Supportive, Melodical, Intuitive, Commanding, Lyrical

Bassplayer | Producer | Educator


Dave grew up in a household filled with music. His father Joop Sahanaja, was a musician. Joop Sahanaja was the guitarplayer for the bands The Mena Moeria Minstrels and The Amboina Serenaders. They were famous Moluccan/ Dutch groups in the ’50 and ’60. They reinvented traditional Moluccan music by injecting it with a healthy dose of jazz. Besides traditionals they played original compositions and Hawaiian traditionals. Dave grew up listening to their records. Their heritage is in his dna.
In the Sahanaja household Dave was exposed to the great jazz vocalists and groups of the ’50 and ’60. Listening to the recordings of Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Count Basie and Duke Ellington, Dave’s ear and taste was formed. Dave was exposed to a variety of music, ranging from country to Latin, jazz and R&B.
In his early years Dave played various instruments. At the Sahanaja house were regular rehearsals of his dad’s bands. Dave was exposed to the ritmesection at a young age. Being a baby he was placed in a carry cot next to the drummer. No surprise that his first love was the drums. As soon has he was able to handle drumsticks, no pots and pans were safe at the house. Dave has been playing the drums since his 5th year. His first string instrument was an ukulele. At age 5 his father taught him how to play the ukulele. At age 9 the guitar and accordion followed.
Around age 13 Dave got interested in the bass. Playing along with records on his acoustic guitar Dave found himself being drawn to the bass sounds he’d hear. Being a contrabass player himself, Dave’s dad gave him some pointers in the right direction. From there Dave started to investigate it further.
Being formally self taught it never occurred to Dave that he could become a full-time professional musician. It wasn’t until his early twenties that Dave started to think about a career in music.
For more then 25 years Dave has been involved in music. Since the early ’90 Dave has been a contributor to the Amsterdam and Dutch music scene, playing with groups such as Horn of Plenty, Seraph, Captain Hook and artists like Iman Spaargaren, Kirsten Michel and Saskia Laroo.

Keywords in Dave’s playing are:

‘ Supportive, Melodical, Intuitive, Commanding, Lyrical’

My Cozy Homestudio

I have always been involved and interested in sound and how to get something to sound “good”. 
For me it al started when I was 16 years old and experimented with a tascam 4 track casetterecorder.
I have learned a lot on old analog consoles, both live and in the studio.
Now a days its unbelievable how much things have improved. It is a great era for the creative minded.
All you need is a decent computer and an audio interface to make great sounding music productions.

My gear of choice is a mac mini i7 with 16GB of RAM.
I have a Focusrite saffire liquid 56 audio interface.
My monitorsystem is an M-Audio BX5 d2 with the M-Audio BX subwoofer.
I use a Behringer DEQ 2496 ultracurve to tune the speakers to the room.

other gear i use:
roland TD-11 drumkit
Studiologic Numa Compact digital piano
Radial enginering DI's
SE Audio mic's
Audio Technica mic's
Toft preamp
Focusrite preamps


It is said that music is a universal language.
I subscibe to that thought. 
I see much in common between spoken languages and music. In the end both are air in motion.
Spoken languages speak from mind to mind.
Music speaks from heart to heart.
Yet in our western society we approach music different from language. As a child we learn to speak by listening and mimicking the sounds we hear our parents and our surroundings make. Then after a view years we go to school and there we are taught what it is we are speaking and what the rules are.
Then we learn to read and write.
In music education we somehow turn this order around. First we are explained the rules and we are taught how to read, then we learn how to „speak”.In my opinion this is upside down. Listening and playing by ear should be addressed first. In my lessons I emphasise this. Knowledge of music theory is only then important if the player is able to „speak”. Technique is only a means to an end and not a goal in it’s self. I do believe that knowledge of harmony and theory makes a good player great, but as is in spoken language; 

"Not every professor of literature makes a great poet”

Photo’s by Ron Beenen
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