Thank you for coming to DDBF ’23!

Exactly one week ago Theater Zuidplein’s doors burst open for the fourth edition of DDBF, and what an edition it was!

With Kalpanarts & Mark Haanstra’s Tara opening the BPD Bouwfonds Gebiedsontwikkeling Stage with a moving synergy of bass guitar and Indian dance and Renaud Garcia-Fons opening the Sena Stage with a breathtaking solo show, the edition got off to a flying start!

This year we had more ateliers-in-residence than ever before occupying both the ground and top floors of Theater Zuidplein. The bass cinema was also running again and Talking Bass sessions by Roman Patkoló, Adam Ben Ezra and Renaud Garcia-Fons all took place on the Friday.

Laura Nygren‘s Show Pony was the undisputed highlight of the 1A First Alternative stage where she joined harpist Beata Loonstra giving a scintillating concert of original works featuring song, harp, double bass and electronics.

The first orchestra we’ve ever had at DDBF was another highlight of the Friday – Zagreb Soloists ft. Roman Patkoló (Double Bass) and Miriam Rodriguez Brüllova (Guitar). Roman and Miriam dazzled in the Dutch premiere of Sylvie Bodorová‘s double concerto for Double Bass and Guitar as well as pleasing the crowd later with some show-stopping virtuoso works.

Closing the Sena Stage for day 1 of DDBF was Adam Ben Ezra who didn’t disappoint with a phenomenal, emotional and at times jaw-dropping solo set. Adam stayed for the second day of the festival and made an impactful appearance on dutch television programme Podium Klassiek on the Sunday after the festival.

Sadly festival headliner Dominik Wagner had to pull out of his appearance at short notice due to injury but we are thrilled that Leon Bosch, internationally esteemed bassist and conductor was happy to replace him, borrowing a bass from Stefan Krattenmacher, one of this year’s ateliers in residence. Together with pianist Reineke Broekhans Leon gave a deeply moving concert of Negro Spirituals on the Sena Stage, only a few hours before he conducted the world premiere of Music For Basses (Black Lotus).

One of the festival’s most challenging and exciting projects to date has to be Music For Basses (Black Lotus) – the new work written especially for DDBF by young rising star composer A. Crespo Barba. The piece was commissioned by DDBF and written for 60 (!) double bass players and two percussionists. To gather this many skilled players to put together such an ambitious new work we turned to conservatories across Europe. In the end we welcomed 42 students from 18 different countries to Rotterdam and 18 students from across the Netherlands to put this work together under the excellent guidance of Leon Bosch, with the composer present at all rehearsals. Ultimately the world premiere of Music for Basses (Black Lotus) took place on Saturday the 14th in the atrium of Theater Zuidplein, the audience encircled by the bassists and percussion. The work was stirring and deeply moving and definitely a highlight of all the four editions we’ve so far had of DDBF!

Saturday the 14th also saw festival founder James Oesi premiering his new programme with string orchestra Kamerata Zuid which featured another world premiere: A Rose on A Fence, a new bass concerto written especially for James by friend of the festival Derrick Hodge. Bassists Dario Calderone and Robert Landfermann both gave spectacular solo shows on the 1A First Alternative Stage and Teun Creemers’ Naamu featuring charismatic and beguilingly talented balofon player Mamadou Diabate along with an incredibly tight band closed the BPD Bouwfonds Gebiedsonteikkeling Stage.

Over at the Sena Stage, bassist Brady Watt gave his first European headlining show and at the end of his set he welcomed Dutch rap sensation Typhoon on stage as surprise guest, the two tore the house down which set the scene for the final act of the night on the Sena Stage, Dirty Loops.

After a rollicking, humorous and impressive show by Dirty Loops, with extra attention given to bassist Henrik Linder, the festival finally closed with the last performance of DDBF ’23 – fantastic young band NAUSYQA on the 1A First Alternative Stage!

All in all we had two unforgettable festival days and want to thank all of you who came out to celebrate the Bassist as Soloist with us!
If you were there please spread the word and keep following us so that we can come back even stronger for DDBF ’25!

