Press release – Liberación album release

Bandoneón player/composer Carel Kraayenhof has invested most of the past two years on his new album:
Carel Kraayenhof is a traveling musician. His inspiration comes from the richness from local music, which he encounters during his tours. Music from people who leave everything behind hoping to find a better future somewhere else. Music from slaves who are forced to move to a new continent. Music that brings comfort to a new and strange place. Music without borders, where a call for freedom shines through; may this music be called a tango, tumba or klezmer.
Once again our world lives through a turbulent period; so many people fleeing, running away from hunger, poverty and war. And once again the entire world is watching. How have we become so indifferent, as Pope Francis says, to others? Are musicians able to bring this indifference to the surface, and maybe even soften it?

Musicians are similar to sailors: when they are home, they dream of the sea, of concerts in far away countries; but when they are travelling, they wish they were home, their hearts warm from thoughts about their loved ones. In this process of dreaming and hoping, but also from the pain of saying goodbye and being away, new music comes to life; straight from the heart. Carel Kraayenhof lets himself be inspired by all he feels, hears and experiences. In this way he wrote ‘Lampedusa’ and ‘Aleppo’ and made a new arrangement for Astor Piazzolla’s “freedom tango” ‘Libertango’. But Carel is also inspired by his direct environment, one of the results is ‘Ida y Vuelta’: a song in honor of the first violin player Bert Vos’ mother, the Jewish writer Ida Vos. Who, as a young girl, was forced to go into hiding during the Second World War. Even though the theme is at times dramatic, the new album Liberación brings particularly hope and joy, freedom is broadly celebrated! Carel does this together with the musicians of the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble. In addition to Carel’s new compositions, in this album you will find some of his special tangos, such as ‘El Corte’, ‘Un Tornillo’ and the milonga ‘El Fuego del Fueye’.

Biography Carel Kraayenhof:
Carel Kraayenhof (1958) started his musical career as a piano player and started to play the bandoneón when he was 26 years old. After playing folk music for several years together with his brother Jaap, he discovered the Argentine tango. Soon enough he became a master of the traditional tango as well as the tango nuevo. Carel often collaborates with nationally and internationally renowned orchestras. He has worked together with world wide famous artists such as Sting, Joshua Bell, Yo-Yo Ma and Ennio Morricone; in the Netherlands his talent was shared with musicians such as Bløf, Andre Hazes, Trijntje Oosthuis, Paul de Leeuw and Janine Jansen
Release: 31 October 2014 – Label: Bando Dreams – Distribution cd: Pias/Rough Trade

Theater tour Liberación premiers: 13 January 2015 Stadsschouwburg Utrecht, The Netherlands
Contact information : Thirza Lourens-
T. 0299.690821 M. 06.51400899

Lavinia Meijer and Carel Kraayenhof together in concert

C&L300dpi-130-2Carel Kraayenhof as well as Lavinia Meijer are known around the world as musicians who are masters of their instruments. Both have reached large audiences far beyond the borders of their country with instruments that are not commonly seen; the bandoneón and the harp, respectively. Another common factor between these two musicians: they do not allow themselves to be “one more in the crowd”. Kraayenhof has worked with musicians such as Sting, Ennio Morricone, Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, JURK!, Caro Emerald and the 3JS. Lavinia has been seen frequently on stages on the past months with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Holland Symfonia, Michiel Borstlap and Gare du Nord, among others.

In the past years Kraayenhof and Meijer have often met backstage at several concerts and festivals. Standing on the starts that lead to the artist café at the Theater Carré the idea popped out: let’s meet up some time soon and rehearse for a few concerts together. The repertoire consists of tangos, milongas and other beautiful Argentinean/Spanish/Italian compositions from composers such as Piazzolla and Morricone, but also Kraayenhof’s own compositions. The combination from bandoneón and harp sounds magical. The already enchanted notes from each instrument complete en strengthen each other in a harmonious way. We can already say that this is a dream combination of musicians come true.

(text Eric van het Groenewout)
Voor concert dates for Lavinia and Carel in Haarlem, Ede, The Hague, Den Bosch and Rotterdam, please see our concert agenda.

Carel Kraayenhof Newsletter June. On vacation to Porugal?

