JWO SharqiBlues & Maghreb Jazz…media quotes
An award-winning Dutch guitarist, Oostenrijk masterfully integrates bluesy North African sharqi music and Maghreb jazz with the music of the West. He achieves this partly thanks to his electric quarter-tone guitar, an invention of his that enables the sounding of Arabic quarter-tones throughout the album. The We are Connected album is ultimately a refreshing reminder of the hospitality, rich culture and intricacies found across the Arab world. (Songlines 4 stars****)
Europe is a source of new crossovers in jazz and world music. An inspiring example is the new album Sharqi Blues by Dutch guitarplayer Jan Wouter Oostenrijk. (All About Jazz – USA)
Extraordinarily gifted, classically trained Dutch guitarist has put together an interesting band of North African musicians to create a group that’s able to navigate the crosscurrents between guitar-led jazz and Moroccan music. (Global Rhythm magazine)
Unlike over-discussed integration issues, Sharqi bluesshows that the multicultural society is capable of great achievements. (JazzFlits magazine)
Howling electric guitar, rhythm section, hammond organ facing twinkling qanun and a flamboyant Egyptian String Orchestra creates Horny Funky Bellydance in a post modern line-up with constantly changing soundscapes. (Volkskrant 4 stars****)
About Jan Wouter Oostenrijk
Dutch guitar player Jan Wouter Oostenrijk (JWO) (1965) completed his professional jazz guitar studies at the conservatory of Amsterdam (1994) and got the “Gouden Notenkraker” award for his contribution to the Dutch live music with Moroccan formation Raïland. In the past 20 years he became a succesfull international artist with his innovating crossovers Sharqi Blues, Maghreb Jazz. Technically gifted, original, with emotion and sense of adventure, navigating the crosscurrents between guitar-led jazz and Northafrican music.
Between 2000 and 2010 Jan Wouter Oostenrijk (JWO) released 2 solo albums ,“the Rhythms of Rai” and “Maghreb Jazz guitar”, both innovating crossovers between jazz and music from Northafrica.
The Maghreb Jazz Guitar album got a radioindy “Golden Artist” award in the USA and their interpretation of famous jazz tune Caravan appeared on an EMI compilation, beside renomated artists as James Brown, George Duke and Natacha Atlas. Beside the albums JWO formed a live band that toured in Holland and performed at big international festivals in Morocco like Rabat, Casablanca and Marrakech. With his work JWO became one of founders of Maghreb Jazz, a worldwide source of inspiration for new music!
In 2013 JWO released his album “Sharqi Blues” with Algerian Karim Ziad on drums (Joe Zawinul, Cheb Khaled) and had concerts in Egypt.
In 2015 JWO realesed the CD single “Gnawa in Your Soul” with Moroccan singer Farid Ghannam (finalist of the Voice Arab) and toured with his band in Algeria and Tunesia.
Late 2017 JWO release his lates new album ‘We are Connected” on Mountain records inspired on new material with his customized quarter tone quitar.
2019/2020/2021 During the Corona pandemic Jan Wouter obtained his master’s degree at the Rotterdam Conservatory where he specialized in maqam improvisation and did research on Taqsim solo performance.
Besides leading his own formation JWO played with leading national and international artists in the World and Jazz scene: Majid Bekkas, Karim Ziad, Benjamin Herman, Farid Ghannam, Hind, Kheiredine M’Kachiche, Eric Vaarzon Morel, Sinas, Mahmoud Guinea, Ahmad el Sawy, New Adventures, Imca Marina and others…
JWO is running his own guitar school in Amsterdam gitaarschoolamsterdam.nl and is founder of gitaarschoolnederland.nl, a collective platform of Dutch guitar professionals that serves good music education.