Sommer Column Carel Kraayenhof – Cats

What I like about cats, is that in our relationship hierarchy never is an issue: far from being able to describe myself as their owner, they choose to co-exist with me.
To put it more accurate: the bottom line is that they are convinced that they are in charge.
The cats who live with us are Blokje and her son Beer (Bear), who is twice as big; long time ago they seem to have lost all awareness about their family relationship, but their common goal is usually the same: food and affection when needed. I don´t know how they manage, but they always give me the feeling that I should be grateful for rendering them a service, when I open a door for them, feed them or bring them to the vet.Katten
And here I am, working like a madman composing and arranging music all day through,
and there is Beer, lying in the grass like a sunbathing tourist, looking at me through the open window; do I see indifference in his half closed eyes, or does he actually have pity on me?
That´s the thing with cats; they seldom share their opinion with you openly.
Even when Blokje rubs her head affectionately against my leg, I realise I feel proud that
it´s my leg she has chosen, not a random one of the kitchen table.

Summer column Carel Kraayenhof – Yoga

This summer, Carel will write a few columns about his private live. He post them on Tuesday on his facebook. After this he will post them also on his website. Have fun reading them.

Since about two years I do yoga: as, over the last thirty years, my bandoneon playing didn´t seem to loosen up any muscles except for my fingers and my brain, I decided to try to achieve some flexibility in other parts of my body.
That is to say: my wife Thirza persuaded me to do a beginner´s course in Amsterdam at the Nieuwe Yogaschool with Johan Noorloos, who soon became a close friend. With Johan we went to his yoga-retreat in Malaga, and after that I started taking classes close to my home in the Beemster with yogateacher Leigh MacDonald, who has been his student. At first I tried to explain to my twin sons how wonderful Leigh´s yoga turned out to be for me, but my boys kept on telling me that yoga is for sissies. So now, when they ask me where I go, I simply say: I´m off to McDonald´s…

Sometimes you are out of luck ………

And sometimes all comes together!
The summer vacation period is here and many of you leave for distant places. For others, the sun shines especially here in the Netherlands.
In the past month, Carel has recorded two beautiful tracks with two special Dutch singers. For the new CD of Trijntje Oosterhuis he played together with Uruguayan guitarist Leonardo Amuedo on a moving song, ‘Eenzaam zonder jou’; and together the Volendammer Jan Smit he recorded a happy danceable hit, ’De Wereld Rond’. Both CDs will be released in early September.

And then we were just out of luck…
The repertoire was rehearsed, the sound engineers and the catering were ready, all the musicians were in top condition and then, the bandoneon’s tuning (442hz) just wasn’t there. At the beginning of July we would have recorded Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble’s new CD, ’30!’ if the bandoneon’s tuning was up to the job. Due to circumstances, Carel’s regular tuner didn’t manage to get this done in time. As a result, the recordings have been postponed until after the summer holiday.
The release for this CD is now scheduled for early February 2018.
affiche 30 voor Nieuwsbreif juli

The complete concert agenda for the coming season is on our website. Take some time this summer to take a look at this extensive list.
Of course you have April 8, 2018 already in your agenda, that is the premiere of our new theater concert ’30! bevlogen tangojaren’ (passionate tango years) at the Philharmonie in Haarlem. In addition to our concerts with DUO, CKE and Lavinia Meijer, there are three special projects that we want to highlight:
1. In early September we will accompany the National Ballet of The Netherlands for the third time, on a program which will include choreographies of, the now eighty-five-year-old, Hans van Manen. During this project, we will guide the section ‘5 Tango’s’ (20 min.) and the Sexteto Canyengue will be complemented by percussionist Frank Wardenier and guitarist Elliot Muusses.
2. In early December, Carel will give a workshop ‘Argentinian Tango’ together with Bert, Jaap and Juan Pablo to the chamber ensemble of Het Gelders Orkest. After that Carel and Juan Pablo will perform three concerts with this ensemble.
3. In early January, Carel and Juan Pablo will give three New Year’s concerts with Het Zeeuws Orkest.

We are going to take it easy between August 1st and August 15th. We wish you happy summer weeks.

Warm regards
Carel and Thirza

Leoni Jansen and special guest Carel Kraayenhof

On 26th of November Carel will be a special guest at the ‘t Kerkhuys in Spanbroek.

