Madiba – Carel Kraayenhof- Liberation concert 2015

Nelson Mandela
As a addition to our special theater show ‘Liberación’ on Liberation Day, May 5th, at the Muziekgebouw aan’t IJ, Carel Kraayenhof has written a new composition. This special composition will be presented for the very first time during the Liberation meal by the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble, proceeding the theater show.

When Carel was asked to write a new piece for this special event he thought immediately on a homage to one of the greatest fighters for freedom, Nelson Mandela. He, who during his long life won friends and enemies on his fight for freedom and equality for everyone. As a lawyer, as an ANC leader, from prison and finally as president from a new South Africa. His commitment, his patience and optimism are sources of inspiration for mankind.

Nelson Mandela

Kraayenhof’s new composition breathes happiness, just as the irresistible laugh from Madiba (as his friends called him and as this composition is called). It sounds just like a film where he starts a speech and then starts dancing and partying.
Bandoneón and strings form a South African choir and the piano and bass lead a contagious rhythm, where the pianist almost seems to play the kora.
At the end of the composition the serenity comes back, as the sound of a choir at a night camp fire.

We are looking forward to the 5th of May, so we can share this and celebrate with you!

Carel Kraayenhof – Thirza Lourens and team

Compositions for Liberación donors

The last compositions for the donors for the theater show Liberación have been written by Carel Kraayenhof. Just about one year ago we have asked friends and fans for a financial donation in order to be able to make our theater show Liberación. There were donations from €25 to €1.500 and for each amount we offered something special in return. For donations of €1.500 Carel would write a special composition. Many people made their donations and more than €10.000 was collected. Five people donated €1.500. For each one of the them Carel has written a composition.Two of them have made it to the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble’s newest album: ‘So long, Island’ and ‘So many partings’.

The last three compositions are now also ready and will be presented for the first time on May the 3rd at the Plantage Tango Salón (by Arjan and Marianne) in Amsterdam.

The three brand new compositions are:
Mas Mugre (More Mud)
The tango, as said in Buenos Aires, comes from the mud. It is drunk in the dirt, as the text from the well known tango ‘Ultima Curda’ says. The new tango generation doesn’t really get inspiration from the Astor Piazzolla direction, but more from the Osvaldo Pugliese side of tango. Pugliese’s tango style is known by strong driving rhythm, commanded by the piano, bass and bandoneóns. This rhythm is called Yumba. Yumba is still found on the hands of the new tango players in Buenos Aires.

Da me polenta (Give me energy)
Polenta is actually cornmeal, but if someone says is Buenos Aires “Give me polenta” they mean “Give me energy”, “Give me power”. Therefore ‘tocar con polenta’, ‘play with energy, power’ is a standard calling that is part of tango.

Opera 79
This composition Carel wrote for his friends Arjan Sikking and Marianne van Berlo. It is a milonga, but it does have a Habanera touch to it. The title suggests that Carel has written 78 operas before, but it has nothing to do with that. Opera 79 is simply the home address from Arjan and Marianne.

For more information on May 3rd:

Carel Kraayenhof at Ahoy Rotterdam – Julia!

Carel Kraayenhof plays together with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Juan Pablo Dobal on the piano, on 12 and 13 of June at Ahoy Rotterdam a beautiful version of Piazzolla’s ‘Libertando’ during the show ‘Julia’. For this composition a special tango choreography has been made for three Argentinean dancers, who will dance it in the air…


“Let us amaze you!”
The Rotterdam Philharmonic presents Julia, a breathtaking show at Ahoy on Vrijdag 12 and Saturday 13 of June. Julia is a classic love story, told in a story where symphonic music is mixed with dance, vocals, air acrobatics and other A level acts. The large repertoire goes from Prokofjev and Sjostakovitsj to Falla and Piazzolla and that makes the heard of the show.

The makers
In Julia the Rotterdam Philharmonic works together with an international team of highly recognised artists. To make it all come together the orchestra invited Guy Caron to take part of the project; the man who make Cirque du Soleil famous.
‘Music, dance, poetry, theater, circus, magic, scenography and costumes flow together and inspire each other in a heart warming love story’, says Guy. ‘Music becomes movement, movement becomes music – people are used to listen to music, but in Julia they will have to see music. The audience will not have enough eyes and ears.

Tickets via:
ticketmaster 0900-3001250

Photo: Guy Caron, Carel Kraayenhof and producer Mike Schaperclaus

10 years Anniversary of the CKE members Bert and Jaap!

10 jaar Bert en Jaap

On 8th of April Carel Kraayenhof and Thirza Lourens (Carel Kraayenhof’s manager) were invited out for dinner by violinist Bert Vos and bass player Jaap Branderhorst. This to celebrate their 10th anniversary as member of the Sexteto Canyengue and the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble.
This is a special celebration if you consider the difficulties that musicians face nowadays “to live of music”, 10 years together is unique. If that depends on us, there will be many more years together to come.
During the concert on May 3rd in Amsterdam we will come back to this celebration!

Rehearsal Carel Kraayenhof & Lavinia Meijer at Frieda Menco

Column Jutta Chorus
Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble’s violinist Bert Vos has introduced his mother’s very good friend to Carel, het name is Frieda Menco (89 years old). Bert’s mother, the writer Ida Vos, has unfortunately already passed away.
Frieda, who survived Auschwitz and was friends with Margot and Anne Frank, is not able to go outside that often anymore due to her physical condition. A few weeks ago she mentioned to Bert that should would really like to see Carel Kraayenhof playing live, but due to her physical condition that would most likely not happen. Bert has mentioned this to Carel, who immediately decided to hold a planned rehearsal with harp player Lavinia Meijer at Frieda’s living room!
During the rehearsal, coincidentally, journalist Jutta Chorus was present and wrote a special collum in early April about this special rehearsal.

Carel Kraayenhof Resident Artist Amersfoort Jazz

Carel Juan Pablo
This is a summary from the Amersfoort Jazz’s Pers Release

Every year the Rabobank Amersfoort Jazz, held this year from 11 to 14 of June, invites a musician to be its Resident Artist. For this edition it will be Carel Kraayenhof.
Carel will be performing twice during the festival, on the 11th of June during an exclusive concert at De Observant (as a DUO performance) and on the 14th of June he will perform at the main stage together with his Sexteto Canyengue.

Carel Kraayenhof & Juan Pablo Dobal (Thursday June 11, 21:00 hrs, De Observant)
A polyrhythmic Argentinean folklore concert, filled with own compositions. The duo can sound as a full orchestra and still play a fragile milonga like no one else.
Tickets for this concert are available for € 15,00. Reservations via:

Carel Kraayenhof y su Sexteto Canyengue (Sunday June 14, 16:15 hrs, Lieve Vrouwekerkhof)
Carel and his Sexteto Canyengue have a special way of communicating: rhythmical, melodic, and inviting to dance. An addictive event for tango dancers.

For the festival’s complete program please visit
Twitter: @AmersfoortJazz

Rabobank Amersfoort Jazz festival with Carel Kraayenhof y su Sexteto Canyengue

Carel Y Su Sextet

Attention tango dancers and tango lovers! On Sunday afternoon, 14th of June, Carel Kraayenhof y su Sexteto Canyengue, our traditional Argentinean tango orchestra, will play on the stage of the Lieve Vrouwkerkhof in Amersfoort.

The concert starts at 16:15 and will end at around 18:00hrs.

This is the start of the outdoor summer concerts in The Netherlands.

Book Carel Kraayenhof as DUO or with the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble

Carel 140826- 0053

Often we receive phone calls with questions about the possibility of booking private concerts (home concerts).
We are glad to say that it is possible!
Carel can play together with his Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble or with the pianist Juan Pablo Dobal. The DUO have a gorgeous program full of Argentinean Tangos and Argentinean regional music.
Unfortunately the music which is played is not meant as background music, but as a musical “intermezzo” at a dinner event, or as the opening of the evening for example.
For us, it is alway better to receive as much information as possible about the location, number of guests, etc.
Please feel free to call or email us.
We will then make a proper offer for the event.