Žiga Smrdel is a young drummer, composer and band leader from Slovenia, who has been a member of rhythm sections and leader of various bands for many years and is extremely active on the Slovenian and foreign music scene – both with the band WCKD Nation and the piano trio Mind Tree, as well as in collaboration with important names such as Jure Pukl, Marko Churnchetz, Denis Beganovič, Igor Matkovič, Robert Jukič, Tonč Feinig and groups such as Vazz, Rok Zalokar Trio, Nazzareno Zacconi Trio, etc.
He is a long-time student of the great jazz master Gregory Hutchinson, and has also studied with Doug Hammond, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Joe Sanders, Shai Maestro, Charles Altura, Joel Ross and Kurt Rosenwinkel. Ziga is also the recipient of several international awards such as: The Hub for the Exchange of Music Innovation (HEMI), awarded by the European Initiative for the Support of Artists, gold plaques at the national competition Temsig and the state award Zlata piščal (Golden Flute), awarded by the cultural-artistic association Zlata piščal for outstanding achievements in the field of Slovene popular music. Together with the jazz trio Mind Tree, Ziga has also won the prize for best composition at the 7th Virtual Jazz Club competition. The trio has also released their first album “Catharsis”, which has been well accepted among critics and listeners.