Francine van Dam

musician & creative coach

MAKING MUSIC

Music is not what I do, it’s who I am

Music reaches in a non-mind way; bringing an instant effect of contact and harmony, radiating energy.

It is a gift I have always been able to express. While still in high school I was already performing classical flute music in public, but I felt the success was too easy, since, as my brother always put it:” If your sheet music is blown away, you have nothing to play”. He was right. So, I decided to enrol at the Jazz-Conservatory. “Giant steps, Coltrane at my graduation:

After graduation, I also became involved with Latin and Caribbean music, playing with a variety of bands.”My composition and our number 1 hit in Curaçao 1992:

I very early started out having my own bands. Already in 1986,we toured in the Ardêche, France. The only way to make a living was playing in several bands and teaching a lot. I finished a  two years post-graduate study in cultural affairs,in hope of a better living. While working as a festival-manager I met my Cuba connection. As a result, we founded the “Claves Foundation” and I lived on and off in Havana. Doing business with Cuba proved too difficult. The band I brought to Holland and on TV from Cuba:

I  focused on my own playing again and made a CD with the music from Curaçao that I had collected for 20 years:” CARICIA DI TOTOLIKA.” Together with leading musicians from Curaçao we recorded an all-acoustic CD, preserving a unique music style:

I longed to get back to Latin Jazz, with more room for improvisation. I put together the “Afro Caribbean All Stars” and took this 9-piece Latin Jazz band to South Africa. Being a female band leader is unique, with my group of Caribbean male musicians , full of machismo! The band sounded explosive, and we did valuable workshops in the townships. There are only rehearsal recordings!

From 2004 on, I have been in Suriname almost every year, performing and teaching, often in combination with a trip to Caribbean islands. In 2009 I went to Miami to play with the Magnum Band, a famous Haitian group,

and I returned to South Africa for a smaller tour. With TUCAN TUCAN in Capetown:

In the Netherlands I organized some festivals, recorded a new CD: “CERCA” and composed for theatre plays and festivals. In 2007 I became a policy-developer for popular music for Kunstfactor, a national institute. It closed in 2012. In 2017 I moved to France. In 2018 I was invited by the University of Arkansas, to give a concert with Latin-American protest songs and I gave a linguistic lecture on Papiamento, the creole language of Curaçao. 

In the Ardèche I form a duo with Francis Gerö, multi-instrumentalist on everything that has chords.. we do concerts and sound meditations.

In January 2020 I initiated and opened as an artist the Domburg Jazz Festival in Suriname, and did some gig in Curaçao.

Some more musical adventures:

duo with the late master Lazaro Issaqui:

duo with percussionist Albert van Osch:

I recently picked up lyrical singing again:

sound meditation concerts:

One Woman Latin Band: