Carel Kraayenhof and Juan Pablo Dobal are going to Finland (Joensuu)

Carel 140826- 0053
Invited by the Dutch conductor Jurjen Hempel, Carel Kraayenhof and Juan Pablo Dobal will play on the 21st of February a concert together with the Joensuu City Orchestra in Finland.
Carel will play as a soloist with the orchestra:
*Aleppo (CK)
*Bamestra (CK)
*Aconcagua (A.Piazzolla, Deel III)
*Adios Nonino (Astor Piazzolla)

After that the duo will play a set including the following numbers:
1. Hotel Victoria (tango) – Feliciano Latasa
2. Enny (valsecito) – Carel Kraayenhof
3. Ñata blanca (aire de zamba) – Carel Kraayenhof
4. De allá (chacarera)- Polo Giménez
5. Cueca de las nubes – Juan Pablo Dobal
6. Remanso (guarania) – Juan Pablo Dobal
7. Cuando despierto mañana (chacarera) – Juan Pablo Dobal
8. El duende de tu son (milonga campera) – Carel Kraayenhof
9. Te vas milonga – Abel Fleury
10. Vamos a chayar (chaya) – Atuto Mercau Soria

For more information visit:
https://www.joensuu.fi/orchestra/english

Dutch Chamber Orchestra and Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble – Valentine’s concert

NKO

Last weekend the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble played a short series of concerts together with the Dutch Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of concert master Gordan Nikolić.
The well known guitar player Izhar Elias made a special soloist participation, as well as Carel Kraayenhof played as a soloist in a few pieces together with the Orchestra.

Something also very special in this program was the number of Carel’s own compositions.
The concert played on the 15th of February will be broadcasted on the 19th of March on the Dutch channel NPO 4.

Program (guideline)
1. Astor Piazzolla-dubbelconcert for guitar, bandoneon and strings
2. Alexander Borodin- Nocturne
3. Isaac Albenniz – Suite Espanola, op.47:
4. Leo Brouwer – Danzas Concertantes for guitar and strings
5. PAUZE
6. Astor Piazzolla from: De Jaargetijden: ‘Ivierno Portenos’
7. Astor Piazzolla from: De Jaargetijden: ‘Otono’
* Kraayenhof – Aleppo
8. Carel Kraayenhof – Suite Compasion
9. Carel Kraayenhof – Bamestra –

for more information:
www.orkest.nl
www.izharelias.com

Noordhollands Dagblad review

At the end of December the Dutch newspaper, Noordhollands Dagblad published the following article:
NHD 30 dec. 2014 ##
Translation:

Kraayenhof’s liberating music”
By Hans Visser

It will be a liberation celebration. It is not meaningless that Carel Kraayenhof names the performance, and the matching CD, ‘Liberacion’. Moved by the fate of the refugees, the bandoneón player and composer wants to present music that brings comfort and offers power and hope to people allowing them to, at least for a moment, transcend all the misery.
The extraordinarily beautiful CD is ready. Now follows the performance, a mixture of music and film-images: “We play under the direction of Jos Groenier on a kind of sloping pallet. Behind that hangs a projection screen, also a little bit tilt. The image of the stage is out of balance, just like the lives of refugees are out of balance.”
“On that screen you see images which moviemaker Joost Gulien collected, images of refugees in all kind of places all over the world. In between there are interviews, but also images of bombed Aleppo in Syria. In the debris somebody plays a piano and a choir is singing. Of course Lampedusa is also between the images, the isle where refugees arrive, who survived the journey from North Africa across the Mediterranean Sea. These images fit the music, but at the same time they will contrast.”
He encountered a number of refugees. “The other day we performed for some refugees in Zwolle. After that an exciting jam session started. Mohamad also participated, an engineer from Aleppo. He played the piano and the Turkish oud. Then you feel what music does: brings comfort, power and joy. There you experience also how music is a language that everybody understands. Even though the Syrian music may sound so very different for us.”
“Mohamad fled from Aleppo. If he had stayed, he probably would have been killed, or else captured and tortured. His parents stayed behind, but his family is waiting in Lebanon whether he succeeds in getting them away from there. He left everything behind. Now he is trying, here in Holland, to start a few activities for his fellow refugees. That’s why we want to collect – together with Foundation Vrolijkheid – instruments for those refugees. My old piano, on which I used to play as a child, now goes to the asylum in Ter Apel. Mohamed will play there very soon.
“Of course often the higher educated are the ones who can flee. They are often still able to pay the refugee-smugglers.”
‘Liberacion’ is also the reproduction of a life full of concert-journeys. “As musicians we are a peculiar bunch of travellers. Sometimes I play more pop and then again the classics, but eventually I play world-music. That is not the music of the upper class, but of the common people.”
“With this music you visit them at home. You talk with them, eat with them and listen to their stories. Then you know where their music comes from and what it meant to them through the generations. Often is new music itself that determines the end of the escape. That’s why you hear in ‘Liberación’ the elements of klezmer, tango, African, Cuban and Antillean music.”
Carel Kraayenhof has worked two years on ‘Liberación’ and with it he presents himself more than ever as a composer. “I notice, that in writing I experience more and more pleasure, it has become a passion.”
The tour will bring Kraayenhof and his ensemble throughout the Netherlands, but it will for sure not stop there. There is also interest from abroad: traveling and leaving a beloved place: “The other day we played in Schiermonnikoog. When you sail away on the ferry and you see the island getting smaller and smaller you can imagine how definite such a departure feels. Now don’t expect a heavy concert. On the contrary, it will be a celebration of liberation, but with a serious undertone.”

