Ben van den Dungen, born in 1960, is a prominent Dutch jazz saxophonist and a versatile musical force who has made a significant mark on the international music scene. His musical journey began in The Hague, where he graduated with honors from the Royal Conservatory in 1988. His passion for music and pursuit of excellence led him to distant places, broadening his musical horizons. In the late 1980s, he had the opportunity to refine his jazz skills in New York, Cuba, and Colombia, where he delved into Afro-Cuban music and the arrangement of Latin music.

A notable milestone in his career came in 1985 when he won the NOS Meervaart Jazz Prize. This was just the beginning of his impressive series of accomplishments and awards, as in 1987, he also received the prestigious Nicolai Award from the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.

Since his professional debut in 1982, Ben van den Dungen has performed in over 5,500 concerts in as many as 70 different countries. His musical journey has involved contributing to various musical projects, including the Latin Jazz group Nueva Manteca, which he joined in 1983 and has since contributed to 13 albums and performed worldwide.

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In 1984, he joined forces with his colleague and friend, Jarmo Hoogendijk, to establish the Van den Dungen/Hoogendijk Quintet, which played a pioneering role in modern jazz with African percussion under the name “Brand New Orleans.”

In the late 1990s, Ben van den Dungen began exploring his interest in the possibilities of world music, resulting in the recording of the album “How to be Enlightened” with Dutch and Indian musicians after his studies in India.

In 2002, he joined Tango Extremo, an ensemble that blends tango, classical, jazz, and Brazilian music, touring worldwide and captivating audiences with their audiovisual programs, including the impressive “Carnaval de Buenos Aires.”

Ben van den Dungen has shared the stage with some of the biggest names in the jazz world, including Cindy Blackman, Mal Waldron, Art Taylor, Woody Shaw, Jimmy Knepper, Kirk Lightsey, Lester Bowie, Brian Lynch, Ralph Peterson, and Jim McNeely.

In addition to his impressive performing career, Ben is also a dedicated music educator. Since 1991, he has been teaching at the Rotterdam Conservatory, where he instructs saxophone and ensemble playing. He has also taught at other prestigious conservatories in the Netherlands and conducted international masterclasses and clinics at music schools around the world.

As a composer and arranger, Ben van den Dungen has built an extensive repertoire with over 80 compositions. He has composed music for his own groups, including the Ben van den Dungen/Jarmo Hoogendijk Quintet, the Ben van den Dungen Quartet, Nueva Manteca, Brand New Orleans, and Tango Extremo.

As an author, he has shared his knowledge and experience in books such as “Zakelijke routeplanner voor Musici” (Business Roadmap for Musicians) and “De Kleine Louis,” an educational children’s book about the history of jazz music.

In addition to his musical and educational contributions, Ben van den Dungen has also made an impact as an organizer, business leader, and producer in the music industry. He has organized concerts and festivals, led productions, and collaborated with various ensembles and artists to create impressive musical performances.

Ben van den Dungen has left an indelible mark on the Dutch and international music scene, as a musician, teacher, composer, author, and producer. His dedication to sharing musical knowledge and creating groundbreaking music continues to inspire many around the world.