Most singers start up alone on the stage with a chair and a guitar. Leoni Jansen does it the other way around. After a series of collaborations projects, the last with eight South African singers, she comes to the ‘t Kerkhuys with her guitar and zither. She sings songs from her Celtic, Americana and, of course, African repertoire. In the small church in Spanbroek, close to where she lives in the Beemster.

She does not come only with her guitar and zither to the stage; because as her good friend and colleague Carel Kraayenhof asked her: “Shall I come and perform with your in Spanbroek?”, and the answer was sounding yes.
So, a bit of a solo, but with a fantastic special guest.
Carel and Leoni know each other for years, from the music world. For the past four years they have been practically neighbours in the Beemster and often sit down to play together. Both have a great passion for Celtic music. The Bandoneon is of course connected to Argentina, but it does sound amazing in the Irish traditional music or in contemporary Scottish songs. Almost like a bagpipe. For the first time they will perform together in Spanbroek. A special collaboration of two enthusiastic musicians.
For more information:

Argentina trip – Bandoneons for Jujuy

Bandoneons for Jujuy
After Carel and I saw the documentary ‘El sonido del bandoneon’, by Jiska Rickels, at the end of 2012 we decided to start collecting money to buy bandoneons to bring to Jujuy, one of the poorest provinces in Argentina. We thought it was time to do something back for the country that gave us so much. Above all we believe it is of essential importance that the folklore music (with bandoneon) from the north of Argentina stays alive. After 4 years of savings, a benefit concert by the Sexteto Canyengue, receiving a great donation from the tango school ‘El Fuego’ located in Engelen- NL (Wolter and Nettie Kloppenburg), a lot of help and all sizes of donations from many people involved in the project we travelled last July to San Salvador de Jujuy.
In the country of origin of queen Maxima (of The Netherlands) live children who go to bed hungry. Compared to our country (The Netherlands) there is an enormous difference between rich and poor. Girls who are 10 or 11 years old are getting pregnant and some of them have several children by the age of 20. Unprotected sex is causing an explosion of HIV cases amongst youngsters under the age of 20… Sometimes young mothers with large families only realize after days that one of her children are missing. This gives human traffickers the chance to kidnap and abuse children before they are even missed.
3 bando's die er al zijn
But Maxima’s country is a pretty country, right? A country of rich culture, beautiful nature and fantastic people?
Daniel thee
Yes, that is correct. One of the most amazing places in the country is the north of Jujuy, a province next to Chile and Bolivia, which is escorted by the mountains of the Andes. The province’s capital, San Salvador de Jujuy, is the home of Daniel Vedia; Daniel is a bandoneon player/composer and teacher with a mission, a mission which could be a great importance for the future of Jujuy. He is trying to fulfill his life’s dream with the project ‘Jujuy Luz’ (“Jujuy Light”). Daniel gives bandoneon lessons to kids and young adults, just as his student Fabricio Aramayo. Daniel wants to prevent that the knowledge of the folklore music gets lost and that is why he makes children aware of their cultural identity. During his lessons he teaches children discipline to study; often this discipline grows into passion for music, leading the children to a better path, away from drugs and prostitution. The music schools are officially recognized by the government. By now there are a few instruments available and some teachers, but they have not received their salaries for the past six months, and not given a reason for that either. This is a direct effect of the cultural policy of the new government from president Macri, which ignores the fact that these teachers in many cases provide vital support and shelter for many children and their parents. Parents who hope that their children will not end up on the wrong path in life. With financial support from parents these teachers have been able to keep on giving lessons, but by now they are reaching a critical limit; If they are forced to stop, the future of the folklore music, and the future of these children, will be uncertain.
Through our Foundation Clavel Rojo we have brought already 7 bandoneons to Jujuy. Another bandoneon will be sent next month to Jujuy by bandoneon maker/tuner Oscar Fischer from Buenos Aires.
In October 2016 Tis Marang (bandoneon tuner and repairer) will travel to Jujuy to teach ten young people who are interested in learning how to repair and do maintenance of bandoneons.
2016-07-22 12.53.12
A very talented candidate to eventually become tuner and repair specialist of bandoneons in Jujuy is Fidel Hoyos.  Fidel is the man who made bandoneons out of wine carton boxes on the documentary ‘El sonido del bandoneon’.
Activities by Carel and Thirza for the project ‘Bandoneons for Jujuy’, in time sequence:
        Talk with Daniel Vedia about his work and vision for the future.