Dear friends and colleagues,

18The Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble is back from a great tour in Indonesia. Next to the successful concerts at the Theater Salihara and at the Erasmus Huis, both in Jakarta, the Ensemble also gave a beautiful concert in the Kraton in Yogyakarta. The Sultan and his family live in this “Kraton” and during the concert we were honored by the presence of his oldest daughter, the crown princess. It was a pleasant surprise to see that many of the visitors who were present in our last concert, two years ago, were once again present during these concerts. At the Erasmus Huis we were able to give an entire concert with the collaboration of local musicians, two dancers and to play a song with the enormously popular Indonesian pop idol Calvin Jeremy. The workshop and master class in Argentine Tango in Jakarta and Yogyakarta were a lot of fun. In Yogyakarta we had some challenges to get enough musicians to join, considering that the strings and piano players had they main exams on that same day! For that reason we had an interesting mix musicians in the classroom, even drummers and electrical guitar students. Luckily they jumped right in, with Juan Pablo’s first rhythmic notes and enjoyed the Argentine tango and folklore. Full of enthusiasm they watched on the following day our concert at the Kraton.
For the Ensemble it was great to be able to play the new repertoire, this not only for the new theater show ‘Liberación’, but also as preparation for the CD recording on the 17th, 18th and 19th of June.
The rest of the month we will be working on mixing and assembling the music recorded. This new album will also be released under our own label. The official release will take place on the 28th of October.

Repertoire CD ‘Liberación’
After more than one and half year of preparation we are proud to confirm that this new album will have even more own compositions than our last one. We are also glad to share with you the titles of songs that will be present in the album. Carel’s own compositions: So Long, Island, Cry for freedom, Ida y vuelta, Lampedusa, Bamestra, Aleppo, El fuego del fueye, Charlotte, Lament, Un tornillo en la maquina tanguera, El Corte.
Juan Pablo’s compositions: Candombe sin esclavos, Andes.
The dates for the theater tour are already known, please visit our website for the dates and you may also contact the theaters for tickets purchase.

If you are planning a vacation to Portugal this summer, maybe an option is to visit Espinho on the 25th of July. On this date, at 22:00hrs Carel will give a concert at the main square, together with the Classical Orchestra of Espinho. Carel will join the orchestra as bandoneon soloist playing the first three parts of “Aconcagua” – Concerto for bandoneón and Orchestra and Adios Nonino from Astor Piazzolla.
This concert will take place as part of the 40th International Music Festival of Espinho.
Summer vacation
From the 7th to the 16th of July our office will be closed for a summer vacation.

Warm regards,
Carel and Thirza

Concerts in Doha Carel Kraayenhof & Juan Pablo Dobal

van ambassade met ministers en YvetteWith two sponsored KLM-tickets Carel and I flew to Doha on 28 April. Juan Pablo and Rimmert followed us in a flight by Qatar Airlines. We travelled on invitation of the Dutch ambassador in Doha, Yvette van Eechoud, to celebrate ‘Kings Day’ there on 29 April in the National Theatre together with The Dutch community.
When you arrive on the airport it is immediately clear that you landed in a totally different world. It is a country where the smell of Musk overwhelms and fascinates you completely, where most men walk in a thob with gutra, a white robe with a white headscarf, and many women in a niqaab, a black robe under which the eyes are still visible.
Qatar is a country, that is lead by one family, the Al Thani family and where the local population is a minority (200.000 Qatari, 2 millions of foreigners). The heat in June, July and August is so extremely high that for us it was immediately incomprehensible why the Fifa has planned the World Championships to take place there in summer!!
Most of the Qatari are sunni muslims, all the other inhabitants are foreigners who do most of the work and took their own religions and traditions. In this special country we were going to give a concert.
That concert took place in the National Theatre in Doha. It is not very known by the ‘common’ Qatari, but it does have all the facilities of a theatre in a middle sized Dutch city. Unfortunately for Rimmert his sound-table was placed at the utmost left side of the hall, because in the middle, where it is normally situated, stood the unmovable chair of the emir. Fortunately Rimmert dealt with bigger problems and he mixed the sound perfectly. For Juan Pablo it was a feast to drink in the artists foyer, which very much looked like a Bedouin tent, the Arabian coffee with five (!) lumbs of sugar. Strange people those Argentinians!
From the Dutch community 400 people had come to the with orange flowers decorated theatre to attend the alcoolfree reception and to listen to our concert. Our ambassador received many CEO’s of Dutch companies in Qatar, she also welcomed minister Mohamed Bin Saleh Al Sada, the minister for Energy and Industry, and also ambassador Ibrahim Fakhroo, head Protocol of the Foreign Office.
The ambassador opened her speech in Arabic, followed by a beautiful text in English, in which she explained that music unifies peoples and cultures.
As soon as both the national hymns were finished the concert of Carel and Juan Pablo started. For an hour the audience listened breathlessly to these musicians, to finish after the encore, with a hit: the presentation of the song ‘Aan de Amsterdamse grachten’, sang by our ambassador.

