Amsterdam based SMANDEM. proves that an incredible skill set and open minded approach causes genre distinctions to blur into pure energy. Inspired by the likes of Herbie Hancock, Christian Scott and Wayne Shorter as well as Travis Scott and Drake, the four-headed collective produces a sound that is deeply rooted into jazz tradition, while never restrained to any style boundaries or formal etiquette. They strive forward and explore ways to marry their delicate ability with present-day popular music. With a strong friendship at core, their dynamic live-show feels like it effortlessly accelerates from lush harmonies into colourful mixtures of dense rhythms and fierce improvisation. Including features by Herbie Hancock flutist Elena Pinderhughes (USA) and NL based talent Pink Oculus, their debut EP called ‘Self-Titled’ - set to release on Super-Sonic Records early 2021 - exemplifies best what this free-spirited mandem is up to.
SMANDEM. - consisting of Aäron Bouwman (Bass), David Nino van der Grinten (Keys), Rafael Devante Sinay (Guitar) and Kick Woudstra (Drums) - first met during their studies at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. They were quick to find out that they shared similar perspectives and were meant to play with each other. Their stunning synergy even got picked up by Kelly Coker, dean of New York’s famous New School of Jazz and Contemporary, quoting; “There’s never a feeling of trying too hard and that made it an absolute joy to listen to you. You guys don’t sound like Weather Report, but feel like Weather Report ''. Getting support from several local Amsterdam platforms such Super-Sonic Jazz, SMANDEM. sets out on a journey of becoming a vanguard in modern day music.
A philosophy that describes one the fundamentals of the band's music and personalities is; “There’s often confusion about the meaning of the words tradition and history. The tradition has a history, which we study to keep the tradition alive. The jazz tradition to us means communicating a mixture of styles and cultures. We share a love for present-day popular music and strive to create a sound that combines all of our influences into something relevant.”