        Trip to Palpala to bring a bandoneon which was donated by Arjan Sikking (tango dance teacher and chairman of the Foundation Clavel Rojo) to the music school. Met with the mayor and press and had a jam session with young musicians.
        Went to Pumamarca, where we saw a concert by the children’s orchestra ‘Red Provincial de Orquestas Infantiles y Juveniles’. 200 children from Pumamarca, Palpala, Marmara, Tilcara and San Salvador. Met with general coordinator (Director General) for the Jujuy province Javier Soria.
        In Pumamarca Carel gave a bandoneon lesson to the students of Fabricio Jose Aramaic.
tv jujy
radio jujuy
        Carel gave a TV interview for Canal 7 with Jorge Reales about our project.
        Carel gave an interview about our project to the newspaper Tribuno (this interview was sent to the newspaper Pregón but unfortunately not printed).
        A radio interview was also given on Tribuno with Miriam Wich.
        Masterclass of 6 hours: bandoneon lessons to 12 bandoneon players from San Salvador and area, students of Daniel.
        Visit to the music school ‘E.S.M.’ (Escuela Superior de Musica de la Provincia de Jujuy) where three of the bandoneons donated by our project are placed. We have inspected the instruments and noted the necessary repairs they need to receive during Tis Marang’s trip to Jujuy.
        Visit to the university ‘U.N.J.’ (Universidad Nacional de Jujuy) where three other bandoneons donated by the project are placed and daily played. These bandoneons have been donated by the Prins Claus Foundation). We have inspected the instruments and noted the necessary repairs they need to receive during Tis Marang’s trip to Jujuy.
        Talk with Oscar Fischer (bandoneon builder in Buenos Aires) about the two instruments that are still to be delivered and the reason why we have not heard from him in the past year.
        Talk with Daniel Vedia and Oscar Fischer making clear agreements about the two bandoneons which are still to be delivered to Jujuy; during this meeting one of the two bandoneons was delivered to Daniel by Oscar. 
        Radio interview about our project with Luis Tarantino, on the program La 2x4FM in Buenos Aires.
        Radio interview about our project with Tete Coustarot, on Radio 10
        TV interview about our project on nation channel Canal Crónica with Hugo Ferrer.
        Radio interview about our project with Quique Figueroa for Radio Trelew Noticias FM 96.9 from Patagonia.
        Meeting with Julián Peralta (composer/pianist) about a similar project he has in Santa Cruz in the south of Argentina.
        Meeting with two documentary film makers from Buenos Aires, Carlos Cambariere and Mariana, about possible video recordings of the project.
 Jujuy bandoneonisten
bando's nakijkenGeneral activities:
        In Rosario we met with guitar player/composer Marcelo Coronel (Argentine Folklore)
radio BA
        In Buenos Aires:
o   We met with Doña Lidia Pugliese (widow from Osvaldo Pugliese)
Donia Lidia
o   Invited to visit the tango show ‘Romper el piso’ at the Maipo Theater with the dancers: Alejandro Aquino (1st dancer from Osvaldo Pugliese’s orchestra) and Nathalia Hills.
o   Visited Roberto Alvarez, bandoneon player from Osvaldo Pugliese and artistic director from Color Tango
o   Went to a concert at Club Vinilio (Gorrit 3780, BA) by the tango ensemble Astillero
o   Went to the rehearsal of the tango orchestra Orquesta Típica Fernández Fierro at their local club CAFF (Club Atletico Fernández Fierro), Sanchez de Bustamante 772, BA.
o   Went to the tango show ‘Rojo Tango’ at the Hotel ‘Faena’ where Osvaldo Rugierro’s son, Daniel Ruggiero, is the artistic director.
Oscar F Daniel Carel
        There are 7 bandoneons from our project in Argentina, including one which yet has to be sent by Oscar Fischer to Daniel Vedia. (5 were already on location, 1 was taken by us to the music school, 1 was taken to Jujuy by Daniel at the end of our trip).
        There is a big problem which is that music teachers did not receive their salaries for the past 6 months… How long can they keep on giving lessons?
        The bandoneons are being correctly distributed and used by the youth, coordinated by Daniel Vedia.
        The people from Jujuy are very happy and thankful for our donations. Carel and Thirza received a plaque as token of appreciation.
        The music schools have a much larger function in society than we could have imagined.
        Our visit made good impact: finally the press in Jujuy and in Buenos Aires gave attention to the project.
        Just before our departure Daniel Vedia informed us that the city council of San Salvador has honored him with a culture prize thanking him for his efforts. Even though this was not a financial prize, it is a very important acknowledgement which may lead to a greater awareness by the Ministry of Culture of Jujuy. Our hope is that they finally support important initiatives, such as our collaboration with Daniel.
romper el piso
Daniel Rugiero
Carel and I would absolutely love to keep on sending bandoneons to Jujuy and supporting the music teachers with help from The Netherlands (and any other countries). How are we going to do this and who can we contact to manage this in the most professional way possible?
 d.d. 30.8.16 T Lourens

