Wilbert de Joode (Amsterdam, 1955) began playing the double bass in 1982, and he is completely self-taught. At first he played mostly in groups that used jazz as a springboard for improvising, but his single-mindedness was immediately apparent, resulting in a veritable flood of invitations to perform, contribute and participate not only in music-based initiatives, but also those centred around dance and visual arts.
Today De Joode is widely recognised as one of the major specialists in the discipline of collective improvisation and “instant composing”. The on-the-spot creation of unrehearsed music demands a strong-minded free spirit, one that is forever exploring, taking risks, and always ready to create from “nothing” without ever allowing the ego to prevail.
And this is precisely what De Joode is and does. His extensive musical vocabulary, his sonic imagination, expressiveness and tone, and his use of gut strings are all reflections of this. It makes him a much in-demand musician and composer in various groups around the world, as well as a respected source of inspiration, coach and teacher in the field of improvised music.
Wilbert de Joode is always on the alert for that one note, for that moment when you’re playing with and responding to other musicians in such a way that the music transcends materiality (the bass, the fingers, the strings). His motto: “The notes disappear as soon as they are created. But the emotion created in that moment remains, and can determine the course of a person’s life.”
He plays or has played in groups with self-willed and original musicians such as Ab Baars, Eric Boeren, Cor Fuhler, Michiel Braam, Ig Henneman, Michael Moore, Tobias Delius, the Ex, Achim Kaufmann, Han Buhrs, Jasper Stadhouders, Onno Govaert, Vera Vingerhoeds, JC Tans, Rinus Groeneveld, Wolter Wierbos, Han Bennink, Joost Buis, Corrie van Binsbergen, and Klaas Hekman.
He also works or has worked with many improvising musicians from other parts of the world, such as William Parker, Frank Gratkowski, Joëlle Léandre, Larry Ochs, Denis Charles, Steve Lacy, Roswell Rudd, John Butcher, Paul Lovens, Georg Graewe, Charles Gayle, Fred van Hove, Jan Klare, Martin Blume, John Tchicai, Ken Vandermark, Hamid Drake, Nicole Mitchell….
In addition to his collaborations with other musicians, De Joode also works with dancers and visual artists, including the American dancer Michael Schumacher.
Besides performing, Wilbert de Joode is also a founding member of the artistic committee of the DOEK Foundation, a collective of leading Dutch improvising musicians and a national and international platform for improvised music.
He has participated in over 50 CD recordings, and released his solo CD recording Olo in 2002 (Wig-06).