In The Pack Project, trombonist Efe Erdem has this year been chosen as Leader of the Pack. Each year, this development initiative by Jazz International Rotterdam enables a top young talent from the city to assemble a band and write new compositions. The result is then heard at Festival Jazz International Rotterdam and at the sister festival in Nijmegen.
After completing his studies at Codarts, Erdem from Turkey remained in Rotterdam. Today he’s a member of Re:Freshed Orchestra, and he performs regularly with Di-rect, Doe Maar and Anouk. He’s also played with the O’Jays, Marcus Miller, Benny Golson, Tony Allen, Snarky Puppy, Roy Hargrove and Robert Glasper.
Erdem has seized the opportunity that has come his way with The Pack Project for a remarkable crossover initiative: taking his inspiration from the period between Romanticism and Neo-Classicism, he composed music for a string quartet. The Russian bassist Anton Davidyants, who has travelled to the Netherlands specially for this project, and drummer Tuur Moens add a sturdy layer of progressive funk and fusion grooves to the string players, while Erdem’s trombone weaves smoothly across a spectrum that spans from 18th and 19th-century music to 21st-century rhythms. The Pack Project 2019 will be immortalized forever on record, because Efe has already booked a recording studio after the concerts.