Frank van der Kooij Projects


Bio Frank van der Kooij

Frank van der Kooij (1957, the Netherlands, Rotterdam) was introduced to the saxophone when he was 14 and instantly fell in love with the instrument. He started his musical career with the bands in Rotterdam during the 70ths and 80ths. In this period he performed at the Rotterdam Concert Centre with the first Dutch-Surinam afro-jazz band Toemoekhoemak (Tumucumaque), a formation that combined Afro-fusion and free jazz.

Frank’s hunger to explore new types of music led him to join many different pop and blues bands such as Spot the Loony and The Anton Geesink Band. Due to his undying interest in jazz music and his desire to work in a creatively rich environment he joined the Boy Bradman Big band in Breda where he seized the chance to further develop his musical skills. Eventually he was noticed in the Brabant music scene.

In 1985 Frank met the English bass player Hugh Hopper and soon joined the Hugh Hopper Band. After many tours and concerts in Europe they produced Carousel (1995). Hugh Hopper has had a profound influence on Frank’s musical career, specifically on the development of freethinking and the possibilities that music has to offer when it is not approached in an academic manner.

Together with Hugh Hopper van der Kooij was part of many one-off projects with among others like Pip Pyle, Mark Hewins, Shamal Maitra, Richard Sinclair, Harry Becket, Didier Malherbe, François Merville and many others.. At the same time Frank composed music for stage and film of which ‘Une Suite Transfigureé’ ,produced on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of film, in collaboration with Dionys Breukers, was a successful example.

Meanwhile, Frank started his own jazz-fusion band NDIO in 2001. NDIO, including Hugh Hopper, has been successful from the very first time they got on stage. The entire mix of musicians and styles involved in this project are typical for him. NDIO epitomizes the approach he has had throughout his musical career to date: exploring different musical styles and bringing them together resulting in a fluid and “airy” fusion of jazz with elements of rock, folk, ambient, classical music and sampling. With NDIO Frank van der Kooij shows that his interest lies more in versatile musical narrative than in traditions.

From 2009 the hunger to pure acoustic music became also stronger which evolved in the start of the AirKraft Trio which operated especially from London and did their first tour in Asia. Later they recorded in London and Breda and released a CD ( The PyongYang Express ) with pieces played in Korea and China.

Also in this context Frank started the New NDIO Orchestra for who he wrote several major acoustic works in 2010, 2013 and 2022 ( Schaduwen Kruisen and La Conquista Breda part I and II ) both performed in Breda ( Grote Kerk Breda and Podium Bloos ). 

Frank van der Kooij

Frank van der Kooij ©Reinout van den Bergh.

Frank van der Kooij ©Micha Keijser