Niks is a member of Corrie en de Grote Brokken and also leads the Niks Project and New Niks.
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Born in Schiedam, The Netherlands, in 1960, drummer/composer Arend Niks has been a valued collaborator in a number of Dutch jazz and creative music ensembles and has also led a pair of his own projects -- but if you're hoping to play bass in one of his groups, you might be out of luck, regardless of the extent of your talents.

Having studied percussion at the Rotterdam Conservatory until 1986, Niks has demonstrated wide-ranging interests and capabilities as both player and composer. He is the drummer in and has also composed music for hotshot guitarist Corrie van Binsbergen's avant jazz-rock outfit Corrie en de Grote Brokken (appearing on various discs with the group starting in 1990), but also penned the composition "Amoeba Escape" for solo violin, performed by Janine Jansen and appearing on the 1999 NM Classics recording 24 Capriccios for Violin from the Netherlands, also featuring pieces written by Michiel Braam, Willem Breuker, Guus Janssen, Cor Fuhler, and others. In addition, Niks appeared as a percussionist on the 1993 Loes Luca/Willem Breuker Kollektief album This Way, Ladies! (Deze Kant Op, Dames!), a musical theater piece recorded live at the Stadsschouwburg in Amsterdam the previous year. He has also worked with other theater and dance productions, and with string quartets including the Mondriaan (frequent WBK collaborators) and Zapp.

His own Niks Project octet -- which his website proclaims has "no bass!" (the low notes covered by tuba or cello when necessary) -- released the album Future Museum in 1998. In 2003 Niks premiered his new quartet, the aptly named New Niks -- also featuring no bass! -- at the Jazz International Rotterdam festival, and three years later the quartet, including Erwin Hoorweg on electric piano, Andreas Suntrop on electric guitar, and the Zapp String Quartet's Jasper le Clercq on violin in addition to drummer/composer Niks, issued its debut disc, Penguin Village. In 2009 New Niks collaborated with the Artvark Saxophone Quartet on a new disc, Busy Busy Busy, and the band returned in its original quartet lineup (again with no bass) for third album On in 2012, delivering more music that the group describes as "eloustic acouctric comprovised manhandmade films for ears."

However, lest one think that Niks is completely bass-averse when taking a band leadership role, it should be noted that Niks and saxophonist Frans Vermeerssen, co-leaders of the quartet No Can Do, allowed bassist Mischa Cool into the lineup for the group's 2000 Bvhaast album, Tomorrow's Paper (the band is also noteworthy for including Wolter Wierbos, arguably The Netherlands' premier trombonist in creative jazz and improvisation). Perhaps Vermeerssen convinced Niks that a bassist can perform a valuable purpose in a jazz quartet now and then.