In the spotlightIn the Spotlight 2016 – 2017

Ahaddaf Quartet
Boi Akih Duo
Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble
Göksel Yilmaz Ensemble
Nils Fischer & Timbazo
NO blues
Ronald Snijders Band
Rumbatá Beat Band
The Dubbeez

Listen to the spotlights on: Soundcloud

In the Spotlight 2016 – 2017

These artists have been selected by a commission of experienced independent Dutch music professionals.

Ahaddaf Quartet

Roots & routes

The members of The Ahaddaf Quartet have their roots in Morocco, Italy, France and USA but discovered their musical route in The Netherlands. The alchemy of ud and double bass, intertwined with percussion and piano, has become their unique trademark. On stage and CD (Nasim Al Andalous-2012, Spoken soul– 2014) the band creates an evocative blend of Arabic-Andalusian tradition with jazz and Latin influences. The result is a virtuoso rendezvous of catchy melodies, striking themes and enchanting solos.

Mohamed Ahaddaf- ud
Matt Adomeit- double-bass
Francesco Bongiorno- percussion
Avishai Darash- piano

new album– Seasons (October 2016)



Their debut album is called ‘New ways of Argentinean Music’. Nomen est omen, Antimufa takes tango and Argentinean folk music to the 21st century. Inspired by the musical tradition of Río de la Plate these Dutch based Argen-teenboppers revive its spirit and flavor with their adventurous approach and refreshing instrumentation. Instead of looking back, the quartet transforms classic tangos, milongas and folk into anarchistic improvisations, powerful meldies and jazzy sounds. ‘Aires very buenos’ indeed.

Marcos Baggiani – drums, percussio
Simone van der Weerden – bandoneon
Guillermo Celano – Guitar
Adan Mizrahi – double bass
Natalio Sued – clarinet, tenor, vocals

Last album: New Way s of Argentinian Music (2015)

Boi Akih Duo

 Bridging East & West

Singer Monica Akihary and guitarist Niels Brouwer are the nucleus of Boi Akih. They transform the musical heritage of the Indonesian archipelago and European impro-jazz into a new musical idiom. Besides performing in various line-ups, with such top musicians as tabla player Sandip Bhattacharya and cellist Ernst Reijseger, their duo concerts are memorable events on their own. The blistering blend of Brouwer’s guitar adventures with Akihary’s charismatic personality creates “An unique sound that is intensely moving and spiced with virtuoso improvisations” (Songlines). Boi Akih have given hugely successful performances in Austria, China, India and Russia . Indeed, building bridges between East and West.

Monica Akihary- vocals 
Niels Brouwer- guiars, electronics

new album- Liquid songs (October 2016)



Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble

Top-notch tango

Bandoneon virtuoso Carel Kraayenhof is also one of world’s leading composers of tango. He studied with Juan Mosalini, performed with Astor Piazzolla and recorded with Sting and Ennio Morricone who remarked: “He makes the instrument work in a non-traditional manner that makes it surprisingly relevant”. Besides regularly performing in the theatre circuit,  Kraayenhof has also graced such stages as the Sydney Opera House and Carnegie Hall. His latest ensemble album Liberación is a powerful statement on the current plight of refugees and was nominated for the Dutch Edison prize.

line up:

Carel Kraayenhof- bandoneon
Jaap Branderhorst- double-bass
Juan Pablo Dobal- piano
Jan Willem Troost- cello
Bert Vos- 1st violin
Iefke Wang- 2nd violin

last album- Liberación (2015)



The Dubbeez

Vital Lively vintage reggae

The Dubbeez, a young dub reggae collective from Amsterdam, prove that good reggae is timeless. With charisma this septet reboots classic roots- and dub reggae to the year 2016. The tight rhythmictandem of Earl on drums and sister Olivia on bass, lays a solid foundation for their own, shimmering compositions. The smooth vocals of Quincy, Joanne & Charissa, Bobby’s synthesizerlines and guitarist Mill’s atmospheric improvisations supercharge every hall with high tension. Vital reggae with a vintage feel.

line up:

