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A beautiful review for the CD Liberación at the ‘Antiliaans Dagblad’

ADCuracao 31.10.14 cd Liberacion

This review was posted on the newspaper of 31st of October.

Translation:
Kraayenhof: tribute to freedom
By Giselle Ecury
On 28 October I attended, in Amsterdam, to the official presentation of the new album of bandoneonist Carel Kraayenhof and his ensemble. A month ago I met him during Millicent Smeets-Muskus’, better known as ‘Dudi’, book presentation. ‘Curacao is deep in our heart’ he confided to the audience at that time. He confirmed that now as well, by playing ‘Cry for freedom’.
He dedicated this number to Nelson Mandela and Tula, the leader of the slave uprising of 1795 on plantation Knip. Right there the tone was set for the afternoon: Kraayenhof and his ensemble want to stand for equal rights and freedom to everyone. And they do that by making music that touches straight to the heart.
This music comes straight from their hearts, and that you can feel. ‘Liberacion’ lives. Between the lines and the notes I start to understand the message: let’s be grateful for all the good we have in our life and for those who fought for that for us. Once back home I notice a very tender song in the klezmer ‘doina’-tradition, it is a tribute to the mother of violinist Bert Vos. The writer Ida Vos (1931-2006) survived the German occupation, but lost many school friends. This song is called ‘Rumeniher Volekh – Ida y vuelta’.
As a traveling musician Carel lets himself be inspired by the music and the people he encounters. He is deeply touched by the multitudes of refugees, which appear to be unstoppable. By their ways and becoming immigrants in another country, world music arises. When the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble started making this album, two years ago, they didn’t even suspect that the release of it would take place at a moment when the refugee issue is more relevant than ever. The intense number ‘Lampedusa’ – the Italian island which is flooded by refugees from Africa searching for safety – is a proof of this. Just like ‘Aleppo’, a cry out against the warriors who, 100 years after the break out of the First Worldwar, still use chemical weapons causing devastation to the population and entire cities. At the same time it is a tribute to the man in Aleppo who places his piano, every day, among the debris and performs with a little choir. “Because this is the only positive thing we can do in our destroyed city: make music”. So hope prevails; and that you can also hear.
The attentive listening audience was treated with eleven of the eighteen tracks, under which ‘Libertango’, the ‘freedom tango’ (1973), arranged by Kraayenhof in the style of Osvaldo Pugliese; musician, politician and one of the great peacemakers of Argentina.
I think this album is a jewel, a variation of melancholy, nostalgia, tragedy, power and hope. Several times I was carried away, felt like dancing, I wanted to show that nobody can oppress the power of the human spirit. We always recover, especially when we feel united with each other by means of music. Every goodbye is the birth of something new. Carel Kraayenhof (1958) clearly enjoys what he is doing.
This goes for all his musicians: Bert Vos, 1st violinist and partner of also violinist (2nd) Iefke Wang; Juan Pablo Dobal, pianist; Jaap Branderhorst, double bass; and Jan Willem Troost, cello. They all have worked together, frequently and intensively, rehearsing in the Beemster. The result is magnificent. Music is a universal language, which everybody understands and senses. They show that they can spread that language as no one else.
And after coming home, while writing this column, the number ‘So many partings’ touches my soul. It is the number right before ‘Sabrosita’, the Aruban tumba by Rufo Wever, arranged by pianist/composer Randell Corsen. These sounds I can and want to literally take home with me. The next track is ‘Atardi Korsou ta bunita’ by Rudy Plaate, dedicated to Millicent Smeets-Muskus, who the ensemble remembers with bliss and gratitude. It isn’t spelled quite correctly on the cover, but I think that’s actually a bit charming. After all it is the work of men, mistakes are allowed. Like in quilting, not all stitches need to be perfect, because ‘only God makes no mistakes’.
As of the 1st of January this music will be performed in the new theatre show by Carel Kraayenhof and his ensemble: ‘Liberación’. As of the 31st of October the album is for sale. For more information you can visit, and enjoy, the website www.carelkraayenhof.com.

Newsletter November Carel Kraayenhof

Dear friends and colleagues,_L4Z0013 ALT_liggend2_klein

After a successful tour in Curaçao, Aruba and Bonaire with the Kraayenhof Tango Ensemble we are reaching the last month of 2013.

Through social media we have kept you updated on a daily basis on our school and theater concerts in these three amazing islands.

In our new website you can also read two reviews of our concerts in Curaçao and Bonaire.

