Caspar van Meel
Caspar van Meel

Caspar van Meel is a dutch bass player, arranger and composer currently living and working in Germany. He is known as a versatile and solid player securely grounded in the jazz-tradition while playing with ,an ear to the future‘. Apart from studying double bass he also enjoys performing on the electric bass guitar as well as arranging and composing music for various styles and ensembles from string quartet to jazz quintet.

Before turning to music full-time van Meel received his masters degree in Arts & Culture from the University of Maastricht (NL) with an emphasis on philosophy. During this time he also studied at the conservatory of Maastricht with Jan van de Boomen and classical bassist Carol Hart (Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra). Van Meel went on to study full-time with WDR-Big Band bassist John Goldsby at the Folkwang University in Essen (DU) where he received his masters degree in music. In 2014 he got a GVL-Stipend and was invited to the prestigious Workshop for Jazz and Creative Music at the the Banff Centre, Canada where he worked with a.o. Steve Coleman, Vijay Iyer, Jeff Tain Waits, Reggie Workman and Marcus Gilmore.

Van Meel has won numerous awards over the years. As a bandleader with the Caspar van Meel Quintet he was award winner of the Future Sound Competition and the Jazz Preis Ruhr, as a co-leader he received the Jazzwerkruhr Preis with Trigonon and as a sideman he was finalist of the Dutch jazz Competition with the Mike Roelofs Band.

He worked with a.o. the WDR Big Band, Philip Catherine, Götz Alsman and Gerd Dudek, can look back on a host of international tours and concerts and played at festivals like the North Sea Jazz Festival, WDR Jazz Night and the Leverkusener Jazztage. Also, he has experience with theatre-and studio-production and wrote music for children for the Tonhalle Düsseldorf and members of the Bochum Symphony Orchestra. Finally Van Meel also enjoys working as a music-educator in several schools in the region of NRW.


2004–2009 University Degree Double Bass Jazz – studies with John Goldsby, Nick de Groot Folkwang University, Essen, Germany
2005–2012 Workshops with a.o. Scott Colley, Uri Cain, John Riley, Adam Nussbaum, Steve Swallow.
1998–2003 University Degree in Arts & Letters, University of Maastricht, Netherlands with emphasis on philosophy of mind, cultural diversity, philosophy of music and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. Final thesis:The music-making Socrates: the role of music in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche‘ (final grade: 9)
31-08-2003 University degree from the Faculty of Arts and Culture, Maastricht University
02/02–05/02 Internship Filosofie Magazine, Amsterdam, Netherlands
09/99–01/02 Preliminary year Double Bass Jazz, Maastricht Conservatory, Netherlands
09/97–06/98 Nijmegen School of Management, Department Human Geography & Spatial Planning, Nijmegen University
09/91–05/97 VWO-Atheneum (Grammar school), Eemland College / Meridiaan College, Amersfoort

Employment History: Journalism & Science

2013 Presentation for the Max Planck Institute Berlin: The Representation of Extra-Musical Meaning: a History.
2002 Editor for Magazine The Humanist (regular column, inter views with Michael, Iganitieff, Peter Slooterdijk, Hans Achterhuis)
2002 Freelance work for Bassmagazine (interviews with a.o. Scott Colley, Larry Grenadier, Matthew
Garrison, Joris Teepe)
1999–2001 Editor (PR, Marketing), Interdisciplinary Magazine Mosaïek of the Faculty of Arts & Culture, University of Maastricht

Performance History: Music

Concerts, recording or cooperation with a.o WDR Big Band, Philharmonie Essen, Grillo Theatre, Bochum Theatre, Heidelberg Theatre, Götz Alsman, Philip Catherine, Gerd Dudek, Ruud Breuls, Dieter Glawischnig, Klaus Osterloh, Pablo Held, Peter Herborn, Samuel Dhuesler, Ryan Carniaux, Jonas Burgwinkel, Denis Gäbel, Mathiass Schriefl, Mathiass Nadolny, Matthiass Bergmann, Romy Camerun, Pe Werner, Afra Mussawisade, Ruud Breuls, Milan Bongerd, Geert Roelofs, Mike Roelofs, Laia Genc, Bruno Boehmer, etc.

since 2007 Composing and arranging for various projects
since 1999 Frequent performances and tours on double bass and electric bass in jazzclubs, theaters, rock/pop venues, jazz and music festivals
since 1999 Teacher double bass / bass-guitar