The next day it was Carel who performed solo in ‘Jazz at Lincoln
Center Doha’, in one of the towers of the famous St Regis Hotel. This Jazz Club, with the head-office in Lincoln Center in New York, presents a free admissable concert every evening. The owner of St Regis and the Jazz Club is Omar Al Fardan, who also was present this evening. The performance was so successful that Carel was invited to return at the end of this year as Artist in Residence for possibly two weeks.

The next day we attended a beautiful concert of the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. At the end we met Kurt Meister, the artistic leader of this orchestra.
Perhaps maybe in the future can be listened in Qatar to Carel’s ‘Suite Compasion’…..

To be continued……

“LIBERACION” A theater production where image and music become one based on the theme ‘freedom’.

Carel Kraayenhof has been busy for more than a year and even rehearsals have taken place. Now the entire world may know: together with his ensemble and two filmmakers he is creating a new theater show: ‘Liberación’. A theater production where image and music become one based on the theme ‘freedom’.
It is actually pretty logical, as the bandoneón player and composer Kraayenhof says: “At home we had an “LP” with the song ‘Ouverture 1812’. This song told the story of how Napoleon’s army were defeated by the Russian army in 1812. On the cover you could see a painting from that time period showing a battlefield. That painting showed exactly what the music was about; that made the music live. You could see what you were hearing.”
“We live in a visual time. Everyone matches music and image on their daily lives. I believe that video and music can bring extra excitement to the theater. At times the music will lead and at times the images will guide you on.”
The Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble works together with direction Jos Groenier and filmmaker Joost Gulien. Some pieces have already been worked on. For example images of the Italian island Lampedusa were already edited, here Kraayenhof wrote a powerful composition for. “The fishermen of that island are forbidden to help the African refugees who come ashore in that area of the Mediterranean Sea. ‘Not helping’ goes against their instincts and against their tradition. Long time ago, their grandparents walked on the same shoes as these refugees.”
The images fit the theme, because Kraayenhof does not make music without a meaning. “We have been a little bit around the world and everywhere you can see that the need for freedom ignites the creation of new music. In the past you could see that with the Irish, but now also with the Cubans. Liberación is about the musical freedom. Music with a fancy touch, wanting to reach higher levels.
“That is why I composed a song inspired by Tula, the leader of the slave revolution in Curaçao in 1795. This man held himself to the French Revolution’s ideal: freedom, equality and brotherhood. Based on this ideal the Haitian slaves had already gained freedom. If you travel a lot, just like we do, you gain knowledge and impressions; inspiration.”
Kraayenhof plays a short piece of music. Alex North’s slow theme for the film about the Roman slave Spartacus, who he compares to Tula. It was a milonga, melancholically colored by strings and the bandoneón. Seamlessly, and almost unnoticed, the musical mood turns Irish, when the sounds of the ‘pipes’, bagpipes, play along. “This sound is also generated by the vibration of ‘tongues’. You are influenced by people and the landscapes, you feel how it is to be there.”
All that remains the base of the tango language. That is one of the reasons why he added a piece of music from his mentor Astor Piazzolla in his song ‘Libertango’; but Kraayenhof adapted it to the style of his other musical father: Osvaldo Pugliese.

“Don’t expect an extremely serious evening. Humor and optimism are a great part of it. Just think of how people with big problems, in many different countries, are great in improvising. Argentineans are masters in that, and also in Indonesia they have a good hand in it.
At the end of this year the try-outs will take place and in the beginning of 2015 ‘Liberación’ will have its premiere. Until then a lot of investments have to be done. Challenging, because subsidies are pretty hard to get, or unexciting and because it is such a new concept theaters are somewhat hesitant to book the show. In order to manage to put all that money together we have started a crowdfunding campaign. That means that whoever supports this project financially will receive a special something in return; from an hour at the gym with Carel to a new composition written by Carel dedicated to the supporter/sponsor. How are you going to do that? “This summer I won’t be bored, writing on request is not that crazy, I may even say that it is nice. Composers such as Mozart and Beethoven lived of it.
Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble #

Newsletter January 2014

As our good friend or colleague you will receive throughout this year first hand information about the developments of our new theatre tour “Liberación”.

Warm regards,

Carel and Thirza



Kraayenhof Tango Ensemble becomes Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble

During our last tour, ‘Puur’, the KTE played only pure tangos. The musical base for the show ‘Liberación’ are new compositions which have been composed specially for ‘Liberación’. For these compositions, Carel Kraayenhof looked for a new level in tango. Carel composes tango in his special own way, with musical connections to other music styles and other cultures. These compositions set the classical tango free. In this way ‘Liberación’ brings a new tone to the tango language and enhances the bandoneón’s expression. The musicians will perform this new program under the name Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble (CKE).

Liberación’s artistic team

The director Jos Groenier, video editor Joost Gulien and light designer Uri Rapaport have been chosen to work together with us for Liberación. Jos and Joost both have a musical background. They think, just as Carel, from the music, from a specific abstract feeling. They use musical elements, such as the composition, rhythm, and dynamic to develop images and the connection between images. The combination of the video images and music are considered by both of intense importance in order to pass on a theatrical feeling. The final result of their work brings us real music and sound synergy. This because the images are not used to illustrate the music but it is fully integrated in the music.

Liberación’s artistic team consists of Carel Kraayenhof, Jos Groenier (director) and Joost Gulien (video art). They have met several times in order to further develop and shape the artistic vision of Liberación. An important click has developed among the three of them. An important factor in this click was Jos and Joost’s musical background. Each one of them also wants to use their work to reach the emotional world of the audience.

Theatre booking of Liberación

After having booked shows for two theatre seasons of Carel’s ensembles ourselves, in September 2013 we singed with theatre bookings office ‘Lommerde en Tonen’ from Amsterdam, for the bookings for Liberación. After having difficulties booking our show, which will premier in January 2015, they have informed us of their decision of ending our agreement. It is not new to us that the Dutch theatre world is facing difficulties and that programming offices are not taking any financial risks. Unfortunately we were not able to convince ‘Lommerde en Tonen’ that this is a temporary situation and to find a new formula of teamwork, between their office and our management, in order to successfully book Liberación to the Dutch theatres.

Juli and Thirza have now started the process of booking the show ‘in house’, and are contacting theatres personally in order to promote this great show.

Carel Kraayenhof y su Sexteto Canyengue in Heerlen!

Carel Kraayenhof y su Sexteto Canyengue will play Argentine tango’s and milonga’s to be danced to! This, on May 24 in Heerlen!

The second edition of this sparkling tango festival breathes even more Argentine ‘passión”. The steaming ‘Orquestra Típica’ sets the Limburgzaal on fire while dancers dance the night away in a special atmosphere. There will be workshops, demonstrations and films about the Tango’s ‘corazón’. An ongoing ‘milonga’ gives everyone the chance to dance and to experience the feeling of Argentina. Even only watching is pure enjoyment! The complete program will be published in January 2014.

Tango Brutal. Internacional Tango Festival Heerlen 2014 presents for the Grande Finale the Dutch tango-maestro Carel Kraayenhof y su Sexteto Cnayengue. They will kick off on Saturday the 24th of May at the Limburgzaal of the Parkstad Limburg Theaters in Heerlen. For more information: The rest we will keep as a nice secret!

Heerlen SC 24 mei 2014
Keep an eye on our website for more updates.

Sebastiaan van Delft replaces Juan Pablo Dobal during the concert in Spijkenisse

When travelling back to Amsterdam (during a flight connection in Sao Paulo) after being with his family in Buenos Aires for the past weeks, Juan Pablo received the sad news that his mother had just passed away.

Fortunately he was able to take a flight back to Buenos Aires within a couple of hours, in order to be present at his mother’s funeral. staandDue to these circumstances, Juan Pablo will only arrive back in Amsterdam on Friday the 17th of January, in time for the concert at the Toonzaal in Den Bosch.

Sebastiaan van Delft will perform during tomorrow’s concert at the Theater de Stop in Spijkenisse.

Our thoughts go out for Juan Pablo and his family in this difficult time.


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:


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

10 dec. Sexteto Canyengue,  Beusichem,  Theater ’t Heerenlogement                                          

12 dec. DUO, Amsterdam, Kapitein Zeppos

For more concerts please check the agenda on our website:


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