If there's one saxophonist with a specific sound then it would have to be Gijs Hendriks. If he were to pick up either soprano, tenor or baritone you'd know immediately it was Gijs. As a composer he is just as recognizable. He makes the most of the musical language he uses, his exceptional intervals and the modes in which he composes.
Gijs Hendriks, Soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophone, composer and arranger was born in Utrecht, Holland, February 26, 1938. Gijs started his musical career at the age of only 17 years. Gijs Hendriks made his debut in Frankfurt, Germany playing for American troops. After living and working in Germany, France and Morocco for many years he returned to Holland in the beginning of the sixties. He then became a member of one of the most influential Dutch jazz bands of that period, The Boy Edgar Orchestra, performing and recording with musicians like Art Taylor, Johnny Griffin, Slide Hampton, Frank Rossolino, Benny Bailey, Nina Simone and Betty Carter. For the work with his own bands Gijs Hendriks received the prestigious Dutch Jazz Award, the Wessel Ilcken Prize (1972), years later the city of Utrecht honored him with the Prize for Culture (1978), the VARA Jazz Award (1983) and the Zilveren Stadspenning (1996).
The music of Gijs Hendriks combines a great knowledge of the jazz tradition with an unbridled desire for adventure. He writes strong, arresting melodies and intelligent changes that stimulate his musicians to refreshing, unconventional improvisations. His compositions display a broad musical interest and understanding and guarantee a varied, dynamic and surprising performance.