Born: May 17, 1964 Primary Instrument: Piano
As a pianist Michiel Braam combines exceptional virtuosity with a playful unpredictability. Braam’s infectious dynamic and percussive style is strictly his own. In his role as composer and bandleader Michiel Braam attempts to apply his open playing style to bigger ensembles. He is constantly looking for greater musical freedom. His Trio BraamDeJoodeVatcher has little in common with the traditional piano trio. The musicians are totally equal: bass player and drummer have just as much influence on the direction of the improvisations as the pianist. The 13 piece Bik Bent Braam--for whom Braam is always writing new material--can scarcely be compared with a conventional big band. Braam’s material can be introduced by the band members at will, combined or adjusted. Each concert is improvised yet totally
Awards:1988 - Podiumprize for young talented musicians (NL) 1997 - Boy Edgar Prize (NL)
Partnered by powerhouse bassist Wilbert de Joode and drummer extraordinaire Michael Vatcher. With these two behind him all the way it's no wonder Braam delivers some of the most confident and enjoyable piano work I've heard in recent years.
--Dan Warborton, Paris Transatlantic
If anyone needs proof of the vitality of Dutch jazz, he (or she) needs look no further than Bik Bent Braam. The 13-piece band features a splendid collection of players, so the level of improvisation is unquestionably superb. So are the compositions and arrangements by Braam, which take this to a rare level of performance. For those attracted to adventurous, eclectic arrangements that span the spectrum from swing to free jazz, performed by extraordinary musicians, this one is a winner.
--Steven Loewy, All Music Guide (US)