Heart Warming reaction – Hotel Victoria

Hello Abel,
From my email-address the reaction of Mathilde Tiessen on the concert of Carel Kraayenhof in the Noorderchurch. For this concert she got two free tickets. When you read it you will understand how much we enjoyed. Good luck with your programme. We are regular listeners.
Mathilde T and Henk V.

We were chosen to be present for free at the Saturday-afternoon-concert of Carel Kraayenhof and Juan Pablo Dobal in the Noorderchurch in Amsterdam, 6 February 2016.
During this sparkling and heartwarming concert the first copy was presented of their new cd: ‘Tango Hotel Victoria’.
It was a top performance: 5 stars, craftmanship, cheerfulness, class, relaxed and heartwarming!
The cd is named after the first number, a tango: ‘Hotel Victoria’ from 1906, but it also refers to the hundreds of hotelrooms occupied and slept in every year by Carel and his musicians. Because of the scenery you really imagined to be in a hotelroom with bed and bedspread in which sitting on the bed, nicely chatting, table, cupboard, cuddly cat (Piazzolla was called ‘The Cat’) an intimate atmosphere was created. With every number appeared enlisted the one to whom the special number was dedicated.
1 Tango Victoria: picture of an Argentinian hotel. Sparkling beginning with fast high tones and after that the familiar tango-sounds and later cheerful and sparkling again. The beginning was set! The atmosphere at once relaxed and full of attention, because after this first number the new cd was handed over by Anita Verheggen, the lady who looks after the rights and concerns of musicians. Gratefulness.
For years and years Carel and his friends travelled and collected folk-music/folklore in Argentina and neighbouring countries. So lots of inspiration to compose themselves and then starts the list dedicated to:
2 Enny, written on the occasion of the eightiest birthday of his mother (present); a waltz with an incredibly nice interaction between bandoneon and oiano. No question, there is a loving mother-son relation.
CD presentatie
3 Nata Blanca or ‘Whitenose’: picture of Carel’s cat, dedicated to his three-legged cat who bumps in three-four time through the high grass of the Beemster. Music as if you see all its movements (and hesitation) and it can only be a happy cat. Dedicated to his brother Jaap who is a cat-lover.
4 The fourth number is a Milonga (melody) in the ‘most African rhythm of Argentina’ tells Juan Pablo: the Chacarera. Mixture of African, Spanish/Porugese and native rhythm.
5/6 The pianist plays solo two own compositions. The first calm and melancholic as if you see prospects; inspired by NE Argentina. The second one inspired on a region bordering on Chili, the whine-region, and yes: it is an infectious story as if somebody is coming home; that it was alright there and the wine tasted delicious! And there are so many things to tell!
7 In music-piece numer 7 Kraayenhof plays solo; a waltz-ballad called ‘Charlotte’. It is dedicated to his beloved sister in law ….. Charlotte. An ode to her because she dedicated herself to wheelchair-friendly dwellings in Groningen. It is a simple and lovely story from which you can conclude again: ‘That relation is OK’!
8 The pianist with a virtuoso rhythmic piece; again a Chacarera.
9 ‘Beautiful lunatic’, Loco Lindo is the melodious based on folklore-music story of a man who makes a hole in the floor of a museum to be able to look at the art-treasures without a ticket. A self-portrait of expressive artist Maurizio Cattelan (photo). Bandoneon and piano with unexpected turns and humour!
10 After a waltz on which you (the public) would like to dance the double-bassplayer joins and the three of them play Opera 79.
11 Not an opera…no, it is the address where Arjan and Marianne live, the people of Tango-salon Plantage Muidergracht. And yes! There is live-dancing now by a topclass-amateur-duo out of the audience!
Then a violin-player joins and a tribute is payed to a 90 years old lady-friend who as a girl survived the concentration-camp together with her mother and who after that devoted herself her whole life to ‘Worldpeace’.
12 Frieda’s Milonga…… so charming, so mature…….
As prelude of the sparkling finish a carnivalesk, cheerful, active and challenging number is played; bandoneon, doublebass, piano…. 13
14 And then an extra percussionist arrives. Enrique Firpi. Back to back with pianist Dobal. Together they play an Uruguayan rhythm the ‘Candombe’; a foolish, contra each other going rhythm. Music expressing the wish that slavery may be over some time. Something like: ‘We are unique, we are so characteristic, we are and are allowed to be ourselves!’
And as an encore: what do you think? Of course Adios Nonino….. the song that meant the breakthrough of Carel Kraayenhof, played at the wedding of Willem Alexander and Maxima in 2002. Only, played still more exclusive, more lived through, more varied, together with bassplayer Jaap Branderhorst and violinist Bert Vos. But the toppers of this unique, beautiful afternoon were Carel Kraayenhof with his bandoneon and Juan Pablo Dobal on piano!
Seldom heard such a varied, relaxed and masterly concert. Warm because of the odes played for friends and family and warm because of the friendship between the musicians!
We are glad that we were the lucky ones!
Thank you Abel, thank you RTVNH.
Mathilde T and Henk V.

