Ruben Hein concert at North Sea Jazz Festival 2011
Ruben Hein (vocals, piano); Maarten Hogenhuis (saxophone); Bart Lust (trombone); Coos Zwagerman (trumpet); Paul Willemsen (guitar); Hugo den Oudsten (bass); Stefan Kruger (drums). open album
Stefan Kruger (Amsterdam, 1965) grew up in an artistic family, and jazz and soul music were a part of his formative years. At the age of 9 he heard Art Blakey live – it made a huge impression on him.
He studied jazz drums at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and took lessons in world music at Rotterdam Conservatorium. He graduated cum laude in The Hague in 1992. Stefan studied in New York in 1994 and further in 1995 in Havana with Joe Morrelo, Carl Allen, Vernel Fournier, Pancho Quinto and others.
Stefan performed constantly in numerous bands, including his own and Bart Sučr’s band SFeQ founded in 1989. His repertoire is a mixture between jazz, funk, hip hop and improvised music. Stefan brought the e beat musician Git Hyper into the band: SFeQ became the first jazz formation with a DJ. The band has won various awards (including the Middelsee Jazztreffen and European Jazz Contest) and toured all over the world.
In 1994 Stefan teamed up with alto saxophonist Miguel Martinez to create the band Martinez Move. In the same year Stefan was co-founder of the New Cool Collective. The Collective played from Europe to Asia and had its own popular fixture in its hometown in Amsterdam: Big Mondays.
In 1998 Stefan met Lilian Vieira, with whom he recorded a number of tracks with SFeQ, a project at which Stefan Schmid was also involved. From this collaboration Zuco 103 started. The three musicians created a new sound: Brazilectro. In 1999 their debut album Outro Lado was released by the Belgian label Crammed, where a further four albums were subsequently released. Their last album After the Carnaval (2008) appeared @ Dutch label DOX. Zuco has toured the world since 1999.
Stefan is educating drums @ Royal Conservatoire in The Hague since 2001. He has produced commercials, film music and other projects with a.o. Zuco 103, Ruben Hein, Steye and Ethiopian performer Minyeshu. He is session drummer for bands, jingles, commercials and film music.
Since 2010 Stefan is drummer and musical director @ the live band Caro Emerald.