I had the honor of getting and hearing the recordings of this trio earlier, so was prepared for last Friday’s concert and knew what to expect. Hearing this trio live, however, exceeded all expectations.
The Fort church’s acoustics and atmosphere, the wind blowing through several windows, it perfected the two-hour performance of the catchy and beloved Antillean music by trio Nos Otrobanda. Curaçao classics, like waltzes, danzas, mazurkas and tumbas, original and with a modern swing.
Jazz pianist Michiel Braam (head Jazz & Pop of the ArtEZ Conservatory), bass player Aty de Windt and percussionist André Groen form Nos Otrobanda, which was invited by ophthalmologist Stephan Palm to play two concerts at the Fort Church on Curaçao. Reason for the invitation was the fact that Braam has felt connected to and intrigued by Antillean music for more than twenty years, after hearing a cassette tape with the music of Edgar Palm.
The concert mainly presenting music from several musicians of the Palm dynasty. Classical Antillean music as we know it, more than often with a personal twist, interpreting and improvising with the material in a distinctive Braam manner, with a modern swing, without, however without affecting the original composition or Antillean music tradition negatively. Sometimes it took a little while to get used to the interpretation, knowing the traditional versions of this or that waltz, danza, mazurka or tumba. But the concert was exciting and gyratory, tempting the audience to tap the rhythm of the music all the time. Braam played excellently. In the compositions “Ina” and “Winy” he freely expressed himself, his fingers moving over the keys like a whirlwind, making the sounds burst. With every fiber of his being Aty de Windt, who was completely into the music, accompanied him and percussion player André Groen, playing conga and güira, more than often simultaneously. He proved to be very skilled on both instruments, which was most prominently the case during a solo in the composition “Cocktail di Shon Jan”. Aty de Windt ran the show in “Maria Cecilia”, singing and playing his guitar, which made the audience sing along. Braam’s own composition “Mi Biaha Ront Korsow” was a combination of a waltz, mazurka and tumba, resulting in a thunderous applause. The concert was a joy for our ears and it was delightful to see the musicians play the music so full of verve. Also it’s very worthwhile having this trio’s album “The Curaçao Experience”.
Solange Hendrikse, Antilliaans Dagblad