Carel Kraayenhof guest by the orchestra Timbres Divers

Last season the Great Film- and Musicalorchestra Timbres Divers presented for the first time a programme with Maaike Widdershoven and Tony Neef on a musical dreamjourney through the world of the musical in ‘Best of Broadway’.
Timbres Divers During the concert of this year the musicians of Timbres Divers have the versatile bandoneonist Carel Kraayenhof on their side. For many years already he is the international star of the Argentinian tango and at the time also responsable for ‘the tear of Maxima’. With his beautiful playing on the bandoneon this born musician knows how to enchant worldwide every audience. Together they present a special programme in which famous tangos alternate with film- and musicalclassics. This unique concert will only be played this season in two cities: Theatre De Lievenkamp in Oss 3 April at 14.00h and in Dordrecht on 10 April at 14.00h in the Kunstmin. Don’t miss it!

Review Antillean Newspaper – Hotel Victoria

This review appeared on 15 January in the Antillean Newspaper (Antilliaans Dagblad) in Curaçao.

Duo Kraayenhof and Dobal presents **** Hotel Victoria
By Giselle Ecury
They already know each other since his arrival in the Netherlands in 1989, when he was a member of the quartet in which also Carel Kraayenhof played. Argentinian Juan Pablo Dobal and Carel Kraayenhof now release as a duo a cd in connection with a new theatre program. That cannot go by unnoticed. How beautiful it is to feel practically in every sound that they communicate via the music, complement and are tuned to each other.
Only four months after presenting in Tivoli Vredenburg, Utrecht, the live album “In concert” by Carel Kraayenhof and harp player Lavinia Meijer, bandoneonist Carel Kraayenhof and pianist /composer Dobal accomplish this theatre program: “Hotel Victoria”. The mere title immediately stimulates my imagination. Because who doesn’t remember the legendary “Hotel California” by the Eagles in 1976 – you know: such a lovely place, such a lovely face… you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. Hotel Victoria too is a tribute to an existing hotel and the title of a tango from 1906, composed by pianist Feliciano Latasa. The famous Gran Hotel Victoria in Buenos Aires was a meeting place for many musicians and artists for decades. In those days they tried to find their fortune in this metropolis, because exactly there the tango seemed to become a frenzy. History taught us that by now the tango has indeed conquered the world. The Duo Kraayenhof and Dobal presents this title item more or less as a tribute to every hotel, because after a concert a hotel is a halting place for the traveling musician, a light house at the sea, but also a meeting place with other musicians. The bar invites to take the bandoneon out of the bag again or to open the old piano that is standing in the corner. To wake up the next morning in a place you don’t really recognize anymore. “The musicians life is a life of a ‘loco lindo’”. ‘Hotel Victoria’, arranged by pianist Horacio Salgan for his duo with guitar player Ubaldo de Lio, now gets “a different flavour” with the sound of the bandoneón.
Hotel Victoria
Behind every number hides a beautiful story, also behind the numbers written by Carel and Juan Pablo themselves. To stay in the hotel subject, the festive “Enny” is dedicated to Kraayenhof’s mother on the occasion of her 80th birthday. He often stays over her place, with pleasure, after concerts in the south of the country, “the best B&B of the south”.
But also in many other pieces a warm humanism appear, an eye for the abuses in the world which always exist, involvement. Thus originated “Frieda’s milonga” after a special meeting with Frieda Menco (90) who told Carel how she survived Auschwitz in the second world war and how she dedicated her long life to world peace, by speaking with young people all over the world about discrimination. “Charlotte” is dedicated to his sister in law who, in Groningen, stimulates the building of wheelchair friendly houses in the center of the city; and Juan Pablo describes in “Sudamérica” the continent where he was born and raised, a continent with rich natural resources, trapped between two oceans; prey of Spanish and Portuguese colonists by which two peoples, the Indians and the Africans, had to suffer.
Should you, by any chance, be in the Netherlands, check in for a night in this special Hotel. On February 6th the official cd presentation will take place during an afternoon concert at the Noorderkerk in Amsterdam. Tickets are for sale via: www.noorderkerkconcerten.nl. Via the website you can have a look in the agenda and read more information about the cd. But keep in mind: you can never leave…! https://www.carelkraayenhof.nl/duo-carel-kraayenhof-juan-pablo-dobal/

