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Chris Hinze was born in Hilversum, in the Netherlands. He began his musical studies on the piano at the age of 12. After working as a pianist all over Europe for several years, he returned to Holland and entered the Royal Conservatory in The Hague to study the flute. Around that time he met bass player Dick van der Capellen and together with Cees See/Martin van Duinhoven, they formed the 'Dick van der Capellen trio'. ('The Present is Past'). After getting his degree at the Royal Conservatory in 1969, Chris won a scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston to study composition and arranging. Whilst at Berklee, he started to produce his unique Baroque/Jazz albums 'Telemann my Way', 'Vivat Vivaldi' etc. He also founded the 'Chris Hinze Combination'.
At that time one of his great passions was composing major works: he was commissioned to compose a suite for the Holland Festival in 1972. The result was ‘Live Music Now’, for 42 musicians and string orchestra. Hinze received the Beethoven Award from the City of Bonn for this composition. His other symphonic works include ‘New York’ and ‘Parcival’. He also won the "Prix D’Italia" for composers with his production ‘Mangala’, which was the entry of the Dutch Radio and TV Industry in 1986. Between 1972 and 1982 he received 3 Edison awards (from the Dutch gramophone Industry).
Kings Of Reggae
He has performed with many well-known musicians, such as reggae legend Peter Tosh in Jamaica (where Hinze’s CD Kings of Reggae was recorded), the great producer Michael Gibbs in London, and The Brecker Brothers in the USA. He has played with fellow flautists James Moody, Paul Horn, Raghunath Seth, Herbie Mann and Don Burrows at major international festivals. Many of these performances were recorded.
In the early seventies Hinze also started to travel to far eastern countries like Indonesia, India and Japan. Studying ragas in Bombay (1974) with bansuri bamboo flute player Raghunath Seth and playing and improvising together with musicians from these cultures formed the foundation of Hinze’s pioneering style, which would now be called ‘world music’: for examples see the recordings made in 1974 in Tokyo with shakuhachi player Hozan Yamamoto: Kyorai, Keden and Mange (sadly no longer available). Later Hinze invited his teacher Raghunath Seth back to Europe for concert tours. They recorded many CD’s together, all available on the Keytone label.
Chris Hinze Combination
Apart from his ‘baroque-jazz’ and ‘world music’ Chris Hinze has yet more sides to his versatile musical personality: the funky jazz-rock ‘Chris Hinze Combination’ was presented internationally in 1971 at the Montreux Jazz Festival at Lake Geneva. In 1978 he also started duo tours with the celebrated German guitarist Sigi Schwab. These concerts were very successful, based on the concept of ‘total music’, which was completely new at the time.
Over the years Hinze has recorded more than 60 albums, most of which are still available on the Keytone label. He has also produced many other artists, such as the first Pili Pili albums with Jasper van ‘t Hof, the first Kevin Eubanks album, the first Special E.Fax album, and many albums with Charlie Mariano, Arto Tuncboyaci, Michael Urbaniak, Urszula Dudziak, the Brecker Brothers, Larry Coryell, Ann Burton, Toots Thielemans, John Lee & Gerry Brown, the late Zbigniew Seifert (jazz violinist from Poland) among others.
The Dalai Lama
For the last decade, Hinze has been dividing his time between Europe and Asia, where he travels, performs, records, and studies. The following gives a rough idea of his accomplishments during these years.
In 1992 and 1993 Chris Hinze visited Bhutan, Tibet, Thailand, China and Japan. -In early 1994, he and the Chris Hinze Combination were invited for a concert tour of India. The live recordings from this tour can be heard on the CD Namaskar, which was released in January 1995. At the end of this tour Chris Hinze was invited to visit His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala. Extracts of the recorded text of this interview were used by Chris Hinze in his CD 'Tibet Impressions' (1994). September 1997 saw the release of the CD 'Tibet Impressions Volume II', the sublime sequel to the highly successful 1994 album.
The Ambient House remixes (made by producer/musician Tom Holkenborg, later well known as JUNKIE XL) of two tracks from Hinze’s successful 1994 CD Tibet Impressions received a highly enthusiastic response. This indicated that the time might be right to produce a remix by Holkenborg of Hinze’s two “Meditations and Mantras” CDs. It resulted in the beautiful ambient/soundscape/triphop/jungle album Mellow Mantras. These two productions were the start of the very successful collaboration between the two musicians in recent years. Chris composed, played and mixed and Holkenborg was invited to contribute additional dance rhythms and the end-mix of many of Chris’ albums.
Between 1996 and 2000 more albums and tours followed, including; 'TaiChi in Balance vol.1 & 2', 'Chris Hinze & The Gyuto Monks Live' and 'Zen the Fire Within'.
In 2000 Chris Hinze went to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos en Burma seeking inspiration. Burma especially made a big impression on him. A CD/DVD is to be expected in the near future. In 2001 Chris Hinze visited Vietnam and The Philippines. From 2002 on he took up the thread with the Chris Hinze Combination, which resulted in the release of the CD Akar Akar (2002), the CD/DVD release ”Back on the map” (2004) and a yearly European tour with the German photographer and world traveller Kai Uwe Kuechler with the program “Visual Concerts/Tibet Impressions”.
In 2005 Chris Hinze visited Brazil and Mexico. In 2006 he began walking the pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostella. Unfortunately he had to abandon this after 450 km, because of knee problems. He hopes to finish the route next year. At the moment Chris Hinze is working on his new Tibet Impressions vol.3 CD and collecting material for a tour in April 2007 with rapper Raymzter (with whom he recorded the single and clip 'Vechten Op Het Schooplein') and the female Moroccan vocalist Rajae Mouhandiz.
There is insufficient space here for extended reviews of all sixty or so Chris Hinze releases, so we refer you to the Keytone Records catalogue.
Since the end of 1994 Chris Hinze has lived on the magical Spanish island of Ibiza. An ideal retreat to come back to after all his travels. There he lives and works in a quiet and secluded spot up in the mountains with a beautiful view over the Mediterranean Sea.
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