Newsletter -Temporary replacement for Bert Vos

Dear friends and colleagues,
It is a fascinating day in the canals van Amsterdam. People walk around on a very warm and sunny day. The air is electrical and the first bees and butterflies fly enchantingly. It was possibly about 20 years ago, when Carel and Leo Vervelde asked me to, temporarily, be the manager for the Sexteto Canyengue. Temporarily because I, a movement actress, was recuperating from a heavy operation on my feet. Other than having to be on wheelchair, I could function just fine. I had no other income at that time, and the former manager of the Sexteto Canyengue was busy managing other ensembles. I could answer a phone call and use a fax machine. I was already a few years together with Carel and danced tango at Lalo and Mirta Diaz. Further I grew up in an entrepreneurial family, so I thought I could take the temporary challenge. That day is now 20 years ago…
April 2016
I have met many great and interesting people, together with Carel I was able to produce several productions and CDs. I have seen families grow and loved ones laid to rest. It was not always easy to keep it all on track, but it has always been a fascinating challenge. We have traveled to many corners of the world and in The Netherlands we have played in many little churches, community centers and theaters. We, Carel and I, always striving for a perfection and balance, be it organizational or content wise. I would like to thank you, the reader, the fan, the one involved in our activities for your support and trust during the past 20 years. Without you I would not have enjoyed my work this much. Allow me to thank you with a sincere bow. The future? We will live it. A new project, a new external booker, new compositions by Carel, but the bandoneón shall always, always be the connecting factor. This unique instrument is our past, our present and possibly mine, and your, future. Once again, thank you for the past 20 years.

Temporary replacement for Bert Vos
As we mentioned in our last newsletter, our first violin player Bert Vos is suffering from a bad hernia. For the concerts of 29th of April at the Beun theater in Heiloo (NL) and 7th of May in Kingenthal (GER) the CKE will play with a temporary replacement for Bert, the fantastic Ruzana Tsymbalova. Currently she leads the Rotterdam Conservatorium student orchestra OTRA. On the 14th of May Carel and some members of the CKE will perform a special concert together with OTRA during the Tango Special at the Doelen in Rotterdam. We wish Bert a speedy recovery.

On a different note,
Just a few days ago, on March 21st the internationally known bandoneón player Luis Stazo passed away. He was born in the 30’s and together with bandoneón player Jose Libertella started the acclaimed Sexteto Mayor, which performed quite often in The Netherlands. Back in 2005 Sexteto Mayor invited Carel to perform with them during their concert at the famous Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. Images of this concert can be found on the DVD that accompanies the ‘Street Tango’ CD.

Live video recording Hotel Victoria
On April 23rd we will make a live video recording of the Hotel Victoria program at the Edesche Concertzaal (NL). We would be pleased with your presence during this recording. There are still tickets available for this performance.

On King’s Day (April 27th) Carel and Juan Pablo will perform during the ‘Koningsconcert’ in ‘s Graveland (NL). On May 5th Carel and Lavinia will perform during the ‘Liberation Concert’ at the Muziekgebouw aan het IJ in Amsterdam.

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

‘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: