Julia’s first experience playing solo with an orchestra or big band was with at the music conservatory of Amsterdam with a Jazz Philharmonic conducted by Justin DiCiccio, they recorded a program called “Night Scream” with compositions of Duke Ellington. Julia leaded the strings and played features as a soloist. After this amazing experience this became one of her favorite things to do.
Last years she was invited by Zurich Jazz Orchestra, Jazzorchestra of the Concertgebouw (with Fuse), Konrad Kosseleck Big Band, Laundry Bigband, Philharmonic Sudwestfalen a.o.
The Art of Freedom
Julia Philippens & Xavi Torres: Groovy Jazz with a Classical Cachet.
Classical musicians are known to strive for a very high level of technical performance that enables them to present classical music in all its refinements and thereby unlock the underlying emotional world. When it comes to improvisation, however, one has two "left hands". With jazz musicians it seems to be the exact opposite: technical ability is subordinate to groove, flexibility and talent for improvisation in order to capture the looseness of jazz music. Jazz violinist Julia Philippens (ao Fuse) and jazz pianist Xavi Torres see that differently.
Both are classically trained and believe that "classical" technical skills can bring the expressiveness and sophistication of jazz to new heights. To start the perfect marriage between control and freedom, they started a new duo and chose Oranjewoud Festival as one of the first places to present themselves. Together they find what they are looking for in themselves, they write pieces for the other and force each other to take off the mask and reinvent themselves. They look for the limits of their own abilities and also encounter the limitations of their instrument. The duo with this program is extremely vulnerable, no rhythm section to fall back on during rough improvisations and the farther they drift away from the original composition, the more exciting the return to the main theme is. A mix of Spanish passion and Dutch sobriety, vain romanticism roughly disrupted by cynicism, combat and reconciliation. Nothing exists without the opposite, so neither with Philippens and Torres.
To learn more about Xavi please visit his website at www.xavitorresmusic.com
Concerts The Art of Freedom
Guest Artist Performances
“One of the most beautiful things is to learn from people that are better than you”.
Philippens loves to play with different musicians in all kind of genres. Everybody has their speciality and you can learn from all of those specialists. “Music is good or bad. I never say “no” to a genre or style, " Julia says about her alround trackrecord.
Julia partook in recordings and tours for many musicians such as: Shakira, Justin Dicioccio, Kytemans orchestra, Herbert Grönemeyer, Ed Kowalczyk, Oliver Heldens, Marco Borsato, Moke, Laura Fygi, Wouter Hamel, Stochelo Rosenberg, Peter Beets, Michiel Borstlap and Benjamin Herman.
She played in halls like: Concertgebouw, Paradiso, Melkweg, Gelredome, Ahoy, Amsterdam Arena, (Holland) Sportpaleis (Belgium), Radialsystem, Funkhaus, (Germany) Dizzy's Jazzclub, Fat Cat, Mandarin Oriental (New York). And played for the dutch embassies in Riyadh, Damascus and Miami.
An Unusual String Ensemble
During her studies Julia co-founded Fuse for which she plays, arranges and composes. With their bold approach to string music and a matching stage presence, Fuse rapidly became a one-to-watch formation on the cutting edge of Dutch musical life. They performed over 120 shows in nearly two years, at a wide range of stages such as The Rijksmuseum, Vredenburg, Paradiso, at The Concertgebouw Tracks series, Wonderfeel and in clubs, churches, concert halls and living rooms all over the Netherlands.
Fuse is currently the houseband of the Dutch TV show ‘Podium Witteman’. They performed on popular daily talkshow ’De Wereld Draait Door’, featured on Radio 1, 2, 4 and 6. They recorded the leader-music for TV show ’Opium’ that Julia composed.
They released their Debut Album “Studio” in 2016 for with they got nominated for and Edison award.
Since 2012, they organize their own concert series named ConFuse, a platform for talent and our creative playground. Recently, the 9th edition took place at the North Sea Jazz Club in Amsterdam.
Writing little songs as a child, Julia would record and play back and learn. When joining Fuse , the first arrangements were made and later on entire pieces. In 2019 Julia’s first big work, premiered: ‘Hommage a Enescu’. A full composition of about 18 minutes for string octet, with solo violin passages. The piece was broadcasted on Dutch National radio 4. Currently Julia is writing a lot for her duo with Xavi. The roots for her compositions lie in (Classical) chamber music, in which she makes space for improvisation.
Listen to the Enescu concert Radio 4 via this link