Born in Breda (The Netherlands) in 1970 Rik was raised in a jazz-minded city. During his youth, the city had a famous jazz festival and a flourishing club where all the great national and international players passed by. As a kid, he had the opportunity to hear among others, Doc Cheatam, Al Cohn, Slim Gaillard, Harold Land, Horace Parlan, and Mark Murphy. He started his musical career by first learning clarinet. He switched to alto saxophone in his late teens. After studying medicine for two years he went to the Royal Conservatory in The Hague in 1992.
Rik is one of the few Dutch baritone saxophonists who dedicated himself completely to the baritone only. His playing is rooted in that of Harry Carney, Charlie Parker, and Pepper Adams.
In 1999 he won the Japanese Kobe Jazz Award and toured in Japan as a soloist twice. He recorded with his baritone-Hammond quartet two CDs: Swingmatism and Live Update. After this quartet, Rik performed with his saxophone band The Reeds which resulted in the cd ReSerge (2007), a tribute to the baritone legend Serge Chaloff.
Rik was a member of large ensembles like Peter Ypma & his Eleven, the Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra, and the Peter Beets / Henk Meutgeert New Jazz Orchestra. In small ensembles, he played and toured with Joe Magnarelli, Jim Rotondi, Teddy Edwards, Don Braden, Dan Barrett, Gary Smulyan, and Ronnie Cuber a.o.
He has been a faculty member of Codarts (Conservatory of Rotterdam) since 2013.
At this moment Rik has a quintet with Dutch trombone player Bart van Lier (CD: HIGH SLIDE LOW BLOW ).
His latest quartet recording IS THAT SO? (Zennez Records, 2021) is a homage to the music of composer, pianist, and arranger Duke Pearson. The record (vinyl!) is currently receiving rave reviews from both the public and the press.
photo Govert Driessen