Han Bennink

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Han Bennink (born April 17, 1942) is a Dutch jazz drummer and percussionist.

Bennink was born in Zaandam, the son of a classical percussionist. He played the drums and the clarinet during his teens. Through the 1960s he drummed with a number of American musicians visiting the Netherlands, including Eric Dolphy, Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins (he can be heard on Dolphy's final recording, Last Date (1964)).

He subsequently became a central figure in the emerging European free improvisation scene. In 1963 he formed a quartet with pianist Misha Mengelberg and saxophonist Piet Noordijk which had a number of different bassists and which played at the 1966 Newport Jazz Festival, and in 1967 he was a co-founder of the Instant Composers Pool with Mengelberg and Willem Breuker, which sponsored Dutch avant garde performances. From the late 1960s he played in a trio with Peter Brötzmann and Fred van Hove, which became a duo after van Hove's departure in 1976. Through much of the 1990s he played in Clusone 3 (also known as the Clusone Trio), a trio with saxophonist and clarinetist Michael Moore and cellist Ernst Reijseger. He has often played duos with Mengelberg and collaborated with him alongside other musicians.

As well as playing with these long-standing groups, Bennink has performed and recorded solo (Tempo Comodo (1982) being among his solo recordings) and played with many free improvisation and free jazz luminaries including Derek Bailey, Conny Bauer, Don Cherry and Alexander von Schlippenbach, as well as relatively more conventional jazz musicians.

Bennink's style is wide ranging, running from conventional jazz drumming to highly unconventional free improvisation, for which he often uses unconventional objects (such as chairs) to produce sound and employs unusual percussion instruments as well as the standard drum kit. He also sometimes plays non-percussion instruments, including the clarinet, violin and piano.

Han is the brother of the saxophonist Peter Bennink.

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