SEASON 2 EPISODE 2 of Martin Verdonk Master Sessions live from Triple-A-Music!
This is part 1 of a 2 day session we did with the Babylon Brothers from Norway!
(part 2 will be online in 2018)
Erik Smith is one of Europe’s most respected and versatile drummers. From his base in Oslo-Norway, he works in all imaginable genres of music from jazz via big band to fusion, pop and rock.
Erik is a pioneer doing clinics and is known for his musical and virtuosic style of soloing. He is the first Norwegian drummer to tour extensively in support of his endorsing companies to inspire and teach. He has done clinics, masterclasses and workshops in Scandinavia, Germany, USA, Turkey, China and South Africa.
In 2003 he performed at the Yamaha Groove Night in Los Angeles. In 2004 he had a clinic at the world’s largest and most prestigious drum and percussion event PASIC in Nashville. He was invited back for PASIC 2008, in Austin TX to do a clinic along with a.o. Roy Haynes, Ed Soph, Dafnis Prieto, Chad Wackerman and Steve Ferrone.
In 2008 he also performed at the Yamaha Groove All Stars concert in Frankfurt with Tom Brechtlein, Rick Marotta, Tommy Aldridge and Wolfgang Haffner.
He is a long time endorser of Yamaha Drums, Vic Firth Drumsticks, Evans Drumheads and Istanbul Mehmet Cymbals. Erik has got his own Signature Drumstick manufactured by Vic Firth. Yamaha has launched the Erik Smith Signature Snare drum in the spring of 2009 and Istanbul Mehmet cooperated with Erik on two signature cymbal models; the 22” Erik Smith Swish Ride and the 15” Erik Smith Versa Hats.
Erik teaches drum set at the Norwegian State Academy of Music (Norges Musikkhøyskole) and privately when his schedule permits. He also does clinics, masterclasses and workshops for big bands, schools, universities and private firms.
He is a recipient of the Spellemanns prize (Norway’s “Grammy”) and has his own regular column on drumming in Norway’s leading music magazine, Musikkpraksis.
Erik has worked with the majority of artists and entertainers on the Scandinavian scene as well as many well known artists passing through Norway including Art Garfunkel, Michael Bolton, Neil Sedaka, Josh Groban, Donna Summer, Carlene Carter, Engelbert Humperdinck, John Miles, Boney M, Johnny Logan, Lisa Nilsson and Randy Crawford.
In the jazz idiom Erik has provided the groove for among others Frank Gambale, Bobby Shew, Andy Sheppard, Eddie Daniels, Niels Landgren, Oslo Groove Company, Norwegian Radio Big Band, Jens Wendelboe Crazy Energy Big Band, EBU Jazz Orchestra, Antonsen Big Band, Bart Van Lier, Phil Woods, Putte Wickman, Ed Palermo, Django Bates, Bob Mintzer, Hector Bingert, DeeDee Bridgewater and Gerald Wilson.
Peter has been a professional saxophonist, arranger, composer since 1991 and became one of the most requested session saxophonists in The Netherlands.
In 1993 he graduated with high grades from the Hilversum Conservatory (currently Amsterdam University of the Arts)
He performed and recorded with many renowned artists including Candy Dulfer, Mike Mainieri (Steps Ahead), Dianne Reeves, Marnix Busstra, Kane, Trijntje Oosterhuis, Karin Bloemen, Metropole Orchestra, Vince Mendoza.
Lieberom has also been a in demand teacher for over 20 years now.
Born in Aachen, Germany on March 26, 1998, Simon quickly developed musical interest. Inspired by his father’s drumming and his mother’s singing he had a strong connection to all kinds of music right from the start. It didn’t take long for him to abandon children’s music and dive into dad’s record collection which consisted of classic rock, lots of blues and soul music.
Simon started drumming at the age of two and later on discovered the Hammond B3 organ when he was five and his father brought home a DVD of John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers with Tom Canning on organ. Simon was hooked. The love for this special instrument hasn’t ended.
During the first couple of years after his first encounter with the Hammond Organ, he not only tried to imitate organ sounds on all kinds of keyboards but also started playing along to blues records by ear, trying to figure out chords, harmony and solos. His progress was rapid and by the time he had his first piano lesson – classical training – he was already a capable blues pianist/organist and had gained his first experience playing with bands.
In the following years, he started playing with Big Bands and more projects, won a number of awards(see right column), worked with great teachers and mentors, most notably one of his favorite pianists worldwide, Frank Chastenier (WDR Big Band).