Charr – vocals
Joanne – vocals
Quincy – vocals, rap
Bobby – keyboard
Earl – drums
Mills – guitar
Olivia – bass

latest album (EP) – The Dubbeez (2016)




Nils Fischer & Timbazo

Nils Fischer & Timbazo

Timba muy explosiva

Timbazo combines the intensity of Cuban timba with jazz and salsa dura. Founder Nils Fischer, one of Europe’s best percussionists, selected top flight musicians, including three sublime salsa vocalists. The band members all based in the Netherlands hail from Colombia, Cuba, Curacao, Germany, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico and the USA. Timbazo’s debut album ¡Gracias Joe Cuba! (2007) was nominated for a Grammy and chosen by the international press as best salsa album of the year. After quite a few concerts including North Sea Jazz and several major summer festivals Timbazo now presents its equally explosive album Rumberos a Montón. ‘Horns blaring, percussion faster than the speed of light and singers just spitting fire!’ (Salsapower).

line up:

Nils Fischer- congas
Marc Bischoff- piano
Alberto Caicedo, Fabian Nodarse ‘Huracán’, Nando Vanin- vocals
Frans Cornelissen, David Rothschild- trombone
Wigbert Martina- bongos
Joe Rivera, Alex Rodriguez- trumpet
Samuel Ruiz- bass
Armando Vidal- drums/ timbales

 last album- Rumberos a Montón (2015)



Göksel Yilmaz Ensemble

Journey through the Lands of Morning

The Levant, archaically referred to in English as the lands of morning, has a rich repertoire of songs developed over centuries. Göksel Yilmaz, born in the Netherlands and raised in southern Turkey, draws from this vast well. He began playing saz at a young age and has specialized in Turkish folk music ever since. In 1992 he formed the band Anadolu Ezgisi, followed in 2006 by the Göksel Yilmaz Ensemble. With a trunk full of compositions from the Turkish, Syrian and Lebanese repertoire, as well as original material steeped with influences from jazz and blues, they have conquered stages in the Netherlands, Belgium, Indonesia, Turkey and Switzerland.


Göksel Yilmaz- ud, guitar, baglama, vocals
Ulas Aksünger- percussion
Anne Bakker- violin
Sandor Kem- double-bass
Funda Yilmaz- vocals

last album- Kan Zaman (2016)




Not instant but espresso

Though coffee comes in various mélanges, the band Koffie stands out with its pungent musical blend. Ever since 2013 they have been serving afrobeat mixed with funk, jazz and electronica. You can taste the grooves of Fela Kuti and James Brown, the end result is a strong espresso instead of some tasteless instant. It could hardly be otherwise with musicians who have earned their spurs with the likes of such bands as Gallowstreet, Kyteman and Snarky Puppy. 

line up:
Valentijn Bannier – guitar 
Steven Brezet – percussion
Niels Broos – keys
Vernon Chatlein – percussion
Daniël Schotsborg – bass
Itai Weissman – tenor sax 
Abe van der Woude – drums 

new album: oktober 2016




Best of both worlds

Born in Ethiopa, Minyeshu moved to the Netherlands in the late nineteen nineties where she embarked on a second career. The charismatic singer has built an impressive oeuvre blending the best of both worlds with her stunning voice and haunting songs. She has joined the stage with such famous Ethiopian icons as Mulatu Astatke and Mahmoud Ahmed, and other famous African colleagues as Salif Keita, Youssou N’Dour and Angelique Kidjo. Minyeshu’s new album Yeselam Ayer offers soul food from a global star in the making.


Minyeshu Kifle Tedla- lead vocals
Bas Bouma- drums
Maarten Helsloot- keyboards
Wouter Schueler- sax
new album- Yeselam Ayer (October 2016)



NO blues

100% Arabicana

NO blues is one of those rare bands who can boast of a musical style all their own. What began in 2005 as an experiment and something of a novelty has developed into a full blown musical genre. Initially locked in a recording studio five Dutch and Middle Eastern musicians invented a new sound. They baptized it ‘Arabicana’, a hybrid of Oriental taqsim and American folk and blues. A decade on, NO blues continues to refine its exceptional crossover of ud and percussion with guitar and double bass. Their most recent album Oh yeah habibi is another potent mix, building a brand new bridge between Middle East and North West.


Anne-Maarten van Heuvelen- double-bass
Ankie Keultjes- vocals, sound mix
Osama Meleegi- percussion
Ad van Meurs- guitars
Haytham Safia- ud
last album- Oh yeah habibi (2015)


Ronald Snijders Band

At home in the world
The former Dutch colony of Suriname is a cultural mix of Creoles, Hindustani’s, Amerindians and Javanese. After its independence in 1975 those musicians who emigrated to the Netherlands brought their multicultural heritage with them. From this rich wellspring flutist and composer Ronald Snijders, distilled his unique sound. Sought out by many top class players including Chick Corea, Snijders always went his own way. In 2013 he celebrated his 40th anniversary in the music business with the 20 CD Pandora’s box Made For Music of funk, jazz, kaseko, rap and winti. Among those who Snijders has collaborated with on his latest CD are Orlando Julius (Nigeria), Bassekour Kouyate (Mali), and Ed Motta (Brazil). Snijders: “I’m not a ‘Surinamese musician in the Netherlands’. I am a musician and the world is my home.”


Ronald Snijders – flute and vocals
Robby Alberga – guitar
Randy Winterdal  – fretless bass
Walther Muringen – drums
Giovanni Essed – kawina and kaseko percussion
Cherish Snijders – kawina percussion

last album- The Nelson & Djosa sessions (2016)


Rumbatá Beat Band

Latin with a beat

Right from its inception in 1990, Rumbatá quickly garnered success in the international salsa scene due to their peppery Latin music seasoned with jazz and swing. The band members all lived in The Netherlands, but hailed from all over the world. In 2014, after a five year break, bandleader Jaime Rodríguez returned with his Rumbatá Beat Band playing Latin mixed with contemporary pop and jazz influences. The line-up is formed by the core of Rumbatá, added with fresh young talent.


Jaime Rodríguez – bandleader & congas
Kees Adolfsen – trombone
Gerrit Jan Binkhorst – baritone sax & transverse flute
Marc Bischoff – keyboards
Dave Breidenbach – electric bass
Frans Cornelissen – trombone
Jerone van Damme – alto sax
Cyril Directie – drums
Anton Goudsmit – electric guitar
Joe Rivera – trumpet
Rik Mol – trumpet
Efraïm Trujillo – tenor sax

last album- Once Again (2014)



Soundtrack for a road movie

Tiltan’s fascinating music is just as rare as the four-leaf clover to which the group’s name refers. Their boundless mix of folklore with jazz, chamber and film music can be traced to the family history of composer/guitarist David Golek. He has transformed influences from the Middle East, Eastern Europe and South America into a stirring road movie soundtrack. A palpable feeling of melancholy permeates the transparent interweaving of bayan (Russian button accordion), clarinet, guitar and violin. As a result, it is difficult to classify the music under a single genre, unless you simply call it tiltan

line up:
David Golek – guitar & compositions
Oleg Fateev – bayan
Bela Horvat – violin, mandola
Daniel Mester – clarinet
last album- A Road Less Traveled (2014)


Virtuoso and seductive

Voodrish are seven musicians from five different countries. Rotterdam is the city where they met, and where their unique sound arose. A daring crossover of reggae, drum ‘n bass, Balkan, jazz and classical music, rendered by French horn, strings, horns, rhythm section and electronica.  Live performances yield danceable grooves and melodies that seduce, though soundscapes as well, full of surprising turns and twisting time signatures. The mix of electronica and acoustic instruments provides a panoramic palette of sound, while the combination of improvisation and virtuosity keeps Voodrish’s music permanently flexible and fresh.

line up:

Romain Bly- trompet/hoorn/elektronica
Alessandro Russo – saxofoon
Yanna Pelser – altviool
Ioan Haffner – viool
Abhisek Bhadra – keyboards/el. gitaar/electronica
Bernardo Addario – basgitaar/electronica
Louis Portal – drums
latest album- The Whims of Mr. Hoogeloon (2014)