SMANDEM. - consisting of Aäron Bouwman (Bass), David Nino van der Grinten (Keys), Rafael Devante Sinay (Guitar) and Kick Woudstra (Drums) - first met during their studies at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. They were quick to find out that they shared similar perspectives and were meant to play with each other. Their stunning synergy even got picked up by Kelly Coker, dean of New York’s famous New School of Jazz and Contemporary, quoting; “There’s never a feeling of trying too hard and that made it an absolute joy to listen to you. You guys don’t sound like Weather Report, but feel like Weather Report ''. Getting support from several local Amsterdam platforms such Super-Sonic Jazz, SMANDEM. sets out on a journey of becoming a vanguard in modern day music.
A philosophy that describes one the fundamentals of the band's music and personalities is; “There’s often confusion about the meaning of the words tradition and history. The tradition has a history, which we study to keep the tradition alive. The jazz tradition to us means communicating a mixture of styles and cultures. We share a love for present-day popular music and strive to create a sound that combines all of our influences into something relevant.”