- Started in
- Musician type
- Accordion / Composer
- Host institution
- KU Leuven
- The Netherlands
Rik Cornelissen (The Netherlands, 1984) is an innovative and versatile accordionist, composer, arranger, bandleader, teacher, festival organizer, curator and much more. With a broad education and knowledge of jazz, latin, tango and classical music Rik is always searching for new possibilities, new sounds and new material.
He collaborated with Bert van den Brink, Ramon Valle, Juan Pablo Dobal, Oene van Geel, Izaline Calister, Ben van den Dungen, Rob van Kreeveld, Teus Nobel, Egon Kracht, Angelo Verploegen, Jan Menu and Francis van Broekhuizen amongs others and worked in several projects for YoOpera, Opera Minora and Opera Zuid (as musical leader) and as a session musician for the movies Zwartboek (Paul Verhoeven), Van Gogh: een huis voor Vincent (Pim Hoeve), Theatershow NU! (Mini & Maxi).
Rik studied Bachelor Classical Music and Argentian Tango (Codarts, Rotterdam 2006) and Master Jazz & Pop (ArtEZ University of Arts, Arnhem 2009) and continued his education in Italy with one of the leading classical accordionist Claudio Jacomucci. Since 2013 Rik is appointed as an accordion and ensemble teacher at Jazz & Pop department at ArtEZ University of Arts. One of the rare places in the world to study Jazz accordion.
Rik’s debut album Traveller (2014) was a search for new possibilities and sounds on accordion within the jazz and Latin-jazz; focusing on and comparing with the richness of the piano tradition he managed to cross musical boundaries and combine classical techniques with improvisation and groove. This is characteristic for Rik’s playing; introvert, thoughtful and cogitating and then exploding, powerful, virtuosic and groovy.
As a bandleader, he works with, composes for and recorded with Tocar (album Birds of Paradise, 2016) and Trifid (album Dreamscape, 2018 and Sounds of Interstellar Space, 2020). As a sideman, he works with The New World Quartet (album Dances, 2019) and Jeen Rabs Quartet (album Catch my Kitsch, 2017).
As a composer and arranger his main goal is to create new music for accordion, either solo as for different groups and ensembles he is working with. His compositions are often inspired by Rik’s travels and fascination for nature and universe, levitating between styles varying from jazz and classical to Brazilian, Argentinian and other South-American music.
An artistic research on the implementation of the free-bass system on accordion within jazz (-related) music
The list of accordionists working within of close related to the field of jazz music and improvisation isn’t long. Also, the development of the instrument and repertoire is still in progress and have had an impressive spurt in the last 70 years, although the research literature is limited and related to jazz even absent. The lack of using the highly developed free-bass system within jazz music, and seeing the harmonic and melodic potential of this invention, became my motivation for this research.