• The Ambush Party
  • The Ambush Party
  • The Ambush Party

Natalio Sued – tenorsax
Oscar Jan Hoogland – piano
Harald Austbø – cello
Marcos Baggiani – drums

“Impossible to predict, and impossible to resist”

Laurence Mackin, Irish Times


The Ambush Party is aptly named indeed. As in an ambush, the band lies in wait for the listener, and takes him by surprise. The group takes its inspiration from such diverse genres as noise, tango, opera, drum ‘n’ bass and jazz. Natalio Sued, the Argentinean tenor saxophonist, can boast of a beautiful, old-fashioned sound, which bears comparison to a velvety Ben Webster. But he is equally capable of setting off on noise- based explorations making his saxophone sound like electronics. At times his sax is hardly distinguishable from the lyrical cello of Harald Austbø (who also takes up the role of jack-in-the-box, theatrically pushing the improvisation in a new direction). Pianist Oscar Jan Hoogland treats the piano both on the outside and the inside, as if it were a guitar or a percussion instrument. Drummer Marcos Baggiani is the best possible fourth man as he invents melodies on his drum kit and can be a musical pest and powerhouse at the same time. The foursome has a great sense of musical humour to boot, in the grand tradition of the playful, sometimes sardonic irony of Misha Mengelberg. The second half of the band’s name is just as appropriate as the first: this music is a party!

The Ambush Party was the first band to emerge from the new Amsterdam impro scene more than six years ago. By now the group has an impressive concert history, having played all over Europe and in South America. The group developed its sound at experimental venues like Zaal 100, OT301 and their own DIY-stage Boog 29. By now they bring their instant composing also to the more renowned stages in Amsterdam such Bimhuis, Melkweg and Paradiso and the EYE. The band collaborated with dance groups and filmmakers and did a big theatre tour through Belgium with Clara van den Broek. The band continues touring and playing at festivals like The North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, Buenos Aires Jazz Festival and the famous Moers Festival where they recorded their new second album ‘Circus – The Ambush Party live at Moers Festival’ in front of an attentive and very enthusiastic crowd. This year Freek Vielen and The Ambush Party collaborate for yet another theatre production: ‘So it goes’ based on Kurt Vonnegut’s book Slaughterhouse Five.


”The powerful personalities in The Ambush Party belong to the fourth generation of adventurous Dutch improvisers. Instant composing lives on.”

Tim Sprangers, de Volkskrant

“The Ambush Party did what it does best: work together as an extemporaneous collective, in search of sound and colour… TAP’s music was about having fun, and if anyone was being ambushed, it was the audience”

John Kelman, All About Jazz

“TAP’s material galloped among references to trance, Dixieland, Klezmer, free jazz, Tango and even opera…”

Ken Waxman, NYC Jazz Record

“…like a zoo after closing”

S. J. O’Connell, Downbeat

“Amsterdam-based outfit the Ambush Party play improvised music that is impossible to predict, and impossible to resist. Oscar Jan Hoogland’s prepared piano lines are brilliant and unhinged; who knew a milk frother could be used to make a piano rumble with such emotion? The band sketch out the merest of musical lines, and than duck, jab and weave their way around them, little punches of percussion and sudden stabs of cymbals from Marcos Baggiani circling and irritating the piano, while Harald Austbø drags groans and moans from his cello and himself, before bursting into a voice that could rouse Wagner from a slumber. Meanwhile tenor saxophonist Natalio Sued wears the pained expression, and has the desultory brassy honks and howls of a man who believes he is the only sane one in the asylum. For every moment of chaos, though, there is clockwork efficiency beneath the melee that keeps the whole, swaggering bandwagon whirling onwards and upwards into unified bursts of sound that break like a storm. There is rigorous, meticulous magic at work here. This is music as theatre, and as exciting, engaging and humorous a band as you are likely to see. Seek them out, and leave any preconceived notions at the door because they will be of no use to you.”

Laurence Mackin, Irish Times



“This energetic international quartet choose rather literally for the Circus: the recordings were made in Moers, in a big tent. The interaction is so sharp and straight, you would swear that they had secretly practiced some songs. The six acts (tracks of the album) can be seen as just as many metaphors for the music. Acrobats, rope dancers , clowns, elephants, tigers, trapeze artists: with the people of the Party they are in good hands.”

Eddy Determeyer, Draai om je oren