The Jazz Pack
(Drums) Niek de Bruijn, Robert Koemans (piano), Thomas Pol (bass) and Michiel Stekelenburg (guitar) form: ‘The Jazz Pack’, which reflects the typical feeling where music and romance meet. This unique atmosphere of yesteryear is not only infectious, it also has an intelligent format, in which ideas are moulded into compelling composition.
Also tailored to festivals, they present - together with Peter Douglas - a vibrant, melodious and accessible program of high quality and international allure.
Niek de Bruijn - (drums)
Niek de Bruijn (1991) is one of the most requested drummers in the Netherlands, and was the winner of the prestigious Erasmus Jazz Prize in 2013. Today he is busy with: Performance with Biréli Lagrène and Roby Lakatos with their Reinhardt / Grappelli program Performance with Kim Hoorweg Performance by Lucy Woodward Touring with the World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra Performance with "IDENTIKIT" Session work, various settings He is also a regular drummer with Marzio Scholten Americana Trio, Ed Verhoeff Quartet, Arno Krijger Trio and various other projects. In recent years he has played with: The Metropole Orchestra (live video with NJJO), Andreas Varady (DVD live from Budapest with Biréli Lagrene, Roby Lakatos and the Modern Art Orchestra), Giovanca, Pete Philly, Eric Vloeimans, Benjamin Herman, Gideon van Gelder, New Cool Collective, The Holland Big Band, Ntjam Rosie, Rudresh Mahanthappa, NJJO (National Youth Jazz Orchestra), BRUTE !, JM Jazz World Orchestra, and many others. As a drummer for the Dutch Music Community, a project based on live composing, he has already played with Marcus Miller, Snarky Puppy, Ed Motta and Jason Lindner. In addition to his work as a drummer, he is also a programmer and host for BIRD, one of the most beautiful clubs in Rotterdam. He hosts and organizes the jam sessions, tribute concerts and the official North Sea Jazz after parties (Boogieball).
Thomas Pol (contrabas)
Thomas Pol (28) is a bass player from Rotterdam, and known in the Dutch and international scene. His spontaneous, strong and groovy style is characteristic of him as a musician. As a sideman, he functions as a solid foundation that an ensemble needs, and as a leader he shows enormous potential with his debut album "In America", which is now out. Thomas grew up in a whole musical family. When he was 4 he started to play the violin and from the age of 10 he started playing the double bass. He started his studies at the Codarts Conservatory of Rotterdam, where his talent and dedication received a lot of recognition. In the third year of this study, he was approached by Hein van de Geyn (bassist / coordinator / teacher) to follow an exchange program in New Orleans, home of jazz. During this time at Codarts and UNO, he shared the stage with an impressive number of well-known musicians such as Ellis Marsalis, Benjamin Herman, Herlin Riley, John Engels, Stanton Moore, Ack van Rooyen, Randy Brecker, Steve Masakowski, Caro Emerald, Wess “Warmadaddy Anderson, Harmen Fraanje, Gregory Porter, Johnny Vidacovich, Peter Beets, Jamison Ross, Wouter Hamel, Nicholas Payton, Peter Bernstein and many others. In 2013 he received a Fulbright, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Van den Ende and UNO distinguished scholarship to follow a masters program at UNO for 2 years. During these 2 years he studied classical music, arranged for orchestras and got even deeper into the scene. He also started his career as a band leader here and recorded his debut album. His album was released in the fall of 2016 and in early 2017 he signed with "Bubble Bath Records" as one of the promising upcoming artists. Thomas is now back in the Netherlands where he works on his own project and teaches at Codarts Conservatory Rotterdam. In addition, he was selected to carry out "The Pack Project" in collaboration with the Jazz International Rotterdam Foundation.
Robert Koemans (piano)
Robert Koemans Born (1993) and raised in The Hague, Robert starts piano lessons at the age of six. After having had classical lessons for a while, he became acquainted with jazz music at the age of sixteen. After completing his secondary school he is admitted to the preparatory course of the Conservatory of Amsterdam where he studies with Karel Boehlee. In 2012 Robert moves to Rotterdam to study at the jazz department of Codarts Rotterdam. He is taught here by Rob van Bavel, Franz von Chossy, Johan Clement, Simon Rigter, Kris Goessens, Jarmo Hoogendijk, Ben van den Dungen, Ab Schaap, Luis Rabello and Frans van Geest. From October 2014 he will stay in Berlin for a year to study at the Jazz Institut Berlin. In the summer of 2016 he graduated cum laude from Codarts and from then on he works as a pianist, composer, arranger and teacher in various fields on various projects. In addition to his playing and writing activities, he co-organizes a jam session in Theater Rotterdam: Jazzy Nights twice a month. At this session he will receive the Dutch top jazz and young bands from the region. He has performed at various stages and festivals in the Netherlands and abroad: North Sea Jazz, the Bimhuis, the Grachtenfestival, PaRaDox, the Melkweg, Breda Jazz, Jazz in Duketown, Amersfoort Jazz and the North Sea Jazz Club. In addition, he performed with De Wereld Draait Door, Podium Witteman and Radio 4.
Michiel Stekelenburg (gitaar)
Michiel Stekelenburg, once started as a rock guitarist, came into contact with jazz during his search for freedom in playing and improvisation. He soon found his own way, and forms a quartet (Tom Beek sax, Guus Bakker bass, Pascal Vermeer drums) with which he releases his debut "Hypnos" (2011); According to the critics an album with “Modern / avant garde jazz. Sometimes soft, small, melodic and dynamic, but sometimes also capricious, bold and full of irregularities. Pieces in which he does not hide his rock background… ”The CD is very well received by the press, and the quartet takes a tour through the famous jazz stages and festivals, and the famous North Sea Jazz Festival invites the quartet to edition. 2013 . Festival "November Music" gives Michiel carte blanche and for this occasion he invites the Israeli oboist Yoram Lachish (including Avishai Cohen (b)) and bassist Clemens van der Feen. When Michiel decides to record a second CD, he expands his band into a quintet. Tom Beek is replaced by Efraim Trujillo and Pianist and boyedgar prize winner Jeroen van Vliet is added. In this line-up the quintet records the second album "Layers", which will be released in 2016. (after the recording, Franz von Chossy takes over the baton behind the piano). The reviews are very enthusiastic, for example 'Guitarist' magazine speaks of 'Pleasantly hearing pieces that would not look out of place on an album by Michael Brecker', and the American 'All About Jazz', one of the most influential websites of the moment , writes' An excellent, varied set of contemporary jazz. Stekelenburg shines as composer and guitarist, and his fine band never fails to deliver. I look forward to hearing more from all of them. " The quintet attracts an exceptional number of viewers when it is a guest of the VPRO TV program Free Sounds, and ends up on # 1 of the iTunes Jazzcharts, both with the album and with the piece "024". The 2016/2017 season the band will perform a lot to promote the album, including at the famous North Sea Jazz Festival. Meanwhile, Michiel is busy composing. A successor to Layers will not be long in coming, but an acoustic album is also planned.