John Dikeman is an American saxophonist currently residing in Amsterdam. Drawing inspiration from a wide range of sources, John’s playing runs the gamut of improvised music and technique, ranging from reductionist extended technique based improvisation to full throttle free jazz. The underlying characteristic of his music is an unnerving commitment, a total abandonment to sound. John has performed extensively in the USA as well as Canada, Lebanon, Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Sudan, Israel, France, Germany, Belgium, Poland and the Netherlands where he is an active performer and organizer.
John Dikeman was born in Nebraska in 1983 and grew up in Kemmerer, Wyoming. Thanks to the extreme isolation of his hometown, he spent most of his free time practicing and studying music. He quickly discovered the music of John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, John Zorn, and Albert Ayler and instantly connected to the unmatched expressive power of free jazz. John was very fortunate to meet and collaborate with many excellent improvisers at a rather early age. Dikeman started performing professionally at the age of 16 after meeting New Mexican guitarist Stefan Dill who became a mentor for John. Stefan also introduced Dikeman to Jack Wright who was living in Boulder, Colorado at the time. Jack would prove to be one of John's biggest influences and a long time collaborator (as well as short term landlord). John also spent a summer in Arkansas where he was able to woodshed and perform with saxophonist Keefe Jackson and bassist Jon Barrios.
Dikeman left Wyoming in 1999 to study saxophone and composition at the Interlochen Arts Academy and then briefly at Bennington College where he attended courses with drumming legend Milford Graves and was also able to collaborate regularly with drummer Ben Hall. John also studied privately with Joe Maneri during this period.
John then moved to New York City for one year where he worked as a satellite dish technician while performing as much as possible. After NYC, John moved to Philadelphia. Frequent collaborators of this time included Daniel Carter, Lukas Ligeti, and Ty Cumbie in The Color Now Band, Nate Wooley, Mike Pride, Jonathan Vincent, Jack Wright, Toshi Makihara, Jon Barrios, Kurt Heyl, Zack Fuller, Reuben Radding, Ava Mendoza, Raed Yassin, Daniel Carter, Jonathan Fretheim, Mike Barker and many others.
In 2004, Dikeman moved to Cairo, Egypt. In the three years he was there, he worked regularly as a performer, studio musician, and teacher. He performed as a soloist with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, played and traveled throughout North Africa with Nubian pop star Mohamed Mounir, led his own jazz bands which performed weekly in downtown Cairo, performed and recorded with DJ Haze, played countless weddings and party’s with The Riff Band, and served as the saxophonist in most Egyptian bands that needed one. He also performed at the Lebanese improvised music festival, Irtijal, in 2005 and 2006.
John moved to Amsterdam in December of 2007, after a brief stay in Budapest, Hungary. Since arriving in Amsterdam, John has jumped at the chance to re-enter the world of improvised music. John performs regularly in the Netherlands in venues including the Bimhuis, Paard van Troje, Café Wilhelmina, Paradox, Lindenberg, OT301, etc… John is also a curator for the OT301 New Music and Dance Program as well as the Tabula Rasa series at the Maarten Luther Kerk. Since moving to Amsterdam John has performed with Joe McPhee, Han Bennink, Andy Moor, Terrie Ex, Roy Campbell, Hilliard Greene, Mike Reed, Jeb Bishop, Ab Baars, Nate McBride, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Michael Vatcher, Jason Roebke, Wilbert De Joode, Dirk Bruinsma, Jasper Stadhouders, Onno Govaert, Andrea Taeggi, Frank Rosaly, Klaus Kugel, Yedo Gibson, Renato Ferreira, Raoul van der Weide, Eric Boeren, Viljam Nybacka, Wim Jenssen, Oscar Jan Hoogland, Ivo Bol, Alfredo Genovesi, Meinrad Kneer, Gerri Jager, Stevko Busch, and numerous other musicians from the Dutch and international improvisation scene.