And let us know what you thought of the festival by replying to this email!

Support Dutch Double Bass Festival for a sustainable future!

Our team is buzzing with energy after this truly fantastic edition of DDBF. However, we’re a small team with big dreams. To nurture all these dreams, we’re genuinely seeking two things: a helping hand and financial support. 😎

So, we’d like to ask you: Are you interested in contributing to our organization? This could involve various roles, from marketing to production to fundraising, no task too big or small. Or perhaps you have innovative ideas for new revenue streams. If you’re a business owner, you might even consider sponsorship, whether it’s financial support or through a barter arrangement. We’re eager to have a conversation with you! Please drop us an email at!

Full lineup of Dutch Double Bass Festival’s fourth edition announced!

With i.a. Dirty Loops, Adam Ben Ezra, James Oesi & Kamerata Zuid, Renaud Garcia-Fons, Brady Watt ‘Bass & Bars’ and Teun Creemers’ Naamu ft. Mamadou Diabaté

Rotterdam – The spectacular band Dirty Loops, festival founder James Oesi with chamber orchestra Kamerata Zuid (premiering newly commissioned music by composer and bassist Derrick Hodge), Flamenco bassist Renaud Garcia-Fons, American hip-hop bassist and producer Brady Watt and Teun Cremers’ acclaimed band Naamu will be among those performing at the fourth edition of Dutch Double Bass Festival. The only festival in the world in which the bass takes centre stage can be seen and heard on October 13th and 14th of this year in Theater Zuidplein, Rotterdam. Full ticket sales for the festival start today. A total of 18 acts will perform – from pop bands to classical groups – with the double bass and bass guitar in the lead.

Only in the Netherlands!

As well as putting together unique collaborations, Dutch Double Bass Festival programmes a large number of acts exclusively for the Netherlands. A prime example of this is the band Dirty Loops with bassist Hendrik Lindner at the forefront, a phenomenon in the music world since 2008. Recognized for their completely unique versions of, for example, Baby by Justin Bieber or Rolling in the Deep by Adele and of course from their own work. Their inimitable mix of disco, soul, jazz, fusion, pop, gospel, funk and electronica makes for incredibly energetic live performances. At Dutch Double Bass Festival there will of course be even more attention for Lindner’s star role in the band!

Ten years ago Adam Ben Ezra released his iconic ‘Can’t STop Running’. The YouTube release was the beginning of his star status! With his videos garnering more than twenty million views Adam Ben Ezra can count himself as one of the world’s most influential bass players. “Bringing the double bass out of the shadows” to quote the BBC! His solo live performances in which he performs multiple instruments and exploits electronics have become a worldwide phenomenon. This year sees the release of his fifth album and his 10 year career anniversary, both of which he’ll be celebrating at Dutch Double Bass Festival.

Renaud Garcia-Fons, nicknamed the ‘Paganini of the double bass’ and world famous for his brilliant and idiosyncratic performances of flamenco on the double bass will also be coming exclusively to Rotterdam to perform at the festival.

Brady Watt is an Instagram and YouTube sensation. His online series Bass & Bars sees him performing with world famous rappers sich as Warren G, Marc Rebillet and Talib Kweli and has reached millions of followers. With his bass guitar and double bass Watt makes impressive and compelling improvisations under and in reaction to the rappers words. At DDBF expect a very special live version of Bass & Bars.

Festival founder James Oesi will be collaborating with Tilburg’s innovative chamber orchestra Kamerata Zuid to perform a programme of music by composers from the African diaspora, especially arranged by Oesi himself. Works by Abdullah Ibrahim, Florence Price, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Joseph Bologne among others. The highlight of the programme will be the premiere of a newly written double bass concerto by bassist Derrick Hodge.

