Artvark Saxophone Quartet

Away with chairs! Away with music stands! Artvark moves! Artvark meanders through musical traditions and moves across the stage according to an improvised choreography. Artvark stands for innovative original compositions, strong individual soloists and the adventurous groove of four saxophones. Artvark thrills, stinks, growls and sizzles.

Rolf Delfos (alto sax), Bart Wirtz (alto sax), Mete Erker (tenor sax) and Peter Broekhuizen (baritone sax) mix their different backgrounds to an unanimous creative and original sound: the sound of Artvark!

Artvark played at major international festivals such as the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Cairo Jazz Festival, the Bohemia Jazz Festival in Prague, Jazz Brugge and toured in Ireland, Turkey and South Africa. The saxophone quartet engaged in special collaborations, such as with jazz legend Peter Erskine, Senegalese master drummer Doudou N'Diaye Rose and the Danish band Efterklang. With the classical soprano Claron McFadden they recorded the CD 'Sly Meets Callas' and played at numerous prestigious festivals, like 'Grachtenfestival Amsterdam' and 'Rotterdamse Opera Dagen', and toured the theatres extensively. The fifth CD 'Blue Stories' was the prelude to a big theatre tour of the project 'Polder Beast' with actor John Buijsman.

In season 2014/2015 Artvark celebrated its tenth anniversary with a number of great events. Starting in November 2014 they contributed to the celebration of the 200th birthday of Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the saxophone. A double anniversary! The saxophone quartet brought in November 2014 an exciting series of concerts with 'The best of Artvark' at different locations with a variety of inspiring new collaborations in the world of music, theatre and dance: with contemporary classical music ensemble Asko | Schönberg, classical saxophone quartet Aurelia, theatre maker Kasper van Kooten, flamenco guitarist Eric Morel Vaarzon, choreographer Sanne van der Put & dancers and finally with filmmaker Lenny Oosterwijk. Artvark is truly crossing borders and connecting worlds.

In 2015/2016 Artvark started a number of new collaborations. With the Dutch / Cameroonian jazz singer Ntjam Rosie they created a new show called "Homelands". With dance group 'De Stilte' Artvark created a musical theatre performance for children based on the work of Dutch Master painter Hieronymus Bosch: "Bosch in Bed".

In 2016/2017 both "Homelands "and "Bosch in Bed" will go on a second tour by popular request. At the Cello Biennale Amsterdam Artvark will play an new show with cellist Jorg Brinkman and vocalist Claron McFadden: POE, based on the short story 'The Tell Tale Heart' by Edgar Allen Poe. Also Artvark is invited by the renowned Apollo Saxophone Quartet to join them on stage at their music festival in Manchester.

Besides all these great collaborations however, the main focus of Artvark is playing as Artvark Only. Every year they tour clubs and international festivals, playing their most recent repertoire. In addition to concerts, Artvark is also involved in education: 'Artvark Moves!' is their latest educational program in which they offer unique master classes and workshops for schools, universities and organisations in transition.

Artvark aims at connecting worlds and crossing borders, both in themselves and their music. They continuously look for more, keep digging and rooting through the mud, looking for that one truffle.

Rolf Delfos

Is teacher at the Academy of Music of The Hague and Zwolle. Since the eighties he plays in The Houdini's, recorded 12 CD's with this jazz sextet, and played a.o. in New York at the famous Rudy van Gelder Studio (the man himself behind the desk!).

Delfos played with Gino Vanelli and is active in several of his own bands, like The Lewinksy Quartet, The Jazzinvaders and his last project Delmontis (first CD release in '11). Throughout his career he recorded over 50 CD's and leads his own big band Licks & Brains.

Bart Wirtz

Graduated cum laude in 2002 at the Rotterdam Conservatory and pursued his study in New York. Wirtz was winner of the Erasmus Jazz Prize.

With his band Monsieur Dubois he toured the world in the last 10 years and at the moment he plays with his bands The Very Next, 'a small big band', and The New Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra. In 2009 Wirtz released his first solo album with the Bart Wirtz Quartet followed by 'iDreamer' in 2012 with the New York Quintet, an all-American band with a.o. Nicholas Payton. In 2014 he recorded the album 'Interview', with Sean Jones.

Mete Erker

Graduated in 1998 at the Conservatory of The Hague and played with the David Liebman Group at the North Sea Jazz Festival. In 1999 he founded his own band Blink. Shortly after that, Erker was selected for the Young VIP Tour 2000.

He toured in South Africa with Eric van der Westen's Quadrant, with Martin Fondse's band The Groove Troopers and projects by Jacob Ter Veldhuis. Erker plays in Estafest with a.o. Oene van Geel, Anton Goudsmit and Jeroen van Vliet. In 2013 and 2014 Erker toured with Brasilian star Lenini.

Peter Broekhuizen

Studied jazz at the Conservatory Rotterdam (NL), graduated in 1990. His roots are in soul-jazz/funk: a.o. Sue Chaloner's Soultrain (UK, support act Ray Charles) and for years he played in Candy Dulfer's Funky Stuff (Japan/Asia/USA/Europe, several concerts with Van Morisson & Mavis Staples).

He played world music in The Cubop City Bigband and rumbatá (a.o. tour in Colombia) and plays with the talented jazz singer Kim Hoorweg. Broekhuizen wrote the charts for the Musical 'Saturday Night Fever' by Joop van den Ende. With his own band the auratones he released 4 CD's featuring Gerard Precenser (UK) and Thijs van Leer (Focus) as guests. His latest project is jazz formation Horizon (NL).

Press quotes

Artvark combines stunning precise play with groove, guts and strong solos, well-thought-out catchy pieces, played with passion. Totally hip.


They say music knows no boundaries and, we add, jazz knows even fewer. Dutch act Artvark does not simply play, but performs their music. Literally from the first step, this saxophone-only band was different from all others. The band snapped and tapped on stage, turning their movements and sound into a dance. If it can be said for jazz players: they rocked the house.

The Daily News Egypt

The group uses a wide variety of styles, even modern dance is there.

Kwadratuur (Belgium)

With 'Whosa Mwatana' Peter Broekhuizen did celebrate on the baritone sax a wonderful folksong by Abdullah Ibrahim. A fine reminiscence and homage to the many Apartheids refugees from South Africa.

Freistil 31 (Germany)

Innovative original written music, dynamic with many layers and huge variety. With Artvark Saxophone Quartet Holland has something beautiful to offer.


Smartly dressed anarchy, lots of subdued emotion and a high-spirited shuffle. Sometimes self-willed, but above all breathtakingly beautiful. Breath and soul. Breathe in and breathe out.

Jazzmozaiek (Belgium)

Swinging from beginning to the end and the shear joy radiates from the band.

Leids Dagblad

They play sensational. The music is always melodically strong, the solos crystal clear and the story thrilling.

Friesch Dagblad

The horns from Artvark deliver colourful warm patterns and on top of that, they make up exciting musical stories.

Het Parool

Excellent combination, striking harmonies and shamelessly beautiful sound.

Volkskrant (about the project BusyBusyBusy with New Niks)

All saxophone lovers should buy this CD. Every piece of this truly masterful CD is a prime example of the finest ensemble playing: 5 stars out of 5

Forte (about the CD of the project 'Sly Meets Callas' with classical soprano Claron McFadden)