Newsletter September

Dear friends and colleagues,
After a quiet summer we find ourselves in the autumn and already full on a theater season.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank and welcome the new recipients of our newsletter, specially the ones who signed up during the live CD recordings of ‘Lavinia Meijer & Carel Kraayenhof in Concert’ at Tivoli Vredenburg in Utrecht. Around the 10th of October you will receive a new newsletter with a link; you will be the first ones able to order the CD.
As a gift to all our newsletter recipients, and as a thank you for your support and enthusiasm during our concerts and projects, we offer you (only for official subcribers) the sheet music for piano from Carel’s composition: Te Llevo en mi Alma (I carry you in my soul). This composition was dedicated by Carel to his late father and it was recorded on the Fuerza CD (available in our webshop).
On Friday 2nd of October the CKE will perform at a brand new theater just outside Utrecht, in Leidsche Rijn. The theater is called ‘Podium Hogewoerd’ and the performance will be a concert version of ‘Liberación’. Tickets are still available.
On Saturday 3rd of October, Carel and Juan Pablo drive up north to Winschoten, to perform at the Theater de Klinker. They will play two short sets during the Accordion Orchestra Con Brio jubilee celebration. For tickets please visit the theater’s website.

Reminder! If you would like to be present in one of the concerts of Lavinia Meijer and Carel Kraayenhof, pay close attention to our concert agenda, on our website. Most of the concerts are already sold out, such as 10th of October in Eindhoven and 17th of October in Heemstede. There are still tickets for some concerts, for example 9th of October at Parkgebouw, Rijssen and Grote Kerk in Naarden on the 22nd of December.

That is all for now! Until next time.
Warm regards,
Carel and Thirza

News Letter August 25 Carel Kraayenhof

Dear friends and colleagues,
After a great summer where we followed a beginners yoga course with Johan Noorloos at the ‘de Nieuwe Yogaschool’ in Amsterdam and then enjoyed a few sailing days in Friesland (NL) we are back home in the Beemster.
We hope that you are also looking forward to the new theater season.
Carel solo phot: Emil de Jong

‘Lavinia & Carel Live in Concert’
This is the title from the new CD that will be presented on the 10th of October at the Muziekgebouw in Eindhoven. On the 7th and 9th of September at 20:00 hrs we will record live at Tivoli Vredenburg in Utrecht. Do you want to be part of the enthusiastic audience, and support Carel and Lavinia during the recording sessions?
Sign up and receive free tickets to a very special evening.

Specially for this CD we have asked the talented writer Abdelkader Benali to write a story in the CD booklet. What the story will be, we don’t know yet, but he will let himself be inspired by Carel and Lavinia’s music. On the CD there will be pieces from Piazzolla, Albeniz, Morricone and Kraayenhof, among others.

The theater show ‘Liberación’ in Haarlem and Heerlen
On the 4th of September the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble will give a concert at ‘Het Kruispunt’ in Vooschoten. The ensemble will play songs from the theater show ‘Liberación’.
Unfortunately the theater show ‘Liberación’, with it’s unique uneven floor, video wall and beautiful light decor designed by Uri Rapaport, will only be performed twice this season. For these shows you can reserve your tickets by clicking on the following links:
19 November Munttheater Weert
28 November Philharmonie Haarlem

We wish you a great end of the summer. Maybe we will meet up soon in one of our next concerts. In mid September you will receive, together with our newsletter, a link to download a special composition by Carel (including music sheet for piano).

Warm regards,,
Carel and Thirza

Carel & Wouter Hamel
On Thursday 27th of August we will finally be able to see on TV to whom Carel and Wouter play a romantic song to during ‘Linda’s Zomerweek’ (RTL 4 – NL). Last summer Carel and Wouter have recorded this song, and now you can download it via iTunes for only €1,29.

Own webshop and Spotify
Often we are asked where people can buy our CDs. For the ones who have not visited our website lately, we have our own webshop. Here you can order CDs, with an option to ask for a autographed one. Most CDs can also be downloaded via the webshop.
Carel can also easily be found on Spotify! You can just add him to your playlist.

News Letter August 4 – Carel Kraayenhof

Dear friends and colleagues,
Thank you all very much for the nice reactions to the ‘insider’s view’ on our musicians in our website.
The Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble has started works again after our vacation and last Saturday had a sold out concert at the beach in Noordwijk, The Netherlands. It was a breath taking evening with a red sunset and a full moon!
Next weekend the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble will give two concerts (with free entrance): on Saturday the 8th in Alkmaar (20:30 hrs) at the Canadeplein and on Sunday the 9th in Amsterdam at the Vondelpark (12:30 hrs).
After these concerts, the CKE can be heard again on the 4th of September in a beautiful church in Voorschoten (NL).

Wouter Hamel and Carel Kraayenhof
In our last newsletter we mentioned the TV broadcasting from the program ‘Linda’s Summer week” were Carel and Wouter Hamel perform a song together. Then we mentioned the broadcast would take place on the 28th of August, but it will actually be on the 27th of August, on RTL 4 (Dutch TV sender). The beautiful romantic song that will be performed on the show will then be available as a download on iTunes and via our own website (a small charge applies).
Lavinia Meijer and Carel Kraayenhof will record an album together
The record label from Lavinia Meijer, Sony Music The Netherlands, is currently looking into the possibilities for a collaboration album between Lavinia and Carel. This should happen in a very short future. The goal is for the album to be available for the first concert of this special duo in October. More information will be available soon on our website.

Album CD Juan Pablo Dobal and Carel Kraayenhof
At the end of July Carel and Juan Pablo have recorded their new album at Splendor in Amsterdam, called ‘Hotel Victoria’. At this moment it is not known when the album will be released, as Sony Music wants to have priority bringing their album out. But we half way there with the material ready!
The next DUO concert, of August 27th at a roof in Amsterdam North, is sold out!

Carel Kraayenhof’s own YouTube channel
Did you know that you can sign up for Carel Kraayenhof’s own YouTube channel?
By doing that you get the chance to watch our new films first hand.

Warm regards,
Carel and Thirza

News letter Carel Kraayenhof June, 23

Dear friends and colleagues,
The summer 2015 has started last Sunday the 21st of June and the clouds dripped thick raindrops. Together with Juan Pablo we drove on that day to a concert in Elkrade. Once we arrived at this beautiful South-Limburg small town we were blessed with sunrays through the clouds guiding us toward our German neighbors. It was a gorgeous Sunday afternoon with a DUO concert, at the former pig’s stable, as part of the ‘Muziekdagen Eys’. After this afternoon we realized how diverse and fascinating our concerts are. In the month of May Carel was twice at Ahoy Rotterdam with the Rotterdam’s Philharmonic Orchestra in the beautiful and successful production Julia! Next to it he the Artist in Residence during the perfectly organized Rabbobank Jazz festival in Amersfoort, where one of the concerts was a concert with the Sexteto Canyengue at the Lieve Vrouwkerkhof. Just a few days later, the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble played a couple of numbers at the Dam Palace in Amsterdam where our Curaçaoan friend Millicent Smeets-Muskus received a special decoration (the zilveren anjer) from the hands of Prices Beatrix. King Willem-Alexander was also present during the event.

TV and new CD
In the meantime, the future is calling for attention.
Carel will record an episode of the TV show ‘Linda’s summer week’ (Dutch channel RTL 4, airs on the 28th August) where he performs a song together with singer Wouter Hamel. Following that, Carel and Juan Pablo will record their new album ‘Hotel Victoria’ on June 28 and 29 at Splendor in Amsterdam.

CKE met Dudi & Kyra
Summer break
This year we have decided to take our summer break between 9 and 28 of July. Our office will be close during this period.

Open-air concerts CKE – August
Don’t miss this chance!
In early August the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble will perform a few open-air concerts in different locations in The Netherlands. In Noordwijk at the beach; in Alkmaar at the Canadaplein; and in Amsterdam at the Vondelpark. For more information please visit our website.

