b. 17 May 1957, Rotterdam, Netherlands. Playing alto saxophone from childhood, Van Kemenade played professionally from 1976, leading his own bands, which usually played his own compositions, while he was a student at Brabants Conservatory in Tilburg, Holland. He also played as sideman in many bands, ranging from duos up to big bands. Among these groups were Niko Langenhuijsen’s Vaalbleek and Alex Von Schlippenbach’s Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, 1989, in which he played alongside musicians such as Kenny Wheeler, Ed Thigpen and Benny Bailey. Van Kemenade also worked with the Surinam Music Ensemble, and on a number of multi-media projects, linking up with poets, painters and dancers. For a number of years he was co-leader of the workshop orchestra Boventoon, and conductor of another workshop orchestra, Brabants Leerorkest.
For many years he has also taught extensively in his native land. His own quintet was formed in 1983, and the following year he received the Podiumprize of the SJIN (the Dutch Jazz Foundation). He continued to lead his quintet, which from 1989 was fairly settled in personnel, with Hans Sparla (trombone), Jeroen van Vliet (piano), Eric van der Westen (bass), and Pieter Bast (drums). With this group, he toured extensively in Europe, Canada and South Africa. He also led a septet and the Podium trio. Additionally, he has worked with the Surinam Music Ensemble, with Contraband (an occasional big band led by trombonist Willem van Manen), with van der Westen’s post-bop octet, Pulsation, the 1-2-3-4-5-Sextet, with Jasper Van’t Hof, and numerous others. Although his name remains rather less know than should be the case to the international music community, Van Kemenade’s activities in a wide range of artistic fields, allied as this is to his teaching activities, have made him both prominent and important in his homeland.