Willem Abelen (27) is a saxophonist, composer and bandleader living in Utrecht (The Netherlands) whose lyrical playing style and cinematic compositions never fails to engage his listeners.
His debut album FLUX released in September 2023 on Zennez Records. He sees the record as a reflection on current events, the chaotic times we live in today. Cinematic jazz, where each song tells a story while simultaneously giving the musicians the freedom to add their own chapter. Easy-listening but exciting, authentic but experimental.
Willem already has the necessary (big)band and stage experience; he has performed three times at the world-famous North Sea Jazz Festival, played at venues such as the BIMHUIS, TivoliVredenburg, Melkweg, Patronaat, Doornroosje, Muziekgebouw aan het IJ, Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam, Lantarenvenster and more. In addition, through participation in orchestras such as the Young Metropole, Dutch Student Jazz Orchestra and Young Jazz Society he is familiar with sophisticated section playing and filling lead spots.
Currently Willem - besides being bandleader of his project FLUX - is active in a lot of projects. He is a band member of Benjamin Fro, Gus Walker, afrobeat-sensation Longo Longo, the band of singer Julie Huard, small-big band BOSCO, the jazz collective Undertow, Eli Westerveld's modern jazz group Cordyline, the band of singer Sophia Zelan and more. He already shared the stage with international greats as Seamus Blake, Michael League and Jamison Ross and the best of Dutch jazz like Benjamin Herman, Jan van Duikeren, Kika Sprangers, Jamie Peet, Reinier Baas and Tijn Wybenga.