the bandoneon and me
Passion never dies. It grows
why I devoted my life to the bandoneon
I am Simone van der Weerden, a bandoneon player living in Rotterdam. I often get the question, how does a Dutch girl coming from a little village in Brabant end up devoting her life to this uncommon instrument? Well, that’s a question with a relatively easy answer.. I got struck by the sound and passion of the bandoneon and wanted to play that myself. I studied classical accordion at the time but decided to completely switch to bandoneon. I switch conservatories and started my studies in tango music at the Codarts Conservatory in Rotterdam. After some hard years of studying a lot I won an international bandoneon solo competition in Germany and graduated cum laude. After that I decided to move to Argentina and dive deeper in the world of tango. Surround myself by many bandoneonist and their tango culture.
When I came back I gave many concert with different formations playing tango music. Tango was all I did. Until I thought why should the bandoneon only be heard in tango music? Is that all I want to play? Why not combine it with my love for jazz music? I wanted to see if I could combine these two worlds and create something different. That’s when I started my master studies at the Codarts conservatory where I studied only with jazz teachers. It wasn’t the most easy road but I knew it was the right one.
Eventually I created my own band consisting of three great jazz musicians and myself called NAOS quartet. A new band, a new sound and a new repertoire! I started arranging existing tangos, discovering my own voice and creating room for improvisation. Which ultimately led to writing my own compositions.
Right now I’m preparing the recordings and release of my debut album as a composer as well as bandleader of a whole new sounding band. I couldn’t be more excited and am looking forward to share my music with you all!
The journey continues and the musical possibilities are endless!