For all of 39 years The Ex has been a vibrant powerhouse. The band is proof that music made with sincere energy and a healthy open mind can continue to develop endlessly. And it doesn't take a record label or manager to see to this – quite the contrary. The Ex handles all its own business to allow it to safeguard its artistic boundaries.

The band is made up of four musicians with strong personalities and a relentless desire for dialogue. The pleasure they get from playing resounds in their fantastically embracing, heady, noisy guitars and unique drumming. Their nods to Ethiopia and Ghana reflect their spirit of adventure, with their unconditional devotion to each other leading to passionate music to dance to.

The list of jazz and folk musicians that The Ex have worked with throughout the years has reached lengths that could fill a book documenting it. This February at our Spreekbotenfestival, for instance, photographer Nick Helderman told us about the tour the band took with the greatest Ethiopian brass player of the 20th century, saxophonist Getatchew Mekurya (1935–2016). At Explore the North they will be sharing the stage with sound poet Jaap Blonk. Explore!