Great review on AD Curaçao

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This article came out on Saturday 22 november on the AD Curaçao newspaper. An interview by writer and journalist Giselle Ecury with Carel Kraayenhof about his project Liberación (Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble).

Translation:
Carel Kraayenhof’s dream: unification

Much has been written about him. Roughly 55 million people from all over the world watched him play the bandoneón at the wedding of our present royal couple. He has performed with the greatest on earth. But what strikes the most about him, is his modest and open look, his honest simplicity and peace of mind, as if everything amazes him and keeps amazing him. Carel Kraayenhof. A guarantee for a good conversation.
By Giselle Ecury

As soon as Alkmaar is behind you, you cross vast polders, where cows are still in the meadows and sheep graze. Mills spin a northwester away. Will there be rain? On a cloudy Monday morning I’m on my way to his home, following the instructions of his wife and manager, Thirza Lourens. The statement: “Behind every successful man stands a strong woman” for sure applies to her, although she certainly will deny that. And yet I will state that. Because she is always there, arranging everything in an adequate way and she does that with a smile. Besides that she is caring. “I will give you one hour. I want Carel to have some rest before his next interview. Is that OK for you?” This last sentence says it all. She has also stayed true to herself and is simply kind. How easy can life be? And so I stand, after a short ride, in the middle of the North-Holland’s Beemster. By many people only known due to its’ delicious cheese, but perhaps among some elder people also because of Jan Adriaanszoon Leeghwater; who by using 43 windmills managed to transform this polder into dry land in 1612. Since 1999 the Beemster is on the Unesco World Heritage list.
This completes the circle for the Dutch boy who became a first class world musician and who, lovingly, received from the country Argentina the official name ‘Tanguero’ . In 2005 he also received in the name of the Argentinian parliament, out of the hands of the tango-poet Horacio Ferrer, the country’s highest cultural decoration for his inexhaustible effort for the Argentinian tango world wide. Later he was also named as Officer in the Order of Oranje Nassau for his personal effort, vision and qualities with which our society provides from. In this way Kraayenhof and his Thirza not only search for connection, they also experience it. As if it should be that way. And that it is.
Actually, I know that for them it is not at all about decorations and praise. That is exactly why I want to mention it. Because it makes this great musician, who completely stayed true to himself and wants to keep it all close to his heart (and manages to do so) to come to a state of connection and interconnectedness, only more unique.
“If my bandoneon, in one way or another, could convince people to bring themselves to also play this instrument with pleasure, and maybe success, then I would know that my playing served a cause”. These were Carel’s words, after he told me about a special meeting on a tango-festival in the South of France. There a bearded Spanish speaking man left a group of friends and held Carel with tears in his eyes. He introduced himself as somebody who was able to work his way up to being a music teacher, thanks to a tango school in Buenos Aires helped by Kraayenhof. “And that’s why I am here now far away in the South of France. Who could ever have thought of that?”
These are heartwarming stories told by the man who now would like to unite refugees and immigrants, preferably also with the common Dutchman, so that new things can arise and our cultures can actually integrate. Halfway November there will be a unique cooperation between Refugee Work The Netherlands and the bandoneón player and his ensemble. “The different forms of art will help us in that matter: the drawing together, the writing of stories together, poetry. We should come forward more, make ourselves better known. The way it goes right now in the Netherlands …… It worries me”, he says. “There is much more than an economic system, in which we are urged to more and bigger. If we keep on going this way, the earth will soon be exhausted, there will be more dissatisfaction, the stream of refugees will increase immensely and not only be a problem for Lampedusa or for the fugitives themselves. The ethic morality should come first instead of always looking at the technical possibilities. Our hearts must begin to speak. Nowadays for instance, robots are being developed to help in the healthcare. Is this still ethical? I don’t think so. What appeals to me so much in Argentina? There people care for each other. With love. I saw that on Curaçao as well. That island has a big place in my heart. The island has something of the two worlds, in which I really feel at home. Although it start to sneak up on me that here I get more and more the feeling that I want to leave, because I miss the involvement that they have. What if you have suddenly must flee. Just think about it.
