James Oesi

News

17.07.2019          Solo tour to South Africa

After years of wanting to return to South Africa to perform, I am absolutely thrilled that me and my duo partner, pianist Andrea Vasi, will play a 5 city tour in this beautiful country that I had the privilege of growing up in!

We will be playing recitals at Northwards in Johannesburg, the Jewish Club in Durban, Grahamstown Music Society in Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown), the Civic Centre Auditorium in Hermanus and ending in the Miriam Makeba Hall of the Unisa Music Foundation in Pretoria!

The first performance is Sunday Juli 21. Exact concert dates are in my list of upcoming performances on the website.

20.06.2019          Guest on NPO1’s Nooit Meer Slapen

As part of the lead up to the second edition of the Dutch Double Bass Festival, I got to sit down for a lovely talk with radio host Pieter van der Wielen in the programme Nooit Meer Slapen on NPO1 – Dutch radio. We ended up having quite a varied discussion, about where I come from, why I’m so passionate about the bass and what exactly makes the instrument so fantastic! It is all in Dutch I’m afraid, but I do play a bit too ;) so please do check it out here!

26.04.2019          Pachelbel’s Canon reimagined

Merel and I got the opportunity to rearrange an extremely well known piece of music for the radio programme Muziekfabriek on Dutch NPO Radio 4. We decided to use a work that is extremely well known: Pachelbel’s Canon ;) Check out our reimagining of it here!

30.03.2019          Dutch Double Bass Festival: the second edition

I am over the moon that after the joyously whirlwind experience of the first edition of the Dutch Double Bass Festival two years ago, we will now be having a second edition this June!

The festival this year will be taking place in Rotterdam at two venues that are directly across from one another in the heart of the city: Oude Luxor Theater, and Villa Thalia.

On the 8th and 9th of June you will be treated to an absolute smörgåsbord of the best in bass from around the world. Classical music, jazz and contemporary will all be represented as well as the bass guitar.
For those of you who may be apprehensive of all that bass, don’t be! The line-up is fantastic and the programme is varied!
Dominic Seldis will be bringing the basses of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra to open the festival with a concert filled with some of the best bassists of the Netherlands, with some possible (non-bassist ;) special guests. Rick Stotijn will be collaborating with the wonderful Matangi Quartet feat. Marijn van Prooijen for a Sunday morning concert not to be missed. World star Richard Bona will be performing at the festival with the Richard Bona Group. Renaud Garcia-Fons will be giving a concert with his Revoir Paris trio and Omer Avital will be bringing his Qantar quartet for a Saturday night concert. I will of course also be making a contribution with my own group.
This is just a selection of what will be taking place at the festival so if this whets your appetite please check the website out for the full line-up and programme and hopefully I will see you at one or both of the festival days! :)

14.02.2019          Residency at the radio4 OpiumAtelier

Last week I had the opportunity to be the weekly artist-in-residence at radio4’s Opium Atelier.
Every week as part of the nightly radio programme, Opium, an artist is invited to spend the week in the Opium Atelier, a week that is then entirely at the disposal of the artist to spend on their work. Seeing as my project with neuroscientist and former athlete Beorn Nijenhuis, had just begun – a project in which my stress levels and practise regime will be studied for the coming months and later manipulated in the hopes
to finding what the optimal practise and time management methods are to better a musician – it seemed like a perfect opportunity to spend the week practising! So, armed with a schedule that Beorn had devised for me for the week, I spent my days practising, meditating and in general being much more efficient than I’m used to!
At the end of the week I got to discuss the experience with Beorn and Annemieke Bosman during Friday nights broadcast of the programme.
For more info on the experience or to listen to any of the interviews, check Opium Atelier’s site here!

