Marzio Scholten (Granollers, Spain, June 17th, 1982) is regarded as one of the leading modern (jazz) guitarists and composers of the Netherlands and beyond.
In June 2008, after having graduated at the renowned Conservatory of Amsterdam two years earlier, he released his critically acclaimed debut album ‘Motherland’. This album already positioned him as one of Holland’s top guitarists. In 2009 he was nominated for the prestigious Deloitte Jazz Award. His second album ‘World Of Thought’ was released in October 2010 and also received various stunning reviews worldwide, changing his status from ‘promising’ to ‘leading’ guitarist. Dutch national newspaper De Volkskrant saw him as “an example for his generation.” Influential American e-magazine All About Jazz published a raving review and selected ‘World Of Thought’ as one of the best international releases of 2010. In the Netherlands ‘World Of Thought’ also ended up in the Top 10 of best jazz releases that year. His 2012 (self) released album ‘Voids, Echoes And Whispers’ marked yet another highlight in his career. This album again received critical acclaim worldwide and even ended up high in ‘year end lists’ in Japan.
In 2013, Scholten’s new ‘electric’ band IDENTIKIT has been making huge waves in the Dutch modern jazz scene, bringing a stunning combination of modern jazz and indie-rock. IDENTIKIT features some of the best players around, like Jasper Blom on tenor and Lars Dietrich on alto. In the fall of 2013 IDENTIKIT released its debut album ‘Garage Moi’ (Scholten’s fourth as a leader), which once again received stunning reviews, recognized ‘Garage Moi’ as an “exhilarating album” (Volkskrant) and as “universal art” (Het Parool). Dutch newspaper Het Parool gave the album the maximum of five stars (*****). Papers as De Volkskrant, Trouw and many others gave it four stars (****) out of five, which made this album an instant classic and one of the best jazz albums that year.
In 2015 Scholten and his band IDENTIKIT released their sophomore album ‘Here Comes A Riot’ which came out on vinyl exclusively and was recorded by American recording engineer Philip J. Harvey (The White Stripes, Martin Medeski & Wood, Jack White, Lorde, etc.). ‘Here Comes A Riot’ was recorded as a set in just one take and with its short lenght of just under half an hour it became a powerful statement of Scholten and his band. This album also didn’t go unnoticed and once again received stunning reviews in the Dutch press.
Scholten has been playing worldwide on important stages and festivals. A few examples of these are: North Sea Jazz Festival, Bimhuis, LantarenVenster and Royal Theatre Carré. So far his international tours have led him to the United States, Spain, Mexico, Germany, Greece, Cyprus, Kosovo and Italy.
Marzio Scholten’s current working bands are IDENTIKIT and the Marzio Scholten Group. As a sideman he has played with and worked for alto saxophonist Marike van Dijk, dj/producer Jameszoo, Amsterdam Jazz Orchestra, New Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra and many more.
“This isn’t jazz, this is universal art.”
***** Het Parool (Dutch national newspaper)
“Garage Moi shows how exciting the combination of jazz and pop music can be.”
**** Trouw (Dutch national newspaper)
An exhilarating album [Garage Moi].”
**** De Volkskrant (Dutch national newspaper)
“We will have to add a new name to the generation of Rosenwinkel, Rogers and Hekselman, someone who is able to innovate tradition without losing the sense of the communicative jazz of a few decades ago“
The Mellophonium – Adriano Ghirardo
“Voids, Echoes And Whispers is so exciting that Scholten cannot be named a promise anymore; he already fulfilled that promise“
Telegraaf (Dutch national newspaper)
“ … a storyteller who has subtlety working for him…”
Jazzflits (Dutch e-magazine)
“Pat Metheny, John Abercrombie and Kurt Rosenwinkel may come to mind, but Scholten’s sound and playing have a distinctive idiom, texture and signature.“
Jazzenzo (Dutch website)
“Having just turned 30, Scholten has managed to evolve into an artist delivering on his promises in a big way.“
All About Jazz (influential American website)
“The in-turns lyrical and fiery Voids, Echoes and Whispers is another superb addition to Scholten’s discography and another contender for this year’s (2012) “best of” list.“
All About Jazz (influential American website)
“Immediately it is clear where the strenghts of Scholten and his associates lie; fresh and original compositions inventively composed of motifs derived from pop and rock music, flowing melodies, catchy riffs, time signature changes and thematic movements…“
Jazzenzo (Dutch website)
“Powerful and mature… an example for his jazz generation.“
(Tim Sprangers/Volkskrant ****)
“The more you listen to this record, the better it gets.“
(Maartje den Breejen about ‘World Of Thought‘/Parool ****)
“Guitarist Marzio Scholten’s playing is not only technically virtuoso, but artistically very refined as well. He knows how to tell a story… With an impressive palette of colors and nuances Scholten creates a world of thought… It is ingenious in its subtlety and refined in its texture, with structures that are both reflective as profound.“
(Frank Huser / Jazzflits)
“… World Of Thought (the follow-up to his debut album Motherland) lets us hear Scholten’s growth as a modern jazz composer with a strong feeling for melody… as a guitarist he tells a wider and more detailed story, in which he combines light-fingered technique with color and sound.“
(Amanda Kuyper / NRC Handelsblad ***)
“Marzio Scholten gives the Netherlands claim to yet another masterful jazz guitarist“
(Anton Goudsmit/liner notes ‘World Of Thought’)
“On guitarist Marzio Scholten’s second album your ears are being spoiled… A leading and mature album in modern jazz…“
(Armand Serpenti/WOT review, Trouw)
“… live on stage, as well as on his album, Scholten succeeds in creating a sound of his own… Sometimes the music can sound like the soundtrack of a movie, which the listener can create and play in his own mind. It is as if you are able to understand what the musicians on stage are saying to you… from the very first notes the Marzio Scholten Group brought the audience to a higher level and understanding.“
(Daan van Lier/3voor12)
“… Scholten’s improvisations are clear and melodic, focusing on beauty and variety. His flawless and distinct technique is impressive.“
(Sabine Fleig/Draai Om Je Oren)
“… a modern jazz adventure… very promising!“
“… Scholten is an exquisite soloist who impresses with distinct storylines drenched in emotion… his ingenious original compositions, varying in mood and thoroughly elaborated, also have a clear signature; sophisticated, melodic and fresh, at some times risky, but always effective and accessible… vision, a staggering maturity, dosage of the material, and the ingenious compositions make of Motherland a phenomenal debut entirely on account of Scholten.“
“It does not happen very often that a young jazz musician presents himself on his debut album with such musical maturity the way that guitarist Marzio Scholten does on his ‘Motherland’… As a soloist he is a strikingly strong ‘storyteller’ with a subtle feeling for melody… This is serious young jazz of today; sensitive, beautiful and intense…”
“… and now, here is his debut ‘Motherland. A portfolio or showcase on which Marzio Scholten presents to us his skills, which are very impressive… His playing is melodic, subtle and fresh, as well as angular and to the point… His work has an open character and invites the listener to relate to the music… Extremely well done. A debut one could only dream about.”
“… strong debut album… Marzio presents himself as a jazz guitarist with a broad approach to the jazz genre… definitely music from this time…nothing but big compliments…”
(Jesse van Ruller/liner notes ‘Motherland’)