Away with chairs! Away with music stands! Artvark moves! Artvark meanders through musical traditions and slides across the stage according to an improvised choreography. Artvark stands for innovative original compositions, strong individual soloists and the adventurous groove of four saxophones. Artvark thrills, Artvark stinks, growls and sizzles.
Rolf Delfos (alto sax), Bart Wirtz (alto sax), Mete Erker (tenor sax) and Peter Broekhuizen (baritone sax) blend their different backgrounds to form a unanimous, creative and unique sound; the sound of Artvark!
Artvark has performed at major international festivals such as The North Sea Jazz Festival, The Cairo Jazz Festival, The Bohemia Jazz Festival in Prague, Jazz Bruges and toured in Ireland, Turkey, the UK and South Africa. The saxophone quartet has engaged in special and remarkable collaborations, such as with jazz legend Peter Erskine, Senegalese master drummer Doudou N'Diaye Rose and the Danish band Efterklang. With the classical soprano Claron McFadden they recorded the 'Sly Meets Callas' record and played at numerous prestigious festivals, like ‘Grachtenfestival Amsterdam’ and ‘Rotterdamse Opera Dagen’ and toured the theatres extensively. The fifth record 'Blue Stories' was the prelude to a big theatre tour of the project ‘Polder Beast’ with actor John Buijsman.
During 2014/2015 Artvark celebrated it’s tenth anniversary with a number of great events at diverse locations: from the prestigious concert hall of Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in Amsterdam with contemporary classical music ensemble ASKO|SCHÖNBERG, to the dark caves of jazz café DJS in Dordrecht with movie creator Lenny Oosterwijk.
It was in 2015/2016 that Artvark toured the Dutch theatres for 2 whole months with Dutch/Cameroonian jazz singer Ntjam Rosie. This brought about the release of the CD/DVD ‘Homelands’. With dance group ‘De Stilte’ Artvark created a musical theatre performance for children based on the work of Dutch master painter Hieronymus Bosch: ‘Bosch in Bed’. In the spring of 2016 Artvark took their sound on tour to South Africa for two weeks, delivering their music to jazz venues, university concert halls, and their workshops to students.
By popular request both ‘Homelands’ and ‘Bosch in Bed’ went on a second tour in 2016/2017. In 2016 Artvark and classical soprano Claron McFadden created the programme ‘POE’ and invited cellist Jörg Brinkman as their special guest. The premiere of ‘POE’ took place at the Cello Biennale Amsterdam 2016. Artvark was invited by the renowned Apollo Saxophone Quartet to join them on stage and headline at the Royal Northern College of Music Saxophone Day in Manchester in November 2016. In 2018 the collaboration with Apollo has continued with the composition of 8 brand new pieces for 8 saxophones and a premiere at Amersfoort Jazz Festival. A joint tour in England and the Netherlands will be scheduled in 2019/2020.
In 2017/2018 Artvark has created a new theatre show with dance group 155: ‘PULSE’. Together with producer/percussionist Frank Wienk, they explored the boundaries and possibilities of the saxophone and bursted into new sounds instigated by the PULSE. In the spring of 2018 the PULSE theatre tour took off.
After several intense and fruitful collaborations over the past few years, Artvark released a new album as a quartet: ‘TRANCE’. This time they bring one story, in one breath. The listener will be invited to join them on a fantastic journey. Departing from one note, the listener will be taken through a pulsing rhythm into a kaleidoscopic universe of different melodies, layered and overlapping one another. ‘TRANCE’ is being performed throughout 2018 and 2019 in the Netherlands and abroad.
Artvark aspires to connect worlds and cross borders, both in themselves and their music. They tirelessly look for more, keep digging and rooting through the mud, looking for that one truffle.