One of the world’s top string groups.
Founded in 2006 after meeting in a small Russian cultural café in Glasgow called Café
Cossachok, the Tim Kliphuis Trio are one of the world’s top string groups, combining
jaw-dropping virtuosity and mesmerizing improvisations with a beautifully varied
repertoire sourced from classical music, gypsy jazz and folk. Joined by his longstanding
colleagues Nigel Clark (guitar) and Roy Percy (double bass), the Trio started
out with Grappelli jazz on their first tours in the Scottish Highlands and quickly
developed a personal sound including other styles and repertoire from classical and
Their first CD, Live in Glasgow, came out in 2007 and after that, they started touring
more often, including one-off festivals such as Baltimore Fiddle Festival, Fiddles on
Fire, Brecon, Edinburgh and Glasgow Jazz festivals and Derry Fiddlefest. Recent
highlights have been their DVD release Live at Iford Manor (2011), an appearance for
10,000 listeners at the Amsterdam Canals Concert and an ongoing collaboration with
the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. In 2015, they premiered Vivaldi-based Reflecting
the Seasons, subsequently recorded on Sony Classical in 2016; Brandenburg, based on
Bach, and Kliphuis’s own Violin Concerto followed in 2018.
Tim, Nigel and Roy play a boundary-crossing mix of various musical genres. Tim's
classical roots are reflected in the choice of repertoire well known to the classical
world. His love for French gypsy jazz maestro Stéphane Grappelli ensures a heavy dose
of swing improvisation. Nigel brings his background in Celtic folk, but also
contemporary guitar techniques into the mix, while Roy's sound recalls the various
rhythms that define New Orleans street music.
Most Trio compositions are brought in by one or all of the Trio members. Their
treatment of a piece is highly personal, and highly temporary. It might even be called
'work in progress'. Given the improvisational character of their music, every
performance is a one-off event.
For this concert, as well as other classically-inspired pieces, the mix includes
movements from Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, which have been blended with gypsy
jazz elements, folk and African grooves, some tunes from Gypsy guitarist Django
Reinhardt, and the Trio’s new Five Elements suite, an ode to our planet– and maybe
even some Vivaldi Four Seasons. The programme order will evolve through the evening
and every tune is announced or explained as the concert progresses.
As a final thought, classical music and improvisation are not as distant as one would
think. Until roughly a century ago, most musicians played more than one instrument,
were able to compose and even improvise on a theme. This tradition stemmed from
early music and was cemented in the days of Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin, where
improvisations were a part of any virtuoso's concert programme. The Trio see
themselves as musicians in this tradition. They love to present the wonderful music
they have come across, partly improvised, partly written and hope that future
generations of musicians and concertgoers will once again come to see improvisation
as part of their staple diet.
Dutchman Tim Kliphuis (violin) breathes new life into existing styles with a highenergy
blend of classical, gypsy jazz and folk music. His improvised sound is totally
new and has popular appeal.
After his master’s degree in classical violin at the Amsterdam Conservatoire, Tim
studied with the European Sinti gypsies. He recorded and toured with gypsy guitar
legends Fapy Lafertin, the Rosenberg Trio and Angelo Debarre. He then developed a
more personal style that has taken him on a busy touring schedule around the world.
The Richard Strauss Festival in Bavaria was the first to commission Tim’s trademark
improvisations on classical music, which now include Bach, Vivaldi, Vaughan Williams,
Richard Strauss, Britten and many others.
An in-demand educator, Kliphuis is the author of best-selling book Stéphane Grappelli
Gypsy Jazz Violin, the much-praised Hot Jazz Violin DVDs and Jazz Etudes on video.
His workshops have been featured at festivals, conservatoires and summer courses in
the USA, Canada, UK, South Africa, Japan and throughout Europe. Tim holds the jazz
violin chair at Tilburg Conservatoire and hosts an annual sell-out Gypsy Jazz Grappelli
Camp back home in the Netherlands every August. As a Sony Classical artist, Kliphuis
recorded Vivaldi-based Reflecting the Seasons in 2016, Brandenburg, based on Bach’s
famous concertos and his own Ulysses Violin Concerto in 2018. During the COVID-19
lockdown Tim composed the suite The Five Elements about climate change, and brand
new Triple Concerto Phoenix Rising (commissioned by NTR ZaterdagMatinee) about our
future on this planet.
Nigel Clark (guitar) has worked with some of the biggest names in jazz and pop
throughout the last 15 years and has toured the world as a leader, sideman and
accompanist. After stints with folk and jazz groups as a student, Nigel joined the
charting Scottish band Hue & Cry in 1987, and became their arranger and guitarist for
the next four years, as well as high-profile collaborations with Maire Brennan (the
singer with Clannad), Scottish singer-songwriter Carol Laula and American legend
After switching to the nylon-strung guitar, Nigel formed his own acoustic group
Worldwide Sound. Since then, he has shared the stage with a host of jazz stars
including Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, guitarists Jan Akkerman and Philip Catherine. A
lasting musical connection was formed with legendary Scottish vocalist Carol Kidd,
including many albums and extensive tours of the Far East. Nigel also was a driving
force behind the Scottish Guitar Quartet. More recently, Nigel has released a solo
album Under the Stars, Confetti Falling In The Rain with Irish songwriter Colette
Cassidy and has enjoyed collaborations with Hugh Buckley, Colette Cassidy and Liz
Roy Percy (double bass) has been a driving force in many bands since the 1980s.
Starting out in the New Orleans tradition, he soon added swing, big band and Jump-
Jive to his repertoire, leading to collaborations with UK jazz names Forrie Cairns, Alan
Barnes and David Newton. As well as touring UK and European Festivals, Roy has been
a frequent transatlantic visitor, appearing at the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee, LA’s Sweet
and Hot Festival and Canada’s Victoria Jazz Festival. Nearer home, he has worked with
many visiting international jazz musicians at the Edinburgh Jazz Festival including
Duke Heitger, Evan Christopher, Bob Barnard and Marty Grosz.
Roy brings raw street rhythms and infectious grooves from New Orleans to the Trio’s
style. His unique bass slapping techniques, unrivalled in Europe, and his subtle
dynamic feel make for a great range of emotions.