Detailed Performance History: Music

2015 Tour MS-Europa1und II
CD RecordingTricycle
CD Recording EllingtonTrio Pianofestival Ruhr mit Igor Savatckii Trio
2014 Arrangement for Tonhalle Düsseldorf and Bochumer Symphoniker
GVL Stipend and International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, Banff, Kanada with ao.Vijay Iyer, Steve Coleman Reggie Workman, Steve Lehman, Jeff Tain Watts
2013 Performance for the German national TV-station ZDF with Nikola Materne & Bossa Noire Concert with Götz Alsman
CD Recording with Gerd Dudek, Mathiass Bergmann & Ingo Marmulla Band
Lecture Max Planck Institute Berlin, Germany: ,The Representation of Extra Musical Meaning: a History‘
2012 CD Recording Charlotte Ortmann Trio ,Ride On‘ (release 2012) – Arranger, Double Bass & Electric Bass
Tour Charlotte Ortmann Trio Southern Germany
CD Recording TREY ,Common Ground‘ (release 2013) – Composer, Arranger, Double Bass
Jazzpreis Ruhr Award 2012 with ,Caspar van Meel Quintet‘
Performance Theatre Heidelberg, Germany
2011 Tour with Peter Herborns Question Quartet
Performances for the Theatre in Bochum, Germany.
Concerts with Rob Bruynen (WDR Big Band) & Brownies Colours feat.Afra Mussawisade CD Recording Jonas Röser Quartet ,The Saga of Electric Plastic‘
2010 Festival Leverkusener Jazztage with Caspar van Meel Quintet, Award Winner ,Future Sounds Competition‘
CD release Caspar van Meel Quintet ,Creole‘ – Composer, Arranger, Double Bass Professional visit to New York to see and hear music. Meetings with Colin Stranahan, Maria Neckam,Joseph Lapore, Robin Verheijen.
Substitute for John Goldsby with the WDR-BIg Band
CD recording Trigonon ,Sails‘ – Composer, Arranger, Double Bass
2009 Jazz festival Essen (JOE) with Orbits
Concerts with Philip Catherine and Gerd Dudek
Jazzwerkruhr Award 2009 with the trio Trigonon
Positionen: Dance-performance with Irina Castillo in Museum, Unna (DE) CD recording with Nikola Materne & Bossa Noire ,Wunderbar Allein‘ Performances Grillo Theatre, Essen
2008 North Sea Jazz Festival with Mike Roelofs Band (Finals Dutch Jazz Competition)
WDR Radio, Campus Jazz:Jonas Windscheid Quintet
CD Recording with Question Quartet: the music of Peter Herborn (release november 2009 at NRW Records)
Concerts in Ukraine with Andre Krengel ,Acoustic Embassy‘
WDR Jazznight with Orbits in Domicil, Dortmund (DU)
Concerts in Norway, Stavanger for EON, Ruhrgas with Thomas Hufschmidt Trio
2007 WDR-Radio Recording with Damage Control
Ernst Jandl project with UFO-Bigband and Dieter Glawischnig (NDR-bigband)
Project: „Europa – Was wir sind und was wir hoffen“, Aalto Theater and Grillo ,Theater Essen, Artistic Director: Anselm Weber;
Ode d‘Espagne for the Double Bass: (Francois Rabbath) – Dance-performance with Irina Castillo Project Grillo Allstars for the Grillo Theater Essen
2006 Tour Netherlands / Belgium with Mike Roelofs Band and CD recording: “Roepaen Sessions”
2005 Barga Jazz festival (Italy) with Laia Genc “Liaison Tonique” and 3e place at the 3d Ethnomusic Competiion in Milan (Italy)
2004 Tour in Curaçao with Down South
Recording of CD Mike Roelofs Band ‘Cambrinus Sessions‘
2003 Regional Finals ‘Grote Prijs van Nederland’ with Mia Thought & Something Happened ! Award for Best Bassist ‘Grote Prijs Finale Zuid-Limburg’
2002 Tour of Austria (Vienna), Belgium and the Netherlands with Austrian, NewYork based singer Maria Neckam (Mia Thought and Something Happened)
2002–2005 Session leader weekly jam sessions at Edd’s Café, Maastricht, Netherlands
1999–2000 Member regular Houseband Café d’Alsace, Maastricht, Netherlands

Assorted Publications

  • De evolutionaire noodzaak van Beethoven, Filosofie Magazine (7/2002)
  • Pedagogische pedanterie, Filosofie Magazine, (4/2002)
  • Luisteren naar de tegenstem: het posthumanisme van Heleen Pott, de Humanist (4/2003)
  • De canon van het humanisme: Sloterdijk over Heidegger. de Humanust, (1/2004)
  • De canon van het humanisme: Achterhuis over More, de Humanist (3/2004)
  • De canon van het humanisme: Singer over Darwin, de Humanist (6/2004)
  • De canon van het humanisme: Cliteur over Rousseau, de Humanist (6/2004)
  • ++mens, De Humanist, (2002)

General Skills and interest

  • Language skills: Excellent Dutch, English and German, limited French.
  • Writing skills: Experience in editing and writing texts for various target groups in different genres and styles
  • Computer skills: Excellent knowledge of Word, Outlook, Music notation programms like Finale and Sibelius 5 and good typing skills.
  • Driving skills: Driving license since 1999
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