Bass clarinettist and composer Joris Roelofs began to study the clarinet at the age of six, taking up the alto saxophone at twelve. A student at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, he completed his master’s degree in 2007. Joris has been a member of the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw and the Vienna Art Orchestra. He has also performed with Brad Mehldau, Lionel Loueke and with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, among many others.
In 2008 Joris moved to New York City. His début album, Introducing Joris Roelofs, featured Ari Hoenig, Matt Penman and Aaron Goldberg, and the following releases, Chamber Tones and The Ninth Planet, featured Jesse van Ruller and Clemens van der Feen. He has also released two albums with his trio, featuring Matt Penman and Ted Poor: Aliens Deliberating and Amateur Dentist. 2018 saw the release of Icarus, a duo album with the legendary Dutch drummer Han Bennink.
As a composer, Joris Roelofs has written for forces ranging from solo piano to symphony orchestra with big band. In 2019 he received a grant from the Performing Arts Fund (FPK) of the Netherlands to write two works based on Nietzsche’s philosophy: Nietzsche Serenade for tenor, bassoon, cello and French horn, and Truth and Lies for bass clarinet and bassoon.
Currently based in Amsterdam, Joris chairs the Clarinet Department (Jazz) at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, and teaches a master’s course on music and philosophy named ‘Freedom and Improvisation’. He writes philosophical articles and gives lectures — frequently on Nietzsche-related topics. His most recent piece, ‘To Lie Beyond Good and Evil: A Musical Question of Truth’, was published in the peer-reviewed journal Tijdschrift voor Filosofie. Joris is a member of the International Nietzsche Research Group in Stuttgart, Germany, and is currently working on a PhD dissertation on Nietzsche, improvisation and the notion of freedom.