Meet De Jongens Driest, the world’s smallest brassband. Or, should you like, the world’s smallest fanfare, with fanfare being the all-Dutch equivalent of a brassband.

As in the Dutch tradition through the centuries, De Jongens Driest have a great urge to roam this world and buy or steal all things (musically) interesting. Long before the meaningless term ‘world music’ was invented, the Dutch travelled all over this globe to find the most interesting goods and spices to enrich their own culture. They found tulips in Turkey and made them into their national symbol. They liked the china they found in China so much, they re-made it. Nowadays, Delft Blue is known all over the world.

De Jongens Driest listened to brassbands from Macedonia, Mexico and New Orleans, to Miles and Rollins, Roland Kirk, Willie Colon and Rico Rodriguez. They kept the music of the Ramones, Zappa, Stravinsky, W.C.Handy and Duke Ellington in the back of their heads. They played jazz, rock, ska, klezmer, salsa and what’s not. They played in Big Bands and in small orchestras. Now they put it all together into one big, Dutch melting pot – adding all the spices they found on the way – with an undeniable personal approach.

De Jongens Driest have a great urge to roam this world and to pick up all things musically interesting. Being Dutch, De Jongens Driest combine this urge with a good sense of tradition.

De Jongens Driest still have half a leg standing loosely on the solid ground of Dutch Fanfare traditions. Even the smallest villages will house a group of enthusiasts that gather weekly to, after a week of individual practice, rehearse together. Most of these rehearsals will lead the band to a festival or contest, a battle of life and death to earn the highest reward; promotion to a higher category, or prestige (even better). And please take note; there is no ‘easy going’. Most players have started at young age, and many amateur brassplayers can match the professionals. De Jongens Driest are rooted in this tradition – they started as fanfare members, they heard this music in the days of their youth. And most important, they developed a keen ear for all things brass.

Everywhere in the world you will find brass-bands, or bands leaning heavily on brass instruments. Many of these groups have their roots in the European military brassband tradition. When countries like the United Kingdom, France and Spain started to colonize other parts of the world, they took their bands with them. And when teaching the people of these new countries how to play these instruments, these people too would know a tune or two of their own that would sound great on these horns. In fact, Jazz started this way. The French marching bands in New Orleans, and the music they played, are one major ingredient of the hot stew that became jazz. Even now, in New Orleans (and in other places too) you can still find a New Orleans Brass Band, often leading a group to a funeral, or just partying. And if you have a look at their clothing, you will find there’s still a resemblance to the military uniforms.

A show by De Jongens Driest is not like any concert. The trio packs the vast richness gathered yet delivers all the music they love through the smallest brassband possible. They stripped their fanfare to the bone: melody, harmony and bass. Played on soprano saxophone, trombone and sousaphone. Missing drums? Chet Baker said it thus – or likewise: a player with a good internal beat does not need the noise of a drummer. And they bring themselves. De Jongens Driest have to give all to keep a tune going. Not just to play the basics, but also to imply all things missing, like rhythms and more complex chords. They play with energy and eagerness. Three virtuoso musicians, not stuck to one particular style, toying about with all music they like.
And once again they find themselves within tradition: They have been said to have this ‘Dutch approach’, also found by avant-garde generation jazzers like Mischa Mengelberg, Han Bennink and Willem Breuker. They master the art of being serious without being serious.
De Jongens Driest will keep you nailed to your chair, while your body craves for a dance. Beat that!


Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!