Classical, Jazz and Funk in one festival

Because the bass is the backbone of all music styles, Dutch Double Bass Festival programmes across as many genres as it can. In addition to the above-named acts the festival will also be programming:

  • Bassist Teun Cremers, the specialist in West African music, to which his newest project Naamu is entirely dedicated. Reviews have been, without exception, glowing and at DDBF he will be joined by special guest, kora phenomenon, Mamadou Diabaté.
  • A symbiosis between Mark Haanstra’s (Yuri Honing and Ellen ten Dame) bass guitar and Indu Punday’s Indian dance, choreographed by Kalpanarts in the piece ‘Tara’!
  • Dominik Wagner’s ambition is to take the bass out of the cello’s shadow, a goal that this young viennese bassist seems to be achieving extremely well! Performing across the world as a soloist with orchestra and in duo and solo formation, the 25 year old has won almost every double bass competition there is. At Dutch Double Bass Festival he will be performing with prize-winning Ukrainian pianist Polina Sasko.
  • Slovakian Roman Patkoló is a prize winner of some of the bass world’s most prestigious competitions including the Johannes Matthias Sperger competition, ARD International Music Competition and the European Prize of Culture. At DDBF he will be performing a spectacular programme with guitarist Miriam Rodriguez Brüllova and chamber orchestra the Zagreb Soloists.
  • “Like Björk on a good day.” is how online music blog Beatradar described Show Pony, the alter ego of American Laura Nygren. The double bassist, singer, electronic musician, and producer, Laura Nygren is fast establishing herself as one of the most versatile and exciting rising stars active in the Netherlands pop and classical scenes.
  • Dario Calderone is one of the standard bearers of contemporary music.
  • Influential German improviser and jazz bassist Robert Landfermann will record his second solo album later this year. Landfermann has already had an impressive career, with collaborations with the likes of John Scofield and Chris Potter and spots in permanent bands with members including Pablo Held. Among others he has won the WDR Jazz Prize.
  • DDBF geeft ook de jongste talenten een podium. Van het Codarts Conservatorium te Rotterdam en Conservatorium van Amsterdam spelen drie ensembles met hun beste basstudenten.

Fourth edition DDBF: a unique festival worldwide

From classical, to jazz, world and pop, as the world’s only festival programmed around the bass and aimed at a broad audience, Dutch Double Bass Festival shows what exactly is so special about the instrument. With orchestras and soloists, bands; with double bass, bass guitar and viola da gamba. As well as live music also ‘Ateliers in Residence’ – expositions by instrument makers, a bass cinema and a photo exhibition by artist Pim van der Zwaan. Artistic leader is bassist James Oesi, well known from among others Podium Witteman and Op1: “Most people don’t realise just how versatile the bass is: the fundament of the orchestra, a compelling solo and chamber instrument and of course essential in a jazz formation. I want the world to experience just how beautiful the instrument is and its appeal to all kinds of music lovers whose hearts we want to touch with this festival.”

The previous three editions have seen performances by the likes of Dominic Seldis (Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra), the bassists of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, world star bassist Richard Bona and world famous jazz duo Dave Holland and John Scofield. On the 13th and 14th of October, we will be welcoming 18 acts in Rotterdam’s beautifully reopened Theatre Zuidplein, a building that was nominated for the Rotterdam Architecture Prize 2021.

Dutch Double Bass Festival is organised by the Dutch Double Bass Festival Foundation and is made possible by contributions from among others: SENA Performers, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Fonds21, de Gemeente Rotterdam, Stichting Dioraphte, het Kersjesfonds, de Eramusstichting, de Gravin van Bylandt Stichting, de Stichting ter Bevordering van Volkskracht, Stichting Elise Mathilde, de Janivo Stichting, het Hendrik Mullerfonds, de Haella Stichting, de Van der Mandele Stichting, de Van den Berch Van Heemstede Stichting, De Lancey Foundation, de Suzanne Hovinga Stichting, Stichting Item, Fonds 1999, Admiraal van Kinsbergen Fonds, Stimulering Kunst & Cultuur, Stichting Verzameling van Wijngaarden-Boot, and 1A First Alternative.