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

Carel Kraayenhof can now be followed via Meerkat

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 11.19.59

Carel Kraayenhof can now be followed via Meerkat

As of now Carel Kraayenhof is also on Meerkat. What this is and for whom it is meant is described in a summary we found on the internet.

By: Casper Paans on Wednesday 18 March 2015 on 12:00.
‘You should have been there’, is a statement you often hear, but it seldom was so easy to realize that ‘should have’ as with the new app Meerkat. During the first week the app was already downloaded 28000 times and that number keeps rising. But what can you do with Meerkat? And why is it so incredibly popular? Meerkat is a new social medium that from one day to another had hundreds of thousands of downloads. From where does this app come so suddenly? And what makes the live-stream-app so popular?
What is Meerkat?
With Meerkat you can film live at any time. That can be while you are cooking or while playing the newest GTA-game, but lately the app is more often used for live-events. When you start a live-event, it appears on Twitter. Other twitterers can see your stream and react. Very handy to quickly share information. If they like your report they can choose to be informed whenever you make another video.
Meerkat has been developed by the 27 years old programmer, Ben Rubin. He got a plan to share live-images with friends via a special app.
The idea to stream live videos is not new. It is also possible via other apps and sites like Ustream. And even Youtube can live-stream events. What makes Meerkat so popular then?
Very simple
It is particularly the ease you start a livestream with. Everybody can start a stream directly from his smartphone on every moment of the day. It demands a few pushes on the button – the whole process takes half a minute at most. That is quite different from most livestreams you see at Youtube at this moment. For these often cameras are still installed standing on a fixed point and the streams are often still managed by professional companies.
For everybody
Meerkat wants that the user can simply film on the street
Set back
Yet the app had to deal already with a few set backs. Namely Twitter tried to prevent the app by blocking the access to it. At the start there was the possibility to watch the streams directly via Twitter, but that is no longer possible. The stream has to be opened now in the app, an extra obstacle for the user.
That sounds familiar. Twitter did the same before with Instagram. Earlier one could examine an Instagram-photo completely via Twitter, but now it is only possible via a link. The same thing now happens with Meerkat.

‘Hotel Victoria’ at Edesche Concertzaal 23 April 2016

‘Hotel Victoria’ at Edesche Concertzaal 23 April 2016
Carel Kraayenhof (bij vleugel)
Hotel Victoria
The nomadic lifestyle of artists was the inspiration for a new album: ‘Hotel Victoria’. Kraayenhof: “There are nice aspects about travelling, but people often don’t realize that about 80% of life of a musician consists of travelling and rehearsing. We go from city to city, at times I compare ourselves to sailors. The actual concert is often just a piece of the puzzle, exactly the piece which is, for the audience, an evening out. Grab a bite to eat or a drink before or after the concert… it is actually better that they don’t even realize that. For the musicians it is a strange combination of passion, work and hobby; that is the life of an artist.” During these travel times, the hotel is often their second home. On this new album Kraayenhof also makes an ode to his mother. “Nowadays she is kind of a bed & breakfast for me. When I have to play in the south of country I say over at her place, and then she joins me to the concerts”.
Love at first sound
The eight-year-old Carel had no idea about ‘the life of a sailor’. At that age he discovered music. “When I was eight years old I started to take piano lessons, I used to play a lot of classical music. When I was eighteen and studying philosophy in Amsterdam, my brother introduced me to Scottish and Irish music. I thought it was beautiful! I started to play Folk music and my brother managed to get me to buy a diatonic button accordion. Not much later than that I heard a bandoneón playing on an LP, at a friend’s place. That was love at first sound. I bought my own bandonika and taught myself how to play it.
But it did not end there. One day, when Carel was playing at the Vondelpark in Amsterdam, an Argentinean man sat right next to him. Kraayenhof remembers: “He thought it was really nice that I was playing that specific instrument, he was going to arrange for me to get a bandoneón from Argentina. I pretty much taught myself how to play the bandoneón. I sat behind the piano, played a key and looked for the same tone on the bandoneón. It is a very rich instrument. You can play accords and melodies on it, I have seen people playing Bach on it, but that is strenuous. Playing the bandoneón is amazing, but it is dramatic to study it. For 15 years I played pretty much only tango, after that I started to play other genres and to compose music myself.” When Kraayenhof met Piazzolla in The Netherlands a special development took place: “He invited me to go to New York, to work at the Broadway production Tango Apasionado. It was fantastic!”
If you have to choose: The Netherlands of Argentina
“That is a difficult one! I probably would not choose to live in Argentina, there I can’t do what I do here. I would have to fly non-stop, everywhere, just to get bread on the table. I would not even have time to compose. A bad crisis weights down over there, politically and economically the country is a disaster. But the climate and the people are warm and they have a kind of social connection that we don’t have here. The neighbors once had an Argentinean girl staying over for some time, she was surprised about our egocentric way of life. Not greeting each other, not giving up your seat at the bus: for her that was unthinkable. That kind of thing I also really miss over here.”
What would you choose: your own work, or the work made by someone else?
“Lately I have been working a lot on my own work, but I also really enjoy music that is already out there. Bernstein for example, he has written amazing music. My parents used to listen to the West Side Story all the time, and if I play that album, I am amazed all over again. During concerts I also play some amazing little pieces which I could never write myself. Everyone writes in a different way! Music connects. It is neutral, a free language where everyone can express themselves spontaneously”.
Do you prefer playing alone or together with someone else?
“Then I choose to play in a duo or with an ensemble. To play the bandoneón solo is nice, but also very complicated. The bandoneón shines brighter when played together with other instruments. I love how it sounds together with a harp or violin for example. I have also composed music for a sextet, this way you can do much more with the different tunes.”
What do you dream about?
“I really enjoy movies and documentaries, and I really would like to compose film music. But yes, I am a self-taught composer and with film music you always have to work with deadlines, you might have to finish a piece in a month for example. I might never be able to do that. And on my next life, I would like to be an actor. An actor lives so many lives at once! I would not take that step now; I have way too much to do in the music. When I hear that someone wrote a book, I am also a bit jealous. But I don’t feel that we, here in The Netherlands, are stimulated enough. Everything has to be so structured. I, for example, really came out of my shell when I was in Argentina. That was an extremely inspiring experience, I wish that for everyone!”
Come listen live to Carel Kraayenhof! Order your tickets to the April 23rd 2016 concert via:

Carel Kraayenhof taken into hospital…

Carel Kraayenhof taken into hospital

But at the moment all is fine with him.
After last week’s concert on May 5th at the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ Carel did not feel well and on the 6th of May he started feeling a lot of pain and cramps in his stomach. The pain was so strong that he actually fell sick. Four hours later the pain was just as strong. Finally Thirza took him to the emergency room of the Waterland hospital in Purmerend. He remained in the hospital overnight for observation. On the 7th of May they did an ultrasound of his stomach and found gallstones. On the 8th of May the doctors decided to perform an emergency operation in order to avoid acute biliary colic. The gallbladder had a serious inflammation and two very large stones were found, all was removed. Carel is currently home, very tired but resting. Even though he is still in a lot of pain, but we are positive that he will recover soon.
We are very sorry that due to this situation the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble had to cancel a concert last weekend in Klingenthal (Germany).
Ziekenhuis Carel

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

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