"The saxophonist... puts fire to the fuse with the Old Testament fury that Charles Gayle displays on his best trio records. More than improvisation or free jazz you hear übergospel: reeling with religious conviction and tortuous dynamism, with roaring pounding in the low register, split tones and a timbre that is almost torn to pieces." Guy Peters, Enola
‘The real eye catcher in this trio is the American saxophonist John Dikeman, brand new Young VIP. Tonight you could hear (and see) that he well and truly deserved the title.’ 3voor12
John Dikeman is an American saxophonist currently residing in Amsterdam. Drawing inspiration from a wide range of sources, John’s playing runs the gamut of improvised music and technique, ranging from reductionist extended technique based improvisation to full throttle free jazz. John has performed extensively in the USA as well as Canada, Lebanon, Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Sudan, Israel, France, Germany, Belgium, Portugal, Austria, Slovakia, Italy, Poland and the Netherlands where he is an active performer and organizer.
John Dikeman was born in Nebraska in 1983 and grew up in Kemmerer, Wyoming. Thanks to the extreme isolation of his hometown, he spent most of his free time practicing and studying music. He quickly discovered the music of John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, John Zorn, and Albert Ayler and instantly connected to the unmatched expressive power of free jazz. John was very fortunate to meet and collaborate with many excellent improvisers at a rather early age. Dikeman started performing professionally at the age of 16 after meeting New Mexican guitarist Stefan Dill who became a mentor for John. Stefan introduced Dikeman to Jack Wright who was living in Boulder, Colorado at the time. Jack would prove to be one of John's biggest influences and a long time collaborator (as well as short term landlord). John also spent a summer in Arkansas where he was able to woodshed and perform with saxophonist Keefe Jackson and bassist Jon Barrios.
Dikeman left Wyoming in 1999 to study saxophone and composition at the Interlochen Arts Academy and then briefly at Bennington College where he attended courses with drumming legend Milford Graves and was also able to collaborate regularly with drummer Ben Hall. During this time John studied privately as well with the late Joe Maneri.
John then moved to New York City for one year where he worked as a satellite dish technician while performing as much as possible. After NYC, John moved to Philadelphia. Frequent collaborators of this time included Daniel Carter, Lukas Ligeti, and Ty Cumbie in The Color Now Band, Nate Wooley, Mike Pride, Jonathan Vincent, Jack Wright, Toshi Makihara, Jon Barrios, Zack Fuller, Reuben Radding, Ava Mendoza, Daniel Carter and many others.
In 2004, Dikeman moved to Cairo, Egypt. In the three years he was there, he worked regularly as a performer, studio musician, and teacher. He performed as a soloist with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, played and traveled throughout North Africa with Nubian pop star Mohamed Mounir, led his own jazz bands which performed weekly in downtown Cairo, played countless weddings and party’s with The Riff Band, and served as the saxophonist in most Egyptian bands that needed one. He also performed at the Lebanese improvised music festival, Irtijal, in 2005 and 2006.
John moved to Amsterdam in December of 2007, after a brief stay in Budapest, Hungary. Since arriving in Amsterdam, John has quickly integrated himself into the improvised music scene, performing with Ab Baars, Han Bennink, Michael Moore, Wilbert de Joode, Terrie Ex, Andy Moor, etc.
In 2012 John was selected as one of two musicians to perform for the Young VIPS tour. This tour featured Cactus Truck, a trio with Jasper Stadhouders and Onno Govaert, playing 17 concerts in the Netherlands. The tour included guest musicians Jon Rune Strom, Jeb Bishop, Peter Jacquemyn, Nicolau Lafetá and Dave Rempis. Cactus Truck is a collaborative trio dedicated to extreme high-energy improvisation, and it’s one of John’s busiest projects. The trio was selected for the 2012 Artacts festival (AU) and the Umbrella Festival (USA) and has received extremely positive reviews for their powerful performances.
John is also busy collaborating with musicians from different countries. The trio Dikeman, Kugel, van der Weide, with German drummer Klaus Kugel and Dutch bassist Raoul van der Weide, has one album available on Not Two Records and two more coming in the next year featuring Andy Moor and Waclaw Zimpel. The trio also plans to tour in 2013 with guest Charles Gayle. Dikeman has an upcoming album with Norwegian based Jon Rune Strom and Tollef Ostvang with tours featuring Roy Campbell and Joe McPhee scheduled for 2013. John also collaborates regularly with Chicago musicians including Jeb Bishop, Mike Reed, Jason Roebke, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Joshua Abrams and Frank Rosaly. A Double Trio album is expected for release in 2013.
John is also a curator for the OT301 New Music and Dance Program as well as the Tabula Rasa series at the Maarten Luther Kerk.