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 and start over. I switched schools and started my studies in tango music at the Codarts Conservatory in Rotterdam.
After some hard years of intense practicing and devoting to the instrument I won an international bandoneon solo competition in Germany and graduated cum laude. After that I decided to move to Argentina and dive even deeper into the world of tango.I surround myself with many great bandoneon players and copied their tango culture.
After I came back to the Netherlands I gave many concert with different formations playing tango all over Europe.
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 and studied only with different 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. 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.
In February ’22 I recorded my first album called: ‘In between the Lines’. My debut album as a composer as well as bandleader of a whole new band. I couldn’t be more excited and am looking forward to share my music with you all!