For everyone who was not yet able to catch one of the Liberación theater shows, there are a few chances left. On November 19th we will perform at the Munttheater in Weert (NL) and on November 28th at the Philharmonie in Haarlem. During the next season the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble will also perform the repertoire from the CD Liberación (available at our web shop) in a concert version: ‘Liberación In Concert’. These are concerts without the special scenography, light design and the beautiful video images. For more information and concert date please visit our website.

Nieuwsbrief foto
Musicians Information
Did you know that in our website you can find more information about most of our musicians and crew? Look for the biographies and click on the button ‘Insider’s view’. You can also find this for Thirza, Juli and Rimmert on our contact page. We would like to know what do you think about this new information.

We wish you a great summer. For the ones going on vacation, we wish you a great trip and a safe return home. In the name of our musicians and our team we thank you for your support on the first half of 2015. We are always glad to hear back from you. Please feel free to reach us on Facebook or on Twitter.

Warm regards,
Carel and Thirza

Liberation Day Concert – 5 May, Liberación, Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ Amsterdam

Muziekgebouw aan het IJ
For the special event of our theater show Liberación on Liberation Day, 5 May 2015 at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in Amsterdam, I have composed a new piece which I will perform together with the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble during the exclusive Liberation Dinner, prior to the show.

When asked to compose a new piece for this special occasion I thought immediately on an homage to one of the most important freedom fighters of all times, Nelson Mandela. During his long life Mandela made friends and won over enemies on his battle for freedom and equality to all. As a lawyer, as the leader of the ANC, from jail and finally as president of a new South Africa. His clear purpose, his patience and optimism are sources of inspiration for the entire world.

My new composition breathes happiness, just as Mandiba’s irresistible laugh, as his friends would call him. That is also the name of my composition. It is just like a movie, where he is at first calm and emotionally speaking, after that he starts to dance and party.
The bandoneón and the strings will form a South African choir, where then the piano and double bass will light up a firing rhythm. At times it sounds like the piano player is actually playing a kora.

The calm returns at the end, just as a choir sings around the bonfire deep in the night.

We are looking forward to the 5th of May, so we can celebrate freedom together with you!

Carel Kraayenhof

for more information: www.muziekgebouw.nl

Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble live on Podium Witteman, March 1st

Podium witteman

On Sunday afternoon March 1st, the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble will be the guest of the new popular tv program Podium Witteman, on the Dutch channel NTR NPO 2.
The program will be live, at 17:00 hrs.

The program is a weekly music festival presented by Paul Witteman together with pianist and comedian Mike Boddé and music connoisseur Floris Kortie. The program talks about special topics with guests and offers a platform for new and known musicians to play live.

The program is presented live from the brand new “De Hallen Studios” in Amsterdam-West.
Audiences may join the program free of charge, by signing up via the email: bijwonenpodiumwitteman@ntr.nl.
for more information: www.https://programma.ntr.nl/10627/podium-witteman

No te rindas – Don’t give up by Mario Benedetti

Mario Bennedetti
We have received requests from some of the audience of our Liberación theater show about a poem which is part of the show. Here is the complete translation of the poem No te rinds, from the Uruguayan writer Mario Benedetti.

Don’t give up, you still have time
to reach up and start anew,
Accept your shadows,
Bury your fears,
Free your burdens,
Fly again.

Don’t give up, that’s what life is
Continue the journey,
Follow your dreams,
Unstuck time,
Move the rubble,
And uncover the sky.

Don’t give up, please don’t give way,
Even if the cold burns,
Even if fear bites,
Even if the sun sets,
And the wind goes silent,
There is still fire in your soul
There is still life in your dreams.

Because life is yours and yours is the desire
Because you have loved it and because I love you
Because wine exists and love is true.
Because there are no wounds that time doesn’t cure.

To open the doors,
Take away the locks,
Abandon the walls that have protected you,
To live life and accept the challenge
Get back laughter,
Practice a song,
Lower the guard and extend the hands
Open the wings
And try again,
Celebrate life and take back the skies.

Don’t give up, please don’t give way,
Even if the cold burns,
Even if fear bites,
Even if the sun sets,
And the wind goes silent,
There is still fire in your soul
There is still life in your dreams.

Because every day is a new beginning,
Because this is the hour and the best moment.
Because you are not alone, because I love you.