Karen van Schaik

Karen van Schaik

I am Karen van Schaik. I am a saxophonist, composer, improviser and multidisciplinary artist. I play and compose music for my own project “HU!” and for several other projects.

    • Free Jazz
    • Modern Jazz
    • Creative music
    • Band
  • Sint-Gillis


About HU!:

HU! is a jazz sextet that challenges todays' unconscious gender biases and the fact that there are still so few female jazz instrumentalists (only 5% jazz instrumentalists are female). HU! plays with the traditional roles of musical instruments, transforms relatable situations from daily life into music and brings to the table fragile subjects with musical pieces like "High Pitched Voices Often Get Interrupted" (which is featured in the video), "The Questionable Privilege of Instant Authority", "Childhood Dreams" and "Ballad For The Frozen Eggs."

By using the power of music and humour, HU! is a friendly invitation to question our unconscious gender biases! Let's all be HU!


Karen van Schaik - baritone, alto and sopranino saxophone, compositions, toys

Bruno Grollet - tenor saxophone, toys

Lúcia Pires - flute, toys

Pierre-Antoine Savoyat - trumpet, flugelhorn, toys

Fil Caporali - double bass

Nico Chkifi - drums, toys

HU! played their very well received first concert on June 4th 2023 at café Roskam. A second concert will take place in the beginning of 2024 at Jazz Station (date to be confirmed). We have two sets of 45 mins repertoire and Karen keeps on composing new tunes for this band.

About Karen:

"I have always partly been living in the colourful world of my imagination. I like to search for ways to bring parts of this imaginary world to the real world. it is a beautiful way to connect with people and to bring people together.”

As a child Karen kept herself busy drawing, writing stories, building imaginary landscapes with houses in it, playing with cars, making cartoons, making costumes for herself and her little sister...

At the end of her teens and in her twenties she went to study architecture at Delft University of Technology and kept on doing many creative things like theatre,(scenario) writing and she taught herself to play flute and joined a student orchestra. Aged 23 she picked up the saxophone. After graduating from her studies in architecture and founding student jazz union “Groover”, she decided to dedicate her life to music. After some years of preparation, she moved to Brussels to study jazz saxophone at the conservatory. Nowadays she studies jazz composition at Koninklijk conservatorium Brussel.

In 2013 she joined the European Saxophone Ensemble, where she discovered her passion for free improvisation and composition.

These days Karen is very active as a composer and saxophonist. She composes music for her own band HU!, for circus companies "Be Flat" and "Cie Breaked", for the septet "Araponga" (cross-over of jazz, lyrical singing, mambo, exotica and traditional Peruvian Andean music), and she often gets commissioned to write pieces for other projects. She plays concerts with her own project HU!, with the band Araponga and with circus company Be Flat. She mostly plays baritone, alto and sopranino saxophones, flute and clarinet, but also found herself performing on the Chinese Pole (a circus discipline) singing, acting, tap dancing and using a loop station on stage.





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