Currents - A Night With Caribbean Classics
Let yourself be carried away on worldly waves with music as a guide in the Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam on October 29 during A Night With Caribbean Classics.
Caribbean music culture
In this second edition of Currents we celebrate the rich Caribbean music culture and everything revolves around the Antillean repertoire. From classical works by composers such as Jacobo Palm (1887-1982) and Wim Statius Muller (1930-2019) to interpretations of Curaçao pop and Ritmo Kombina songs. Two vocalists and two pianists with Antillean and/or Aruban roots will experience the versatility of Caribbean music culture. Classical soprano Imara Thomas, pop & soul vocalist Tamara Nivillac, percussionist Vernon Chatlein, classical pianist Alexander Kraft van Ermel and jazz & Latin pianist Danny van Kessel will let you hear and feel all those musical colors and flavors from the Antilles. The Antillean artist GENGÉ will also exhibit in the foyers around the Small Hall and share his life story with us. There are also delicious Antillean snacks.
As a young girl, the Aruban soprano Imara Thomas was inspired to become a singer by the voice of Whitney Houston and later by soprano Kathleen Battle. Thanks to her aunt, she got to know the world of classical and gospel even better. She attended the Maastricht Conservatory, attended various master classes and studies and has now been employed with a permanent position at the prestigious Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf and Duisburg for eight years. Thomas's versatility in classical styles is reflected in the fact that she has already performed in more than forty operas. She sings German, Italian, French, British and Russian operas, among others.
Singer/songwriter Tamara Nivillac was born and raised on the island of Curaçao. In 2003 she won the largest talent show on the island; this launched her career to the next level. Since then she has toured the world with various musical projects and has collaborated with artists such as Maxi Priest, George McCrae, Alexia, Meta Dia, Izaline Calister and Shirma Rouse. Her own music is a fusion of Soul and Afro-Caribbean styles. She writes songs in her native language Papiamentu, which she sometimes mixes with English. Her music is an ode to her cultural heritage and her native Curaçao.
Vernon Chatlein is a percussionist and composer from Curaçao, specialized in Afro-Caribbean, Latin American music and jazz. Originally from Curaçao, he spent two years in Cuba to study music. He then moved to the Netherlands for further studies with the 'godfather of Curaçao jazz', Randal Corsen. The resulting collaboration will be a great incentive for Chatlein to continue the torch of Curaçao music and jazz. In his work he always manages to reconnect with his island and every project is always shared and carried out on Curaçao. His work is, perhaps unconsciously, always tailored to his country and his people.
Alexander Kraft from Ermel
Pianist Alexander Kraft van Ermel spent his childhood on Curaçao, where he received his first piano lessons from his mother and grandfather, pianist and composer Wim Statius Muller. After graduating from high school, Kraft van Ermel studied with Alan Weiss at the conservatory in Utrecht and philosophy at the University of Amsterdam. Although classically trained, Antillean music and especially the oeuvre of his grandfather are close to his heart. The unique sounds and color he literally grew up with have certainly contributed to his musical education.
Danny van Kessel
Pianist Danny van Kessel studied at the Rotterdam conservatory and specialized in Latin American music. Van Kessel prefers to play with his trio as much as possible; Colored Roots, in which, in addition to his own compositions, he fuses Caribbean rhythms with jazz and funk standards. In addition to his work as a piano and ensemble teacher at the conservatory, he has also been active as an accompanist in many bands. A selection of the highlights; Lucas van Merwijk; Latin Devils; a thrilling show full of Latin song and dance music. Denise Jannah: Ella! A theater performance about Ella Fitzgerald. Danny is currently working on his first solo piano album, which is expected at the end of 2023.
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