Biography Tony Overwater

Tony Overwater is an award winning bass player whose sound and unique way of playing have established him as a key player in the European music world. He is a remarkable solo performer and leader of his own projects but also a collaborative and attentive sideman. He is well known for his pioneering work in Arab music.
In 1995 Tony Overwater went on tour with the Yuri Honing Trio through the Middle East, notably Lebanon and Syria, and fell in love with Arab music culture. He met musicians from lebanon, Syria and Iraq and started a long time collaboration with the Lebanese singer Rima Khcheich.

He has been involved in Arab music ever since and developed a unique new playing style on the acoustic bass which allows him to play the microtonality of the Arab scales. He has been studying the maqams (scales), rhythms and songs of classical Arab music. He recorded several albums with Rima Khcheich and eventually became the musical director of her ensemble. Regularly Rima Khcheich and Tony Overwater play duo concerts in which they perform classical Arab music in muwashah style in which the acoustic bass replaces the Oud. This has never been done before and is highly successful at festivals around the world.

Tony Overwater played concerts with many arab musicians among which Moroccan ud player Said Chraibi, Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh and Algerian violinist Kheiredinne M’Kachiche.
He started a salon of Arab music in the Netherlands, Salon Joussour, creating a bridge between musicians from the Middle East and Europe.
in 2009, together with pianist Rembrandt Frerichs and percussionist/drummer Vinsent Planjer, Tony Overwater formed  the Rembrandt Frerichs Trio. Three musicians with strong interest and highly developed skills in Arab music and with roots in Western classical music and jazz united in the trio to play with different guest musicians from the Middle East.
Tony Overwater has created the music for many documentaries, among which the Berlin Award winning documentary Justice For Sergei and Om de Oude Wereldzee about Dutch politician Abraham Kuyper.

Quotes by musicians:

Tony's technical ability is superb, but what makes him one of the unique and exciting musicians that I have shared the stage with, is that he brings a great deal of love, soul, sensitivity, space and innovation to every performance.  Extraordinary musicianship that you look for every day, but encounter only once in a long while.“   
Kayhan Kalhor 

„Tony is a man with great intellect and an amazing technique, whereas he is just pure and innocent in front of the music, trying to make the music move forward freely. 
This attitude has something in common with Japanese aesthetics. In Japan, we say ‚Innocence and purity encourage artists’ creativity and spontaneity.
Atsuko Kohashi 


 „It is very difficult for me to imagine my career without Tony. For me, the Duo we performed together is one of the most charming and beautiful performances I did in my life. I think Tony’s playing is not only about techniques and capacities, what makes him very special is the soul he puts in the music and the high taste in the arrangement and the accompaniment.
I hope our journey together will continue because we have a lot to say together still.“ 
Rima Khcheich


- Tony Overwater Ensemble

- Rembrandt Frerichs Trio
- Glimp

- Jungle Boldie

- Rima Khcheich

- Atsuko Kohashi



- Boy Edgar Award 2002

- Golden CD 'Kikker swingt'

- Nominatie Bird award in 2002 and 2005 

- Edison award 2001

- Podium Prize 1989

Selected discography

- Rembrandt Frerichs Trio - The Contemporary Fortepiano
- Tony Overwater Ensemble - Om de Oude Wereldzee
- Rembrandt Frerichs trio - Long story short 

- Jungle Boldie- Jungle Boldie 

- Tony Overwater groep - OP 

- Kikker Swingt/Kikker heeft de Blues

- Rima Khcheich - Hawa

- Yuri Honing Trio - Star Tracks
- Karin Hammar - Everyday magic

- Kepera Trio - Levantasy

- Hermine Deurloo - Glass fish

- David Murray - Sanctuary Within

- Tony Overwater - Motion Music