News letter – September

Dear friends and relations,

Dancing on Sexteto Canyengue in Groningen

Sexteto Canyengue 25 years!

This year on 28 September we will perform on occasion of the 20th anniversary of the ‘Stichting (Foundation) Tango Argentina Groningen’ (STAG). In 2013 this foundation will exist twenty years and is not dependant on dancing-schools, locations or economic interests. She belongs to and is for all tango-dancers and has as an objective to promote the tango in different ways and keep alive a nice and various tango-climate in Groningen on a short and long term. ‘He who has birthday treats, so send us an e-mail before 27 September with the name of the ‘Godfather’ of Sexteto Canyengue and get a chance on 1×2 free tickets.

Carel Kraayenhof and the Dutch Symphony Orchestra

After the premiere on 30 April of Carel’s composition ‘Suite Compasion’ in an arrangement of Carel himself and Tom Trapp with the Residentie Orchestra, now we will have on 3 October in Enschede the premiere of his composition ‘Bamestra’ in an arrangement  of Sylvia Maes.  Besides this composition especially dedicated to the Beemster Carel will play with guitarist Izhar Elias the beautiful concert for bandoneon and guitar: ‘Hommage à Liège’ by Astor Piazzolla. We can offer for this concert 2×2 free  tickets. You only have to finish this slogan: ‘I love Carel’s music because ……….’

Email this sentence to us before 27 September. We will also by e-mail inform you about the winners.


Sexteto Canyengue 25 years!

In this special year Sexteto Canyengue will give a special benefit-concert and dancing-night on 29 September in Engelen near Den Bosch (see information below). We are happy that Leo Vervelde, co-founder of the sextet in 1988 (!), will come and play a few tangos with us. The benefits will go to the bandoneonists in Jujuy, Argentina.

So a double feast!

Bandoneons for Jujuy

For our project ‘Bandoneons for Jujuy’ we collected money in the past year to a total of €20.588,00, especially thanks to a big donation of the ‘Foundation Chicos por el tango’, which is linked to the tango-school  ‘El Fuego’ of Wolter and Nettie van Klompenburg from Den Bosch.

On Sunday 29 September Sexteto Canyengue will give in cooperation with this tango-school a benefit-concert and dancing-night in ‘De Burcht’ in Engelen. Especially for El Fuego Carel composed the new milonga  ‘El fuego del fueye’ (‘The fire of the bandoneon’), which will be performed on this evening for the first time especially for  this tango-school.

All revenues of that day will be donated to this project. All musicians, dancers and co-workers join in free of charge this day to collect an amount as high as possible. For more information see our website.


Kraayenhof Tango Ensemble to the Dutch Antilles

Between 1 and 10 November KTE will give concerts and school-concerts on Curaçao, Aruba and Bonaire. More info about this in our next newsletter.


Concerts to come

3 Oct.            Carel solo in Deventer with the Dutch Symphony Orchestra

5 Oct.            Duo Kraayenhof – Dobal: Tango-dinner with dance in Château Heemskerk

11 Oct.           Duo: Ottersum – concert –

16 Oct.           Duo: Schijndel – concert – sold out