Kraayenhof, who from his eighth year learned to play the piano, feels for deprived children. His piano of those days has, in the meantime, introduced many other people to music. “An old instrument does not belong in a museum, to look at. An instrument should be played on.” And so, his piano is nowadays in Nijmegen, but will shortly be moved to Ter Apel, to an asylum for refugees.
Together with Lourens, Kraayenhof dedicates himself to the preservation of the bandoneon in Argentina. Too many instruments disappear there, because tourists take them as souvenirs. Together with local people they try to get as many instruments as possible back to Argentina. Also attention is given to training in maintenance and reparation of these instruments. This way unprivileged young people can learn a profession.
We talk about a project in Jujuy, a province in the northwest of Argentina, near the borders of Bolivia, Chili and the foothills of the Andes. Together with the Foundation Tango por los Chicos, started by a tango school in Engelen (near Den Bosch in The Netherlands), it became possible to gather bandoneóns, so that the children in Jujuy no longer have to play on cardboard instruments (this was also possible by holding a benefit concert during a salón evening).
“Do you know that it (the bandoneón) actually has its origins in Germany?”. Indeed Wikipedia tells me that the bandoneon was invented in 1854 in Germany and soon became a popular instrument in Italy as well. From there it probably ended up in Argentina via the season workers. There, the melancholic sound of the bandoneón fitted particularly the tango. In Germany the instrument disappeared during the Second World War. “Actually it is an immigrant” says Kraayenhof with a laugh. “And now that people know him, they learn more and more to appreciate him. So you see: music connects, speaks all languages, makes contact.” And not only that, it seems to have a healing effect on all our body cells. When I look at musicians, I always see (in spite of the concentration) the joy in creating something together, the interaction, eye contact.
I feel the sounds in my body and I can hardly sit still, whether it is a classical concert or the new album of Kraayenhof and his Sexteto Canyengue, with which he already performs about 25 years. Music always touches.
“It is great to perform for an audience that is so involved”, confirms Kraayenhof. “We experienced it on Curacao, now a year ago. There you can feel the love and pride for their own composers and musicians. To, there, play ‘Sabrosita’….” It is like listening for a moment to that piece, before Kraayenhof continues: “Or ‘Atardi Korsou ta Bunita’. That ‘softly singing’ from the audience. Then I feel the bond you have on such a moment. The solidarity. That is where we have to go world wide. That is a dream of mine, a deep desire. That we really leave the narrow minds behind and unify. Then nobody has to be lonesome or to flee.

4 stars review – Dagblad de Limburger

De Limburger 21 nov 2014
On the 21st of November another great review came out for the CD Liberación. This time at the Dutch newspaper Dagblad de Limburger.

Translation:
CD REVIEW

WORLDMUSIC
Artist: Carel Kraayenhof
Title: Liberación
Record company: Bando Dreams

He will stay forever the musician who brought Maxima to tears. On his new album Liberación, bandoneón player Carel Kraayenhof is going, together with his ensemble, on a search for freedom and happiness. It is pretty much a given that a piece of composer Piazzolla is also present on the CD, the man who lifted the Argentine tango to a form of art.
Kraayenhof himself also signs for a number of compositions. He was inspired by Lampedusa and the African boat refugees who set foot on land in Italy. Ida y Vuelta is an homage to the Jewish writer Ida Vos, who during the Second World War as a young girl who had to go into hiding. Liberación is full of boundless music crying for freedom. Kraayenhof brings the numbers to life with his musicians full of passion and inspiration. Instrumental songs to dream of.