01.02.2019          6 month practise project

Starting this coming Monday, my exciting new project in which neuroscientist and former Olympic athlete Beorn Nijenhuis will be tracking my practise time and using my biofeedback data to continually adjust my schedule will begin!
What should I do when it’s the end of the day, I’m super tired but I HAVE to practise? Why does the feeling of being unprepared not seem to always correlate terribly well with actually being unprepared? Why does it sometimes feel like 20 minutes of practise can produce better results than 2 hours can? When i have the luxury of a whole day free to practise, what is really the optimal way of setting that day up so that I get the best out of my time spent with my instrument but don’t feel so exhausted that the next day has to be spent doing nothing or in a constant state of fatigue? I’m so hoping to have at least some answers to these questions at the end of this six month period in which I will be working closely with Beorn and tracking my practise and schedule in its minutiae: equal parts terribly frightening and terribly exciting.
I got the chance to announce the project this morning on De Ochtend van 4 on NPO Radio 4 (listen back in this link) and this whole adventure would not be possible without the support of the Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, Marti Keuning Eckhardt Stichting, Stichting SEC and the Olland Buisman Stichting!

07.01.2019          Mittenwald International Double Bass Masterclass

Later this year I will be one of the teachers giving masterclasses at theMittenwald International Double Bass Masterclass from August 5th to 10th. I am honoured to have been asked to come and teach for a few days and am truly looking forward to the experience. I will be teaching alongside Jeff Bradetitch, Andreas Bennetzen, Alex Bayer and Alexis Scharff and more info on the masterclasses can be found here!

04.01.2019          Concertseries Waalse Kerk

I am very excited to be starting a small concert series next month in the beautiful Waalse Kerk in the heart of Amsterdam!

A series of three concerts, each on the first Friday of the month, the first concert will be featuring the James Oesi group: Olga Pashchenko on piano, Merel Junge on violin and David Kweksilber on clarinet and sax. We will be playing a programme centred around folk and dance music, featuring works by Stravinsky (Historie du Soldat suite), Milhaud (Suite) , Bartok (Romanian Folk Dances) and Janacek (violin sonata). We have arranged most of the works on the programme ourselves for this unusual setting and I am definitely looking forward to putting it all together on February 1st!

The second concert, on the 1st of March. will be with soprano Ellen Valkenburg, a programme of some of the most beautiful vocal instrumental combos of the last few hundred years, and the last concert in this trio will be on the 5th of April with Astori Amsterdam. Astori Amsterdam is an exciting new quartet that I am very proud to be a part of, bringing vocal music from around the world to the Netherlands. Astori will be performing a programme of Argentinian Tangos, translated into Dutch, and arranged for our combination of voice – Sterre Konijn, violin – Wiesje Nuiver, accordion – Vincent van Amsterdam, and myself!

For more info on the series and to buy tickets please click here!

02.01.2019          Nieuwe Noten

I am extremely excited to be collaborating with the Amsterdam Grachtenfestival, Gaudeaumus Music Week, and November Music for their Nieuwe Noten (New Notes) project this year. The project is a call for young composers to write new music for me to perform at each of these three important festivals. Composers (aged 10 to 35) have until April 1st to write a 1 minute sketch of what they would like to write. On February 9th there will be a reading session that interested composers can sign up for where I will be looking through sketches with the composers that are present! The project is very exciting and will result in around 3 new works being premiered by me at each festival! Watch this space as I keep you updated and please forward this on to anyone whom you think might be interested! More information on how to submit a sketch and the whole process can be found here!

02.08.2018          South Africa with Asko|Schönberg

Last month I had the pleasure of joining the Asko|Schönberg ensemble for 4 performances at the National Arts Festival in Makhanda, South Africa.
The title of the performance was “Circus Schönberg” and was a rollicking ride through music of the 20th century with a tight group of 4 musicians, including myself. Apart from the fun of playing with the ensemble, getting to play a few solo numbers and also seeing South Africa again for the first time in 11 years, it was also great to see how well the music was received. I’m very proud to share this review of one of our performances which also mentions my solo performance of Tom Johnson’s “Failing” as a highlight!