Masha Bijlsma (1971), the Netherlands
with great power of persuasion Masha Bijlsma sings classic jazzsongs as well as compositions from the members of her band, using repertoire from diverging composers as Thelonious Monk, Fats Waller, Nat Adderley, Charlie Haden, Kate Bush, Charles Mingus, Abbey Lincoln and John Coltrane. She often writes her own lyrics. Masha is inspired by the American jazz singer Abbey Lincoln, but she isn’t afraid of interpreting pop songs by Kate Bush and Noa or chansons by Edith Piaf.
After having played the piano and the bassguitar Masha started singing at the age of 19. At the end of 1990 she started the Masha Bijlsma Band. This group was an instant succes : in spring ’92 it was the support act of the Billy Cobham Band at the Int.Jazzfest Gronau. Masha’s career has rocketed since then: she very succesfully performs with her band, playing international jazzfestivals (North Sea jazzfestival, The Hague Jazz, Freiburg Jazz) and doing club gigs, tv and radio performances all over Europe, Indonesia and the USA.
Guest soloists with the Masha Bijlsma Band for concerts and recordings were among others: Tony Lakatos, Benny Bailey, Bob Malach, Jarmo Hoogendijk, Hans Kwakkernaat, Bart van Lier, Bert Boeren, Adrian Mears, Andy Hunter, Gary Thomas and Stanley Jordan.