Maalstroom, a 4 piece band from the Netherlands, gives a whole new twist to Celtic folk music. The tunes composed by Gilles, Michel, Job and Paul are influenced by the Irish, English and Dutch folktraditions, while traditional songs are given a new coat of paint.
Fiddler Gilles Rullmann and (bass)clarinet player Michel Duijves form the central place in the band. This interesting combination gives the sound if Maalstroom it's special character.
Michel Duijves (‘the crazy clarinettist’) is the thriving force behind Maalstroom. He has a widely musical interest; playing klezmer with the ‘Jewish Musicband’, traditional Irish folk with ‘Mind the Midgie’ and jazz & improv with ‘Bite the Gnatze’.
His musical companion is guitarist and bouzoukiplayer Paul Pallesen.
Paul plays also jazz and improvised music with 'Drie Hoog Achter' and 'The Astronotes'.
He is bandleader of 'Bite the Gnatze'.
Shortly after the release of Maalstroom’s second CD From the Wood (2004),
fiddler Gilles Rullmann joined the band. He plays Irish and Bluegrass with the duo 'janos & gilles', played in a trio with Gerry Murray and Philip Masure and in the band 'Tjane'.
At last, Maalstroom’s percussionist and singer Job Cornelissen. He mainly plays the bodhran adds some cajon and bones and performs songs like ‘The Cocks are Crowing’ and ‘Gorgeous and Bright’.
Apart from playing in Maalstroom, Job performs as a dancer, stage actor and singer with, among others, 'Rosie Wooff' (improvisation) and 'LINK' (dance/theatre).
The band’s original line-up included virtuoso flautist Brian Finnegan, his other commitments meant he had to leave after their first CD, Face in the Water (2000).
Brian was succeeded by Wim Poesen from Flanders, who also plays flutes and whistles, but added Flemish bagpipes to the sound. He left the band in 2007.
Apart from ordinary gigs in smaller venues like the ‘Folkcafé’ in Tilburg and ‘De Badcuyp’ in Amsterdam, Maalstroom performed at the following festivals in the Netherlands:
'Irish Fundraising Festival', 'Sterren Festival', 'DoeDans Festival', 'Tsjoch Festival' and
'Elastiek Festival'. In July 2006 the band played at the 'Folkfestival Gooikoorts' in Belgium. Maalstroom was on tour in the UK (May 2007 and 2008) and back again at Musicport 08, the World Music Festival in Bridlington.
Maalstroom’s 3rd CD, Open Window, was released in January 2008.
The band started a project with English folk diva Jo Freya in 2009. Maalstroom & Jo Freya performed on the Folkwoods Festival 2009 (NL) and Musicport 09 and Musicport 10 (UK). They toured in theatres and village halls in the Netherlands and the UK.
Maalstroom & Jo Freya released in 2010 the product of their collaboration: the cd meet, which was recorded in the studio of guitarwizzard Philip Masure near Antwerp.