Artvark Saxophone Quartet

In a hectic world full of temptations, Artvark goes his own way, unmistakably and driven by an intrinsic sense of urgency in search of new music and new encounters.
The quartet meanders through musical traditions, sometimes on the intersection of classical and jazz, while always soulful and with blues, and sways across the stage according to an improvised choreography.

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 creative and unique sound: the sound of Artvark!

Artvark is known for playing at famous Dutch jazz venues such as LantarenVenster Rotterdam and Bimhuis Amsterdam, and also at larger concert venues like De Doelen Rotterdam and Tivoli Vredenburg Utrecht. The group appeared several times on national television on diverse shows that host the best live classical, jazz and world music. Artvark performed at major international festivals such as North Sea Jazz Festival, Cairo Jazz Festival, Bohemia Jazz Festival Prague, Jazz Bruges in Belgium, Bray Jazz Festival and Steve Reich Festival in Ireland and toured in Ireland, Turkey, Germany, Poland, Egypt, the UK and several times South Africa. The quartet has engaged in special and remarkable collaborations,

such as with jazz legend Peter Erskine, Senegalese master drummer Doudou N’Diaye Rose, the Danish indierock band Efterklang and the famous minimal music composer Philip Glass. They recorded the album ‘Sly Meets Callas’ featuring the classical soprano Claron McFadden (USA) and played at numerous prestigious classical music festivals, like ‘Grachtenfestival Amsterdam’, ‘Rotterdamse Opera Dagen’ and toured the theatres extensively.

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.

Mete Erker is a saxophonist who has a very personal approach to music. His play is characterized by a warm sound combined with raw energy. He played with international celebrities like David Liebman and Winston Mankuku, and is solid part of the Dutch music scene for years, from the New Cool Collective and Conny Janssen Danst. He is also one of the driving forces behind the improvisation collective Estafest, the Mete Erker Trio and duo Mete Erker & Jeroen van Vliet.

Peter Broekhuizen graduated in 1990 at the Rotterdam Conservatory with Ferdinand Povel. His roots are in soul-jazz/funk: Sue Chaloner’s Soultrain (UK, support act Ray Charles), Laura Vane & The Vipertones (UK/NL) and Candy Dulfer’s Funky Stuff (Japan/Asia/USA/Europe), performing with Van Morisson and Mavis Staples. He has performed latin/world music with Lucas van Merwijk’s Cubop City Bigband, with Ssala Aquí, Rumbatá (touring in Colombia) and tumba in The Antilles. He has also played impro jazz with the Jazzerall drummer Arend Niks.

Rolf Delfos is a teacher at the Academy of Music of The Hague and Zwolle. Since the eighties he has been performing with The Houdini’s, during which time he recorded more than 15 CD’s with this jazz sextet, and played at the famous Rudy van Gelder Studio in New York. During his career Delfos has recorded more than 100 records with artists such as Gino Vannelli, Azymuth and Dr Lonnie Smith, and he is active part in several of his own bands, like The Jazzinvaders, Delmontis and the hugely groove-based big band Licks and Brains, for which he is also the chief composer and arranger.

Bart Wirtz was co-founder of the bands Monsieur Dubois, Young Sinatras and The Very Next and was peforming with these bands for years at home and abroad. He currently is a member of The New Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra and his solo career gained momentum after his debut album ‘Prologue’ came out. Wirtz won several prizes like the Erasmus Jazz Prize, Leiden Jazz Award, Breda Jazz Price, two Edison nominations and the Edison for his album IDreamer. He recorded ‘IDreamer’ in New York with an all-American band starring Nicholas Payton. The track ‘Evolution of the Innocent’ was streamed more than 4.8 million times on Spotify.