2010 was the year Simon started playing professionally at the age of 12, thus being in the middle of high school. He teamed up with his buddy, drum virtuoso Jérôme Cardynaals and formed Twogether. The duo won 3 prestigious awards at the Prinses Christina Jazz Competition in Amsterdam which served as a strong career start. In their 8 years of playing together, this dream team has toured all over Europe, worked with some of the biggest names in the European and American Jazz world (Dr. Lonnie Smith, Nils Landgren a.o.) produced two acclaimed records and also served as a versatile touring band for international artists such as Philip Lassiter, Glen David Andrews or Kirk Fletcher.
At the same time, these events also started Simon’s career as a session musician – on Hammond B3, Piano and Keyboards – in all kinds of live and studio situations. He is currently 18 years old, has begun his studies at Codarts University For The Arts in Rotterdam, Netherlands and works all around Europe with a number of great artists from different genres (see credits above) with the mission to make the world a more soulful place and spread love through music.
This is a selection of artists Simon has performed or recorded with:
Dr. Lonnie Smith | WDR Big Band | Max Mutzke | Nils Landgren | Madeline Bell|Butterscotch | Sugaray Rayford | Wolfgang Haffner | Georgie Fame|Torsten Goods | Jeff Cascaro | Cassandra Steen | Cosmo Klein | Federico Gonzalez Pena|Thomas Quasthoff | Kirk Fletcher | Eric Vloeimans | Metropole Orchestra | Max Merseny|Philip Lassiter | Benjamin Herman | Marc Marshall | Peter Fessler | Fola Dada | Tony Marshall|Kim Sanders | Joo Kraus | Johnny Logan | Mario Garrucio | Kai Strauss | Babylon Brothers|Reggie Washington | Jazz Orchestra Of The Concertgebouw | Bruno Müller | Ralf Gustke|Charles Simmons | Christian Von Kaphengst | Felix Lehrmann | Yoran Vroom|Glen David Andrews | Tino Gonzales | Bill Wyman (support act) | Jérôme Cardynaals|The Özdemirs | Daniel Hopf | Nico Gomez | Heribert Leuchter | Marc Huynen|Bobby Stern | Gary Winters | Mitch Hillford
Staffan William-Olsson is a Swedish guitarist and composer, known of The Real Thing, and the collaborations with the likes of Bob Berg, Lee Konitz, Mezzoforte ,Palle Mikkelborg and the Babylon Brothers.
He played piano, guitar and drums already at the age of 7, and studied classical piano with a jazz-oriented teacher. Eventually he was oriented towards the guitar, with the blues and rock music as main sources of influence (Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin as main models).
When he discovered jazz-rock, Weather Report, John McLaughlin and Allan Holdsworth among others became the new sources of inspiration. George Benson’s record Bad Benson was a turning point, it opened up his ears for the clean, undistorted guitar sound, and guitarists like Pat Martino was a great influence.
William-Olsson was after classical piano studies at Göteborg Musikhögskola (he is autodidact guitarist), the replacement for Ulf Wakenius in the Swedish fusion band Hawk on Flight, and also collaborated with greats such as Bob Berg, Lee Konitz and Palle Mikkelborg.
He moved to Oslo in 1986 and worked as a freelance guitarist before becoming a part of the hard rock band Sons of Angels in 1989. The band signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records, and toured the east coast of US and Europe. The album sold 100,000 copies, and the band broke up.
The Real Thing was established in 1992. The solo albums Three Shades of Blue (1995) and Smile! (1998), was bouth nominated for the Spellemannprisen. Thereafter he has released two more albums, Oak Road Boogaloo (2000) and Pop! (2002). William-Olsson started the mini big band “Sharp 9” in 2005, inspired by the likes of Art Pepper and Miles Davis. Within “Sharp 9” he released NO:Network (2004) and Sudoku (2007).
TOM ERIK ANTONSEN-BASS
Tom Erik Antonsen grew up in an incredibly musical family in a small city close to Oslo-Norway. He started out on classical clarinet but quickly traded it for the bass playing in his fathers big band, concert band and family band.
Getting into the Oslo session and freelance scene in the early 80s he quickly became Norways most sought after bass player for all sorts of gigs, from pop, rock via big band, TV shows and theatre and musical work. He also became known to be the “drummers best friend” with many of Norways top drummers naming him their favorite bass player to work with.
Back in 2005 Tom Erik was awarded the “Erik Gammelengs Award” for his valuable contribution to music recording.