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Dirk Balthaus

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Biography of Dirk Balthaus

Jazzpianist, based in Amsterdam, NL

Dirk Balthaus was born in 1965 in Oberhausen, Germany. He plays and composes for his pianotrio, the band JuzzFlirtin and is a member of Joan Reinder's Millennium Jazz Orchestra. Dirk teaches at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and runs the recordlabel Hi5 Records.

His talent has taken him to many countries including Jamaica, England, Scotland, Turkey, France, Spain, Romania, Germany, Belgium, Slovenia, England and the USA.

He has performed on stage with:
Frank Morgan, Ack van Rooyen, Benny Baily, Lee Konitz, Lew Tabackin, Dale Barlow, Clarence Becton, John Engels, Herb Geller, Benjamin Herman, Jack Parnell, Bud Shank, Eric Vloeimans and many more.

His first contact with improvised music was through teacher/organist Wolfgang Schwering. At the age of 15 he discovered Jazz in Kuro’s Jazzkeller, a club in his hometown Oberhausen. There he heard pianist Peter Walter from Essen, whose lessons had a big influence on Dirk. He spent many hours listening to the music of Miles and Monk, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Duke Ellington, Billy Holiday, John Scofield, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett and other great players from jazz history.
After completing high school and civil service he moved the Netherlands to study jazz piano at the Conservatory in Hilversum. His teachers include Frans Elsen, Henk Elkerbout and Rob Madna. After finishing conservatory in 1991, Dirk moved to Amsterdam where he immersed himself in full-fledged jazzdom: listening to and playing as much jazz as possible.
In 1994, with Bert Lochs (trumpet/flugelhorn), Sven Schuster (bass) and Steve Altenberg (drums) he formed a quartet and recorded his first CD ‘tales of the frog’. Since then he is an active member of the European jazz scene.

Discography:

- Dirk Balthaus Trio: "Consolation" 2009, Hi5 Records
- Cotton Club All Stars: “Amsterdam Jam” 2007, Hi5 Records
- Léah Kline: “Juzz Flirtin” 2007, Theatrics/Hi5 Records
- Balthaus/Lumeij/Grimbergen: “Gershwin” 2006, Hi5 Records
- Deep River Quartet: “Old Skool Harmony” 2006, DeepRiver
- Henriette Andersen: “Heart and Song” 2005, TWA Music
- George Carlo M.: “Smooth Road” 2004, Munich Records
- Volker Winck Quartet: “Body & Soul" 2003
- Willem Hellbreker Quartet: “Resonance” 2003, Munich Records
- Dirk Balthaus Trio: “On Children’s Ground” 2002, Munich Records
- Jan Molenaar BigBand: “Travelin' Light” 2000, Molenaar Edition
- Sean Jamaal: ”The Billy Holiday Songbook” 2000
- Dirk Balthaus Sextet: “The Healing” 1997, Via Records
- Hot Bolshevik: “Post Cold War Groove” 1995, Red Boogie Record Co.
- Balthaus/Lochs Quartet: “Tales of the frog” 1994, acoustic music records

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