TURKISH DAILY NEWS November 13, 2003

Ankara Jazz Festival continues with famous talent Izaline Calister

ANKARA - Ankara Jazz Festival continues with a performance from famous jazz-singer Izaline Calister’s on Thursday at 8 p.m. Calister will take to the stage with her own band for Ankara jazz lovers on Nov. 13 in ODTU congress center Kemal Kurdas Hall.

Izaline Calister is a highly talented singer, composer and Iyricist with a distinctive personal musical style. A charismatic performer, she can be at times warm and intimate, then again expressive and extrovert, masterfully weaving together the traditional music of her native island, Curaçao (Dutch Caribbean), with Jazz. Izaline possesses the exceptional gift that makes all the difference for a soloist, as she sings in her mother tongue,
Papiamentu, with feeling and grace. She has this ability to remain true to her roots and successfully reach out and conquer audiences around the world singing in an unfamiliar language, while blending seamlessly the pulsating rhythms of Afro-Antilles music with Jazz.

Following her conservatory studies in vocals all the while gaining professional experience in various groups, in 2000 Izaline released her first solo album on her own label. The title of this album,
‘Soño di un muhé’ (One Woman’s Dream), describes a dream come true. Though not yet very well known as a soloist, her CD launched at a concert in the wellknown Amsterdam jazz temple, the BlM-Huis, sold out and she set the place on fire! The Dutch newspaper ‘NRC Handelsblad’ notes: ‘Izaline Calister writes history at BlM-huis.’

The Music magazine ‘Oor’ observes: ‘Bare-foot and with closed eyes, as if living in her own dream world, she weaves a picture of the beauty of Antillean music’. Another daily paper, ‘De Volkskrant’ shares the enthusiasm for the album: ‘One of the most beautiful vocal records to have been released lately.

The recording was nominated in May 2001 for an Edison Foundation Award (prestigious Dutch award) in the Vocal Jazz category. Debutante Izaline performed at the 2001 North Sea Jazz Festival to an overflowing crowd on the roof terrace, winning the hearts of the international audience. Papers headlines exclaim: ‘A satanically good band with an angel as a singer’ and ‘Izaline thaws everybody’ (Trouw), ‘The Queen of Antillean Jazz’ (PZC). With her second album release in 2002,
‘Mariposa’ (Butterfly), Izaline continues on the road where ‘Soño di un Muhé’ left off.

Surrounded by her ‘dream-team’ of Antillean jazz musicians, Izaline keeps evolving. The band’s growth through two years of extensive touring, sounds like magic and the musical ideas underscore the desire to fuse styles. Old and New, Jazz and world music, acoustic and electronic, traditional and modern, the new CD recording incorporates many different rhythms native to Curaçao, such as
Tumba, Seú, Antillian walz, Danza, Muzik di Zumbi and Tambú. Traditional Antillean music is rooted in Africa, and Izaline succeeded in this new CD in bringing forth a refreshing, sophisticated and modern rendering of African Diaspora music.

Her charismatic stage presence has made her a real star on the Caribbean island of Curaçao: she was chosen
‘Tumba-Queen’ in 2000 and the song ‘Sa Sa Na Awasa’ became a number one hit.

The music on ‘
Mariposa’ is written by Izaline Calister herself, bass player Eric Calmes and pianist Randal Corsen, who arranged most of the tracks. Izaline continues the tradition started with her first CD to ‘renew’ traditional songs. ‘E Mariposa’ (Joseph Sickman Corsen and Jacobo Palm) and ‘M ’a yeg’ atrobe’ (Rudy Plaate) are provided with modern renditions. And the folkloric fairy tale, ‘Vlemayo Cositu’ has been worked out in a different way in collaboration with percussionist Pernell Saturnino.

The recordings took place both in Amsterdam and Willemstad, Curaçao, because Izaline wanted to work with the folkloric group
‘Grupo Trichera’. This group specializes in maintaining traditional manifestations of their Antillean culture while reaching for their wonderful goal of creating a symbiosis of both the classical and modern way of interpretation. Further, Izaline recorded with one of the best ‘Kachu’ (Cow horn) players on the island in Genaro ‘Nacho’ Geertruida, as heard on the tracks ‘M ’a yeg’ atrobe ’ and ‘Atami aki ’.

The recording was released in Nov. 2002. A CD launch concert was presented, with a lot of press attention, to a full house in Curaçao in the same month. Before that, the CD had climbed the charts on the Island!