‘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:

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:

10 years Anniversary of the CKE members Bert and Jaap!

10 jaar Bert en Jaap

On 8th of April Carel Kraayenhof and Thirza Lourens (Carel Kraayenhof’s manager) were invited out for dinner by violinist Bert Vos and bass player Jaap Branderhorst. This to celebrate their 10th anniversary as member of the Sexteto Canyengue and the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble.
This is a special celebration if you consider the difficulties that musicians face nowadays “to live of music”, 10 years together is unique. If that depends on us, there will be many more years together to come.
During the concert on May 3rd in Amsterdam we will come back to this celebration!

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

Rabobank Amersfoort Jazz festival with Carel Kraayenhof y su Sexteto Canyengue

Carel Y Su Sextet

Attention tango dancers and tango lovers! On Sunday afternoon, 14th of June, Carel Kraayenhof y su Sexteto Canyengue, our traditional Argentinean tango orchestra, will play on the stage of the Lieve Vrouwkerkhof in Amersfoort.

The concert starts at 16:15 and will end at around 18:00hrs.

This is the start of the outdoor summer concerts in The Netherlands.

Book Carel Kraayenhof as DUO or with the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble

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Often we receive phone calls with questions about the possibility of booking private concerts (home concerts).
We are glad to say that it is possible!
Carel can play together with his Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble or with the pianist Juan Pablo Dobal. The DUO have a gorgeous program full of Argentinean Tangos and Argentinean regional music.
Unfortunately the music which is played is not meant as background music, but as a musical “intermezzo” at a dinner event, or as the opening of the evening for example.
For us, it is alway better to receive as much information as possible about the location, number of guests, etc.
Please feel free to call or email us.
We will then make a proper offer for the event.

Carel Kraayenhof gets an important role in the show Julia, which will be performed by the Rotterdam’s Philharmonic Orchestra on June 12 and 13 at Ahoy Rotterdam. Carel will perform as soloist on the well-known piece Libertango, van Astor Piazzolla.

Carel Kraayenhof 2016-2016

13 March 2015
Carel Kraayenhof gets solo part in Julia
Carel Kraayenhof gets an important role in the show Julia, which will be performed by the Rotterdam’s Philharmonic Orchestra on June 12 and 13 at Ahoy Rotterdam. Carel will perform as soloist on the well-known piece Libertango, van Astor Piazzolla.

Mike Schaperclaus, innovator at the Rotterdam Philharmonic, about the newest addition to Julia: “Everything falls on the right place: that is the feeling we got when we heard that Carel Kraayenhof will perform with us in Julia. From the beginning we knew that tango needed to get a key role in this show. This because Julia is a passionate love story, told in music and dance – right there you have the soul of the tango. If there is anyone who can reach tango’s soul, that person is Carel Kraayenhof. That is the reason why he was on the top of our list of musicians with whom we wanted to work with. And now it is conformed: Carel will work with us, he will be the soloist during Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango.”

Carel Kraayenhof has worked together with tango’s great heroes such as Astor Piazzolla and Osvaldo Pugliese and has shared the stage with several other artists, from Ennio Morricone and Sting to Janine Jansen and Yo Yo Ma. For Carel joining Julia is also an experience. “How much better can it get?”, says Carel. “Playing at Ahoy with an amazing orchestra, which is the Rotterdam’s Philharmonic, and to top that working with no one less than Guy Caron – this will be fantastic. I cannot wait until June!”

A new experience with classical music
With Julia the Rotterdam’s Philharmonic is taking a big and exciting step. In Ahoy, outside the privacy of a concert hall, the orchestra will create a show where symphonic music gets all the room necessary to let its fantasy shine. The large repertoire, from Prokofjev and Sjostakovitsj to Falla and Piazzolla, forms the heart of the show. The orchestra allows itself to be surrounded by colorful company: from dancers, singers, actors, air acrobats and tangueros at head spinning heights. The thread linking it all is Julia’s story and her search for love.

The makers
In Julia the Rotterdam’s Philharmonic works together with an international team of artists, creative young talents (e.g. from the circus and dance courses from Codarts in Rotterdam). Guy Caron, the man who made Cirque du Soleil famous, works closely together with Josep Vicent on the development of the show. ‘Music, dance, poetry, theater, circus, magic, décor and costumes merge and inspire each other in a heart capturing 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 won’t have eyes and ears enough.’

Marlies Verlinde
+31 10 217 17 87
+31 6 21 52 71 08

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.

Carel Kraayenhof and Juan Pablo Dobal are going to Finland (Joensuu)

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Invited by the Dutch conductor Jurjen Hempel, Carel Kraayenhof and Juan Pablo Dobal will play on the 21st of February a concert together with the Joensuu City Orchestra in Finland.
Carel will play as a soloist with the orchestra:
*Aleppo (CK)
*Bamestra (CK)
*Aconcagua (A.Piazzolla, Deel III)
*Adios Nonino (Astor Piazzolla)

After that the duo will play a set including the following numbers:
1. Hotel Victoria (tango) – Feliciano Latasa
2. Enny (valsecito) – Carel Kraayenhof
3. Ñata blanca (aire de zamba) – Carel Kraayenhof
4. De allá (chacarera)- Polo Giménez
5. Cueca de las nubes – Juan Pablo Dobal
6. Remanso (guarania) – Juan Pablo Dobal
7. Cuando despierto mañana (chacarera) – Juan Pablo Dobal
8. El duende de tu son (milonga campera) – Carel Kraayenhof
9. Te vas milonga – Abel Fleury
10. Vamos a chayar (chaya) – Atuto Mercau Soria

For more information visit:

Dutch Chamber Orchestra and Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble – Valentine’s concert


Last weekend the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble played a short series of concerts together with the Dutch Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of concert master Gordan Nikolić.
The well known guitar player Izhar Elias made a special soloist participation, as well as Carel Kraayenhof played as a soloist in a few pieces together with the Orchestra.

Something also very special in this program was the number of Carel’s own compositions.
The concert played on the 15th of February will be broadcasted on the 19th of March on the Dutch channel NPO 4.

Program (guideline)
1. Astor Piazzolla-dubbelconcert for guitar, bandoneon and strings
2. Alexander Borodin- Nocturne
3. Isaac Albenniz – Suite Espanola, op.47:
4. Leo Brouwer – Danzas Concertantes for guitar and strings
6. Astor Piazzolla from: De Jaargetijden: ‘Ivierno Portenos’
7. Astor Piazzolla from: De Jaargetijden: ‘Otono’
* Kraayenhof – Aleppo
8. Carel Kraayenhof – Suite Compasion
9. Carel Kraayenhof – Bamestra –

for more information: