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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.

Liberación
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

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

Liberation Day Concert – 5 May, Liberación, Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ Amsterdam

Muziekgebouw aan het IJ
For the special event of our theater show Liberación on Liberation Day, 5 May 2015 at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in Amsterdam, I have composed a new piece which I will perform together with the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble during the exclusive Liberation Dinner, prior to the show.

When asked to compose a new piece for this special occasion I thought immediately on an homage to one of the most important freedom fighters of all times, Nelson Mandela. During his long life Mandela made friends and won over enemies on his battle for freedom and equality to all. As a lawyer, as the leader of the ANC, from jail and finally as president of a new South Africa. His clear purpose, his patience and optimism are sources of inspiration for the entire world.

My new composition breathes happiness, just as Mandiba’s irresistible laugh, as his friends would call him. That is also the name of my composition. It is just like a movie, where he is at first calm and emotionally speaking, after that he starts to dance and party.
The bandoneón and the strings will form a South African choir, where then the piano and double bass will light up a firing rhythm. At times it sounds like the piano player is actually playing a kora.

The calm returns at the end, just as a choir sings around the bonfire deep in the night.

We are looking forward to the 5th of May, so we can celebrate freedom together with you!

Carel Kraayenhof

for more information: www.muziekgebouw.nl

Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble live on Podium Witteman, March 1st

Podium witteman

On Sunday afternoon March 1st, the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble will be the guest of the new popular tv program Podium Witteman, on the Dutch channel NTR NPO 2.
The program will be live, at 17:00 hrs.

The program is a weekly music festival presented by Paul Witteman together with pianist and comedian Mike Boddé and music connoisseur Floris Kortie. The program talks about special topics with guests and offers a platform for new and known musicians to play live.

The program is presented live from the brand new “De Hallen Studios” in Amsterdam-West.
Audiences may join the program free of charge, by signing up via the email: bijwonenpodiumwitteman@ntr.nl.
for more information: www.https://programma.ntr.nl/10627/podium-witteman

No te rindas – Don’t give up by Mario Benedetti

Mario Bennedetti
We have received requests from some of the audience of our Liberación theater show about a poem which is part of the show. Here is the complete translation of the poem No te rinds, from the Uruguayan writer Mario Benedetti.

Don’t give up, you still have time
to reach up and start anew,
Accept your shadows,
Bury your fears,
Free your burdens,
Fly again.

Don’t give up, that’s what life is
Continue the journey,
Follow your dreams,
Unstuck time,
Move the rubble,
And uncover the sky.

Don’t give up, please don’t give way,
Even if the cold burns,
Even if fear bites,
Even if the sun sets,
And the wind goes silent,
There is still fire in your soul
There is still life in your dreams.

Because life is yours and yours is the desire
Because you have loved it and because I love you
Because wine exists and love is true.
Because there are no wounds that time doesn’t cure.

To open the doors,
Take away the locks,
Abandon the walls that have protected you,
To live life and accept the challenge
Get back laughter,
Practice a song,
Lower the guard and extend the hands
Open the wings
And try again,
Celebrate life and take back the skies.

Don’t give up, please don’t give way,
Even if the cold burns,
Even if fear bites,
Even if the sun sets,
And the wind goes silent,
There is still fire in your soul
There is still life in your dreams.

Because every day is a new beginning,
Because this is the hour and the best moment.
Because you are not alone, because I love you.

Overwhelming reactions to the Liberación theater show

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Carel Kraayenhof and Thirza Lourens, together with the musicians and Liberación’s entire crew, are more than happy with all positive reactions from the different theater audiences. Our social media is glowing.
We hope that this will bring even more people to the shows, so they also can enjoy this special evening.

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 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