This summer I traveled back to Curaçao to perform my new musical project Imershón, the second of the Voices from Letters series.
I was honoured and thrilled to play with some dear friends that live on the island and that haven't been able to perform for the last year and a half because of the restrictions around the COVID-19 pandemic. We had a small tour with 5 sold-out concerts at 4 different locations.
It was very inspiring the say the least both for myself, the band and the people that came out to watch.
(video by Octavio Curiel - OCTAGON)
Imershón is an intimate live concert that immerses the audience in Curaçaoan music, culture and history. This all in Quadraphonic Surround Sound. Composer and percussionist Vernon Chatlein fuses his own contemporary compositions with sound fragments from the past, in order to give "an ode to our ancestors, our language and all its magic" in his own words.
The archival collection Zikinzá in which Missionary Priest Paul Brenneker and literary artist and anthropologist from Curaçao “Ompi” Elis Juliana recorded anecdotes and songs from the Afro-Curaçaoan culture in the 1950s form the basis of all the musical compositions for Imershón.
(video Sandesh Bhugaloo & Sophie Conin, audio Dennis Rens - Felix Meritis 25-06-21)
The theatrical musical Voices from Letters is an ode to my ancestors, to the Curaçaon music, languages, traditions and culture. Zinkinzá, is a collection of stories, songs and anecdotes recorded in Curaçao by Dutch missionary and anthropologist Paul Brenneker and Curaçoan writer and poet “Ompi” Elis Juliana in the 1950's and 60's and classified by UNESCO as 'Memory of the World'.
Zinkinzá forms the starting point and is the inspiration for this storytelling musical and visual performance.
(video Nacor Martina & Vernon Chatlein)
In 2020, during the pandemic, Vernon Chatlein embarked on a research project around the mysterious music style from his native Curaçao called 'Muzik di Zumbi'. The six-month research period on the island has given him many insights in the history of Afro-Curaçaoan music, its contributors and pioneers. This research period also allowed him to dive in the Curaçao archives and find Zikinzá, the extensive collection of field recordings of stories, anecdotes, work songs, lullabies, accounts, legends made in the 1950's and 60's by Pater Paul Brenneker and Elis Juliana. Many musical projects have come to life directly or indirectly as a result of this research made possible by the Urban Arts Talent Grant by Fonds voor Cultuurparticipatie in collaboration with Nowhere Amsterdam.
'Vernon Chatlein is bringing Peace Love Music to the world via the Netherlands, via the Dutch Antilles, via Cuba, where his heart seems to lie. And so it should for Mr Chatlein is steeped in the Afro-Caribbean tradition that he appears to have inherited from his ancestors. And from the music on this fine record, he is certainly more than a musician; he is a healing force in addition to being a force of nature.'
- Raul Da Gama - LatinJazzNet
Honored to be featured in Kristòf, Sociocultural Magazine of Curaçao, with my first ever publication on Tambú. Written for my people in #papiamentu. This is a first publication around my research on Tambú.
English translation will follow.
PAPIA is a musical, poetic and visual performance about the origins of Papiamento. Papia means to talk in Papiamento. The history of this language is intriguing, because it originated at a time when people from different parts of the world came to live in Curaçao. Papiamento is proof that language can transcend all social and cultural differences.
Percussion & Composition | Vernon Chatlein
Vocals | Amber Nijman
Vocals & Spoken Word | Juan-Carlos Goilo
Special collaboration with illustrator Hedy Tjin (Trouw, VPRO en Het Parool)
Knallen! is 4Beat energetic and
fascinating performance introducing the young audience to children's music from many countries in the world. Drums and percussion from Africa, Asia and Latin America are combined with the sounds of the DJ, with mystical, oriental percussion and vocals.
Gianna Tam | Alper Kekeç | Vernon Chatlein | Dj Charlie
HUNTU is the percussion duo of Vernon Chatlein & Steven Brezet. Both have been playing together for over eight years, among others as percussionists in the Amsterdam based band “Koffie”. Mixing rhythms grounded in the the folkloric and popular styles from different continents, they always look for ways to to creatively incorporate various rhythmic concepts and mix them up to give birth to unique creative styles and grooves.
Percussion | Vernon Chatlein
Percussion | Steven Brezet
SYMBIOSIS is partly jazz, partly an homage to Curaçao. A seminal album by one of Curaçao's most accomplished jazz piano player, the album also regrouped some of the finest musicians from the Dutch music scene, who have since grown their own respective careers.
piano | Randal Corsen
percussion | Vernon Chatlein
bass | Glenn Gaddum Jr
drums | Mark Schilders
Vernon Chatlein plays percussions, composes music, organises and produces events.
If you like what you hear and see, get in touch!