PETER VAN DE BERG

Carel Kraayenhof on TV show “STA OP TEGEN KANKER” – in collaboration with John van Eyk and Paul de Leeuw

KWF
STA OP TEGEN KANKER – Wednesday 19 November
Paul de Leeuw will sing the song “Als je ooit weg gaat”, from his new album “De Leeuw zingt Long”, on the live TV show ‘Sta op tegen kanker’ (A benefit TV show for cancer research). Carel Kraayenhof and John van Eyk collaborate with Paul on during this song.
LIVE ON TV, 19 November – at 21.25 hrs on Dutch TV channel NPO 1.

for more information: www.staoptegenkanker.nl

Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble gives a concert at the IJsselhallen in Zwolle (The Netherlands)

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This past Saturday (November 15 2014), the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble gave a special ‘Liberación’ concert in Zwolle (The Netherlands) to the Syrian refugees living in the IJsselhallen.

A new 5 star review for Liberación

Trouw 14.11.14 recensie Liberaci
This past weekend Liberación received another 5 star review. This time from the Dutch newspaper TROUW.

Translation:
A powerful statement on the bandoneon

WORLD
Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble
Liberacion (Bando Dreams)
*****
__________
The current situation in the world brings engagement back in pop music. Last week Bob Geldof announced his Band Aid project against Ebola, Izaline Calister and Leoni Jansen started their protest song tour ‘Barricade’ and Carel Kraayenhof’s latest album ‘Liberación’ was released. With this the greatest bandoneón player in the world is asking attention for all refugees who, forced by political or economical circumstances, had to leave home and loved ones behind.
‘This is how the tango originated, from the fusion-music of migrants; keeping alive the hope for a better future’, he stated on the CD booklet.
The CD starts with the sound of the sea, the symbol for a connection to freedom as well as a frightening escape route. Titles like ‘Aleppo’ and ‘Lampedusa’ say enough.
Not one instrument is so complex as the bandoneón. It plays rhythm and melody together and possesses a melancholic and resilient character at the same time.
Kraayenhof’s playing – vigorous, sad and tough – reflects in all buttons his powerful statement. Piano and strings surround him comforting and evocative sounds delivering powerful counter play. Even the widely known ‘Libertango’, that for composer Astor Piazzolla symbolized liberation from the traditional tango, now gets a beautiful new arrangement and with that, a new interpretation.
Mr. Geldof, may Kraayenhof also take part at the Band Aid event?

Stan Rijven

5 star review CD Liberación – Noord-Hollands Dagblad

NHD 7 .11.14 CD recensi Liberaci

Today, November 7th, this 5 star review came out about the new CD Liberación at the Noord-Hollands Dagblad newspaper!

Translation:
Classic
Carel Kraayenhof, ‘Liberación’
(Bando Dreams)

One of the reasons why the work of bandoneon player Carel Kraayenhof always intrigues, is that his music is never a given. His new CD ‘Liberación’, a tribute to freedom, anticipates a theatre production in which he, together with his magnificent ensemble, combines music and film around the significant theme: men fleeing from violence. The roots of his work are in the tango: exceptionally engaged music, brought to the concert halls by master such as Piazzolla and Pugliese. With beautiful melodies and arrangements he certainly does not renounce that basis.
This is Kraayenhof at his best, moving, comforting and involved in reality.

Hans Visser

CD Liberación review – tango magazine La Cadena

La Cadena nov. 2014

We are happy to read another positive review on the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble’s new CD Liberación. This one was published on the Dutch tango magazine ‘La Cadena’ (issued on early November 2014)

Translation:

CD REVIEW
By COR GLORIE

Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble

When the bandoneón starts to play in So Long Island, the first track of Liberación, you immediately hear that it is Carel Kraayenhof who touches the buttons. Is it the timbre of his instrument, his playing idiom, his way of composing, or a combination of these factors? I can’t figure it out, but striking it is.
On this CD Carel takes us on a trip around the world. Of course there are also tangos such as Revirado, El Corte and La Muerte del Angel, but the ensemble is not afraid of travelling to other continents or showing other intentions. What touched me most were the socially inspired numbers such as Cry for Freedom, dedicated to the fighters for equal rights between white and black. In this song a true tormented fight can be heard between bandoneon, piano and strings. Also in Lampedusa a threatening beat visualizes expressively the hardships of the boat fugitives during their struggle for life at sea. But yet Carel’s tango roots appear again in a new arrangement of Libertango. A dynamic ‘yumba’ piano twist pours a delicious “Pugliese sauce” over this Piazzolla classic. If there ever was a struggle between these two celebrities it has now been decided in favor of the tango.