Brown Bear Dixie Kids

The Brown Bear Dixie Kids have been active in the area of classical jazz since 1977. The band was started by students of the Technical University Twente in the Netherlands and has developed to a solidly swinging unit. It plays not only traditional dixieland music but also music from the early swing era (nineteen-thirties and -forties). A number of songs was provided with original arrangements.

Presently the Brown Bear Dixie Kids are:

Jocco Wassink - vocals

Sietze de Leeuw - trumpet, tenor-saxophone

Jan Rondhuis - trombone

Ruud Schuller - clarinet, alto-saxophone

Jan Harm Koolstra - banjo, guitar, vocals

Theo Toenink - bass

Antoon Aukes: drums

The Brown Bear Dixie Kids is a many-sided band. They can provide a cultivated musical framework for a concert or a (quiet) reception. Mostly, however, they perform in an unrestrained swinging manner. Their vocalist Jocco Wassink plays a remarkable role in this environment. With her unique warm voice integrates beautifully with her lyrics; melodious with often a bit of melancholy. Although beyond compare incidentally her admiration for singers like Billie Holiday is conveyed in her singing.

The vocal properties of Jocco miraculously merge with the more expressive character of the Brown Bear Dixie Kids. On the one side this results in an even more many sidedness of the program and on the other side by an extended inspiration for the soloists.

In both vocal and instrumental songs musicality and sense of style is paired to enthusiasm and playing fun. The soloists excel in originality and ingenuity. This makes the band is a welcome guest at both jazz-club meetings as parties.

The Mobile Unit of the Brown Bear Dixie Kids performs under the name of "Brown Bears". For such an occasion the tuxedos are changed for a somewhat more frivolous outfit then and also the instruments are adapted. In this way they can reach almost every thinkable stage to make music. Also here fun and cosiness go hand in hand with musicianship and originality. The repertoire consists of traditional New Orleans street-parade music, dixieland, gospel and blues, with now and then a calypso-like wink. In contrast to many other "walking bands", the Brown Bears apply a lot of vocals.

The Brown Bears do have a respectable record of performances both in the Netherlands and in Germany. They have been a welcome guest at jazz festivals, street festivals, business parties and other occasions.

Further information: J.H. Koolstra

Rietzangerweg 112

1111 VN Diemen

the Netherlands

phone: +31 20 6950824

fax: +31 20 6911856


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