Ronald Snijders – flute

Ronald Snijders has been one of the best-known Surinam musicians in Suriname, the Netherlands and beyond since the 1970s. He is a musical citizen of the world, a creative jack-of-all-trades and an exceptionally versatile and talented musical artist. He is also a top performer and composer who is mainly known for his flute playing.

Ronald Snijders was born in Paramaribo in 1951, as the son of the well-known composer, conductor and flutist Eddy Snijders.

Eddy Snijders was a professional musician in the Military Chapel of Suriname and made, among other things, the arrangement of the Surinamese National Anthem. He later became Kapellmeister of this orchestra and was also the founder of the police band there. He was married to Olga Snijders-Ooft and the family had nine children.

At the age of seven, Ronald started playing the flute through his father and also played guitar and saxophone in his teens. In 1970 he left Paramaribo for the Netherlands to study civil engineering in Delft, but eventually chose music. In the meantime he won the press prize of the NOS Jazzconcours and RNW made a film documentary about him. Ronald Snijders later studied musicology at the University of Amsterdam, where he obtained his doctoral degree with a thesis on Surinamese kaseko music. He was knighted by both Suriname and the Netherlands, partly because of the bridges between cultures that characterise his music.

Ronald has released more than 50 CDs, including a 20 CD box that last year won the Touch of jazz award for best album. He also produced some CDs with old Surinamese children’s songs such as Ala presi and Faya siton, and his own new songs.

A few years ago Snijders played with Denise Jannah and others at the Carifesta in Suriname and at the Suriname jazz festival. In addition to these musical activities with countless compositions, Ronald Snijders is also a writer. In the 1990s he published a lexicon on Sranan Tongo and wrote a biography about his father. His autobiography will be published next year.

In the meantime, the film documentary entitled “Easy man” has appeared about him. At the same time an LP and CD were released with internationally renowned musicians from Latin America, the US, Africa and Europe. This one received an EDISON nomination. As of 2018, his seventies and eighties LPs will be re-released. Despite his aristic versatility and concerts in various countries, he has kept his Surinamese roots at the centre of his compositions and flute playing. His band, the Ronald Snijders band, has been around since the mid-1970s under various other names and line-ups. With this he gives life form to the described versatility and roots, where improvisation and other creativity are central in the pieces written by him and a lot of contact with the audience is made. Surinamese rhythms such as kawina and kaseko are combined or alternated with funk, jazz, soul, Brazilian and world. Because of all these swinging elements, the audience often cannot sit still. He has played in West Africa and South Africa, Latin America, Suriname, French Guiana, the US and Europe. He has also played Western chamber music since childhood.

In recent years he has appeared in the Netherlands in VPRO Vrije Geluiden TV, The Great Wide Open, Het Bevrijdingsfestival, Venlo Zomerfeesten, De Zomer bicycle jazz tour, the Kwaku summer festival, the King’s Day concert, Northsea, Northsea around town, the Keti koti festival. , the Night of Military Music and the Concertgebouw Amsterdam.

Ronald Snijders can be reached on facebook and via his website