Robbert Brantz (webmaster) and Mark Schoots (marketing) worked really hard on our new website during the last few weeks, where now you can also order CD or download them digitally. Our DVD Tango Heroes and the book Het leven in 3 minuten can be ordered. A great tip for the holiday season!?

 

Carel and Thirza together on TV

On November 21st Carel and Thirza will be live on TV for one hour as guests of the program Tijd voor Max, (in The Netherlands shown on channel Nederland 2 at 17:35hrs). To see the program at a later date please visit: https://www.uitzendinggemist.nl/omroepen/max

 

The Koninkrijksconcert (Concert for the Kingdom)

On November 30th a live show will be presented on TV where Carel will play together with the Curaçaoan singer Izaline Calister, accompanied by the Metropole Orkest. This event will celebrate 200 years of Kingdom of The Netherlands.

‘On the 30th of November it will be precisely 200 years since the arrival of Price Willem Frederic took place at the beach of Scheveningnen. Who became later the first king of The Netherlands, This event will be enacted by hundreds of volunteers together with Huub Stapel, the actor who will play the part of the prince. There will be a festive procession towards the National Monument at Plein 1813 and an official ceremony will start at the Ridderzaal. The artistic gala event  at the Circus Theater will close this festive day.

 

Juli Golin, Management Assistant / Tour Manager

Since September 1st Juli Golin has joined our team. Juli has worked previously as our Tour Manager, together with Sylvia Snel from PR3, during our theater tours ‘Tango Heroes’ in 2007/2008 and ‘Compasión’ in 2009. Juli is at least 2 days a week at the office and will be present in most shows as Tour Manager.

 

Update project Jujuy

All bandoneons for the Jujuy project are being repaired and tuned by Oscar Fischer from Buenos Aires (bandoneón tuner, maker and restorer) who is a good friend of Daniel Vedia (bandonen player and teacher from Jujuy). Oscar has been recently in The Netherlands to present his self made bandoneon, the first Argentinean bandoneon!

Carel met with Oscar during his bandoneón reparation workshop given specially for bandoneon players at the Rotterdam’s Conservatorium. Carel is pleasantly surprised with newly made bandoneón. The kickoff brainstorm session has taken place for possible new bandoneóns made specially for children. Making possibilities for the future generations!

 

Public concerts:

29 nov. KTE Goes, concert Cadant Symfonie Orkest www.cadantorkest.nl/

10 dec. Sexteto Canyengue,  Beusichem,  Theater ’t Heerenlogement                                                    www.theaterheerenlogement.nl

12 dec. DUO, Amsterdam, Kapitein Zeppos www.zeppos.nl

For more concerts please check the agenda on our website:  www.carelkraayenhof.nl

 

Review concert Kraayenhof Tango Ensemble on Bonaire

Carel Kraayenhof and his Tango Ensemble concerts were a great success.

On Fridaz 8th November the San Bernardo church was a veritable music temple. The Classical Music Board Bonaire organised a memorable school and evening concert.

550 children attended the school concert during which Carel and a few students of Violeta Rosario performed together a few pieces they had rehearsed the afternoon before. It was a delight to see how Carel united his own ensemble with the students.

The children were enthralled by the performances which Carel explained and Mevris Pijpers translated into Papiamento.

The evening performance was sold out. The church had been turned into a beautiful concert venue with palm trees, excellent sound facilities, atmospheric lighting and a large video screen so even the people in the back rows could see what was going on.

Argentine tangos written by Astor Piazzolla created their own special emotional atmosphere. The audience very generously showed their appreciation.

The ensemble was a wonderful example of unity and individual virtuosity giving great power, strength and emotion to the music. The Argentinian pianist Juan Pablo Dobal drew much attention with his elegant and technically perfect playing. Bert Vos, the lead violinist was equally amazing and of course Carel with his natural charm and humilty was a joy to watch and listen to. From the way he played the Bandoneon it is clear why he is world famous. The sensitive melodies and Carels playing showed off the versatility of the instrument.  Carel has himself composed many tangos and he treated us to a few of his own compositions, where even his hometown in the Netherlands inspired him to write.

The audience was so appreciative that a few encores were given. The committee members of the Classical Music Board were asked if they could organise more such concerts and use the church as venue. It is hoped that a good start has been made in developing a fruitful relationship with the church.

On saturday 14 December there will the traditionele December Holiday Concert.

The CMBB thank all of its sponsors, The Prins Bernhard Cultuur Fonds Caribisch Gebied and its many friends for making it possible to hold classical concerts on Bonaire. Please do support us and check out our website www.classicalmusicbonaire.com.