Heaven’s Open

BY Greetje Kauffeld



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New set of lost tracks by one of the outstanding European jazz singers, recorded between 1969 and 1986. Compilation with eleven deeply emotional songs: Greetje Kauffeld performs sensitive ballads, with bands and orchestras arranged and conducted by such masters as Rob Pronk, Jerry Van Rooyen or Rogier Van Otterloo – including five previously unreleased recordings with the Metropole Orchestra.

As one of the outstanding and constantly active, European jazz ladies, Greetje Kauffeld looks back on an incredible, almost 60 year long, career. Long ago in 1960, she recorded her first jazz EP with English lyrics for the Dutch Decca label. Its last song “Who knows why”, performed in a uniquely emotional “Torch Song” style, was finally decisive for the discovery and unprecedented development of the artist Greetje Kauffeld. The Great American Songbook is the repertoire she knows best, and most of all she loves the ballads.

The Dutch girl wanted to be a singer since she was six years old. Aged nine she was listening to the songs of Louis Armstrong, Peggy Lee, Nat King Cole or Frank Sinatra. Doris Day became her initial idol, as Greetje loved her way of singing, directly into the ear of the listener with the very personal warmth and shades of her voice. Then she won her first serious audition in 1956 and became the new singer of the well known Skymasters Big Band. From now on, the 17-year old was heard regularly on Dutch radio. Three years later she left the big band as a freelance singer to appear in a tv show entitled “Greetje Kauffeld sings”, accompanied by the band of sax player Tony Vos. At the same time she sang in the legendary jazz club “Sheherazade” in Amsterdam , together with the resident band “The Diamond Five” of pianist Cees Slinger. They performed the jazz repertoire made famous by singers like Ella Fitzgerald or Sarah Vaughan.

To this day, she has recorded many more CDs and has been heard live in many countries. Her catalogue has grown with more jazz album highlights like “The Real Thing” (1994), “Dreaming” (2000) or “My Shining Hour” (2005). With a jubilee concert in 2007, the venerated artist was honored for her fiftieth year on the stage. That evening Greetje performed with the Metropole Orchestra again, now conducted by Jörg-Achim Keller, featuring soloists Ack van Rooyen, Piet Noordijk and Ferdinand Povel. This is definitely not enough space to list all her great performances, awards or accomplishments for the jazz in Holland and Europe. Finally after all these years, besides the fabulous artistic level, her modesty and great human warmth must be emphasized. Keep going Greetje!

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