PaulvanKemenade_forweb.jpgPaul van Kemenade is today one of the leading alto saxophonists in Europe and he is a role model for the young generation of upcoming saxophonists. His artistic approach determines our contemporary jazz in many ways. He constantly translate our all day lifes and society streamings into the art form of improvised music. Since the 70ties his alto play knits into the International jazz scene and his work is fresh as ever.

Van Kemenade's newest album release is called "Checking Out" which he recorded with his European All-Star 4tet in January 2016. Ray Anderson, the improved style master contributes and also the amazing Han Bennink , who as no other drummer in Europe can easily fall into deep expressionism play and at the same time care for the old swinging drum school "Gene Krupa" style. On double bass Ernst Glerum is most reliable and pushing worker. The album is a starlight in contemporary European jazz!

His current projects:

International quartet with American trombonist Ray Anderson, drum legend Han Bennink and bassist Ernst Glerum
Soul' Afrique (Dutch quintet & musicians from South Africa Faku-Mnisi-Mhlanga)
Three Horns And A Bass (Verploegen-Boudesteijn-Mahieu-Van Kemenade)
Duo with German pianist Stevko Busch (Russian songs)
Podium Trio (Wierbos-Kuiper-Van Kemenade)
Fugara with Tom Arthurs and Finnish drummer Markku Ounaskari

Participations in different "ad hoc" ensembles
Director of the International Dutch jazz festival "Stranger than Paranoia" 


He has
been presented with several awards such as the Dutch oeuvre award for jazzmusicians ,
the ‘Boy Edgar Prijs’ and received in 2007 a Royal decoration.

Van Kemenade r
ecorded over 55 cd’s and lp’s. His cd ‘Close enough’ has been rewarded as one of best cd’s 2011 in the category ‘masterpieces’ (five stars) by the American magazine Downbeat.


More informations under the artist website:






Cadence Magazine (USA) July 2016
Checking Out (Kemo 016) was produced by PAULvan KEMENADE (as) who joins Han Bennink (drm), Ernst Glerum (b) and Ray Anderson (tbn) on a 1/11&12/16 recording (50:35) of 8 compositions by individual band members and Monk’s “Bright Mississippi”. This is a most enjoyable CD full of humor and formal looseness as might be expected from Anderson and a group of Netherlanders. Kemenade has an appealing strangulated sound, often playing short unanswered questing lines. Bennink is his usual kick around self in this tightly coordinated group. Anderson remains one of the most expressive trombonists on the scene and Glerum holds it together occasionally stepping out going counter against the whole band or one on one with another member of the band. Fans of the humor and looseness of ’60s Mingus groups should find great fun with this. The leader has been around since the ’70s and has appeared as leader and sideman on a number of records out of the Netherlands. Wonderful jazz. (Robert D.Rusch)


Best jazz CDs 2011 selected by US "Downbeat" magazine 




Downbeat (US): His alto darts and dives luxuriously, a rainbow feathered bird of paradise riding to the stratosphere. A lovely hover betwixt classical, composition and improv. Five stars.

Jazz Inside magazine (US): Worldclass , very complete and a quiet gem.

Salt Peanuts (NO): Brilliant. Interesting and beautiful compositions and arrangements. Van Kemenade surpasses himself.

Jazzquad (RU): Van Kemenade is distinguished by his unusual creative activity and his unusual instrumentation and compositions.

Jazzman (F): Complete happiness of jazz. Masterful (choc)

Volkskrant (NL): Fireworks, smoky sound, high quality jazz. Five stars.

The Wire (UK): An essential lyric player. Exquisite.

Jazzmozaiek (B): The typical Van Kemenade style; his own sound and musical language and always straight to the point.

Jazzpodium (D): Exciting ideas, a versatile saxophone artist.

The Guardian (UK): Contemporary jazz to its fingertips.

Draaiomjeoren (NL): He is one of those rare alto saxophonists with a full fat sound somewhere between Johnny Hodges and Earl Bostic.

Cadence (US): Vivid creativity of writing, everything from Parker and Gil Evans back to New Orleans street music. Van Kemenade would have fit into a gospel group or a Ray Charles big band. Intense and sometimes rough, his playing hints at a fierce version of Phil Woods and occasionally Van Kemenade’s lines are repetitive in the manner of Steve Reich, but he never stays stuck in one groove.

Friesch Dagblad (NL): Voorbeeldig en ‘In a sentimental mood’ is van onvergetelijke schoonheid. 

Belorussia : An inspirational, highly skilful alto saxophone performance by Paul Van Kemenade and deep philosophical content.

Cadence (US): He has a gorgeous sound and the kind of tone that could carry an entire album of ballads. But he’s not inclined to limit himself. Van Kemenade shows while he can play sweet, echoing even Saint Johnny “Lily Pons” Hodges himself, he can be tart and biting as well. On the closing ‘In a Sentimental Mood’ the saxophonist covers that entire range in a majestic performance.

Jazzrytmit (FI): Paul van Kemenade’s alto saxophone plays keenly and beautifully, brilliantly linked to Stevko Busch’s subtle piano playing. Moments of great intensity when Paul van Kemenade gets carried away and tears abruptly into his alto with great strength at high tones. This is alternative music combining basic harmonic jazz rhythms with skilful playing

Ruhrnachrichten (Dd): One of the highlights of the Berlin JazzFest 2010

DMG (US): Mr. Kemenade keeps pretty busy in several bands with all types of great players like Han Bennink, Ray Anderson… I listened to this disc earlier in the week and thought it was great even without a drummer, the entire quartet is superb.

Cape Times (SA):
This Dutch-SA collaboration glues together European and American jazz improvisations with warm-blooded South African music.

Parool (NL): Van Kemenade plays in his familiar nice and smooth manner in extremely different styles and instrumentations. Van Kemenade’s composition with renaissance vocals is even more hybride with flamenco guitarist and jazzquartet and represent a new continent. Impressive musical vocabulary and produced in a fantastic way by Van Kemenade. Wonderful warm, intimate sound.

Jazznytt Magazine (N): Alto saxophonist Paul Van Kemenade proves that there still is a little life left in the jazz that was ravaging Europe more than 10-15 years ago.Extremely original. It swings infernal-ly in between and shows that there still is a lot going on in the Dutch jazz world. Thank you very much! (B): Constant factor altosaxophonist Van Kemenade has a nice smooth sound and writes well structured compositions. They obvious change from New Orleans to funk, Miles Davis and Mingus cool pocket big band arrangements. Tempo and mood changes natural; harmonies and sound is wonderfully creamy. Remarkable collaborations all sound so natural. High quality and impressive.

Jazzflits (NL): Exotische productie, meeslepende Afrikaanse invloeden, Van Kemenade’s authentieke altsaxsound bepaalt onophoudelijk het groepsgeluid.

Volkskrant (NL): Hij zou niet misstaan hebben in een van de vulkanische groepen van Charles Mingus, vanwege zijn passie, de hoogst persoonlijke ‘kreet’ in zijn spel, de meedogenloze swing en het bluesgevoel.

Jazzmozaiek (B): ( top cd )   Een juweeltje, een beklijvend werkstuk dat ons door de nachtelijke straten laat dwalen van Buenos Aires, New York of….Tilburg misschien? Vijf sterren.

Brabants Dagblad (NL): Er zijn weinig altsaxofonisten in Nederland die zo lekker kunnen grommen op hun instrument als Paul van Kemenade met zijn rauwe geluid en tegelijk lyriche spel.

Jazzthetik (D ): Fließenden übergängen von scharf intonierter Attacke, pointierter Verzögerung und wunderbarer sonorer Wendbarkeit bis hin zum leisen Flüstern. Van Kemenade ist der No-nonsense- Mann, der die erforderliche Sensibilität besitzt und die Nuance kennt.

Jazzrytmit (FI): Het beste uit Nederland met een eigen geluid zoals alleen Van Kemenade dat kan.

Parool (NL): Crème de la crème van de Nederlandse jazzscene; sierlijke, romantische en fonkelende composities van Van Kemenade. Mooi! 

De Stem (NL): Prachtige opnamen; Van Kemenade is gewoon verdomd goed. (B) :      Altsaxofonist Van Kemenade is een veteraan van de Nederlandse scene die al veel wateren doorzwommen heeft. Hij heeft het opmerkelijke vermogen om ongewone bezettingen bij elkaar te brengen. Dat valt ook in het buitenland op, want zelfs het gerenommeerde jazzblad Downbeat kende het album de perfecte score van vijf sterren toe.

Trouw (NL): Van Kemenade’s trio met de Japanse pianiste Aki Takase en drummer Han Bennink legt precies de verbinding tussen oude en nieuwe jazz. Jazz van de bovenste plank; avontuurlijk, swingend, intens en vitaal. Het rammelt en het rommelt en het leeft.

NRC Handelsblad (NL): Gevarieerd en prikkels van buiten blijven inspirerend.