PRESS RELEASE - April 2005

Tulips 2005 marks the 60th Anniversary of the gift of 100,000 tulip bulbs to Canadians by the Dutch Royal Family. This Gift of Tulips was made as a symbolic thank you to Canadian for providing safe haven for members of the Dutch Royal Family in Ottawa and the important and strategic role the Canadian Army played in the liberation of the Netherlands.

Luluk Purwanto & the Helsdingen Trio, performing on The Stage Bus
f e a t u r i n g:  Luluk Purwanto, violin/voice; René van Helsdingen, piano; Marcello Pellitteri,drums; Essiet Okon Essiet, bass.

Between May 1 and September 30, 2005 , Luluk Purwanto & the Helsdingen Trio will present their music at town-squares, music festivals, universities and cultural heritage sites in ten Canadian provinces and three Canadian territories. Their concerts will be a tribute to the Canadian Veterans. During the tour, the Mayor of every city visited by the Stage Bus will be offered, in a pre-concert ceremony, a Tulip Friendship Garden . To honour those who contributed to the liberation of the Netherlands, local veterans will be invited to receive this very special garden along with the civic representatives. The Tulip Bus will visit 75 cities during its tour of Canada. 
The trans-Canada Tulips 2005 tour will be made with a unique multifunctional Stage Bus, mobile stage, designed by Dutch audio-visual installation artist Aart Marcus, allowing the artists to actually travel in the same space in which they perform. The Stage Bus can unfold into a fully equipped Stage including instruments and Sound System and will
be temporarily imported into Canada for use during this Canadian tour.

The Canadian tour follows many highly successful tours in previous years with the “Stage  Bus” through Europe, Indonesia, Australia and America. Their recent Stage Bus tour, Jazz from Holland, took place during the Olympics 2004 in Greece, on the occasion of the Olympic and Paralympic Games of Athens 2004  and in the framework of the Cultural Olympiad. The Stage Bus with Luluk Purwanto & the Helsdingen trio are an Internationally recognized  jazz ensemble, dedicated to bringing their music to audiences around the world and continually breaking new ground for the acceptance and appreciation of improvised music.
Their Canadian tour will feature Dutch jazz pianist Rene van Helsdingen ,violinist Luluk Purwanto, regarded as one of Indonesia’s foremost jazz artists, the New York based bass player, Essiet Okon Essiet, who is highly acclaimed among international jazz musicians and the drummer Marcello Pellitteri, Associate Professor at Berklee, College of Music in Boston. Because of the unique composition of the group, the visit to Canada will be a true cultural exchange. As such, the tour will serve to promote better relationships among different cultures, mutual understandings and world peace. This Canadian tour is an important vehicle for building people-to-people linkages between Canada and The Netherlands.  This is a truly fusion group, bringing jazz sounds from Holland, Indonesia and America in an intriguing approach to improvisation.
The group will have you on the edge of your seat bursting with curiosity as to each tune will unfold. Passionate? Catchy? Yes, Unusual? Yes.

Luluk Purwanto was born and raised in the world's largest and most varied archipilago, Indonesia. Home to people from a maze of ethnic groups. each with their own language and cultural traditions living harmoniously together. It is the quality of her background and experience that unlocked her universal desire for artistic expression and freedom ; jazz. Luluk earned her musical degrees from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Australia and from the Institute of Art in Yogyakarta Indonesia. She was first exposed to jazz playing in 1980 and started her career crisscrossing the world playing at festivals, concert halls and jazz clubs. It was during a tour through India and Indonesia in1986 that she joined the Helsdingen trio for the first time. Over the years René has recorded and produced for many different labels, such as Virgin, Timeless, WEA, Pasific, his own label: Helsdingen Music and Munich Records, Wageningen, Holland. “Munich Records recognizes those who have chosen not to follow the crowd” . René's piano work is articulate, engaging and always encourages good side men. “A rewarding pianist who can play comfortably in the groove, or create more impressionistic patterns, or quiet, subtle musings. Perhaps the most notable quality of his solo´s is brevity. René allows himself a few extended workouts and avoids the trap of repeating himself or overstating his case” ,The Age” Melbourne, 23 Dec. 1996
“Luluk Purwanto´s unique lyrical phrasing on the violin seamlessly weaves between her vocal improvisations and the strong rhythmic piano lines of Rene van Helsdingen. They play as one slipping between feels effortlessly with a lovely organic flow rarely heard in contemporary jazz. “ The effect is like flicking through a large and colorful picture book”. Beat Magazine, Melbourne.
Essiet Okon Essiet and Marcello Pellitteri are a solid Rhythm section adding a strongly pronounced Jazz character to the music . They lay down exquisite grooves and tasteful creative interjections. Bassist Essiet Okon Essiet , born in the U.S. of Nigerian parents, has performed and recorded with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Adullah Ibrahim, Don Moye, Benny Golson, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, Louis Hayes, Cedar Walton, Kenny Barron, Sam Rivers, George Adams, Kenny Garrett, Al Foster, Bobby Watson & Horizon, Kevin Mahogany, Mulgrew Miller, Geri Allen-Ralph Peterson, Blue Note Allstars and many others. Essiet also leads his group called IBO (Intercontinental Bush Orchestra), a Nigerian Jazz Project.
Italian born Drummer, Marcello Pellitteri has Performed and recorded with Jacky Terrasson, New York Voices, Jon Hendricks, Miroslav Vitous, Kenny Barron, Joe henderson, Dave Liebman, Mick Goodrick, Woody Shaw, John Abercrombie, Winton Marsalis Fabio Morgera Vic Juris Eddie Gomez, the Gypsy Kings and others.

  photo page 105:
General Lay-out for Tour Poster (design by Rene van Helsdingen)
Listing of Names of Communities visited by the Stage Bus.
Background: Dutch Tulip field - The Stage Bus II - opened and closed