Improvisation in Pyongyang?

by Aad van Nieuwkerk

Frank van der Kooij gets an award

Frank van der Kooij gets an award

Some years ago, by the end of 2010, Dutch Radio 6 – the national radio station for Jazz & Soul music – aired a program about an amazing visit three horn players and a journalist paid to North Korea, in the spring of 2009.
They went there to partake in the 26th April Spring Arts Friendship Festival in Pyongyang, which was – this year it is off schedule because of the country’s war rhetoric –  annually organized in honor of the late Kim Il Sung, the Great Leader of North Korea.

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Musical exchange with North Korea

by Charlie Crooijmans

Who has not seen the video yet of the performance of five young North Korean accordionists playing A-Ha’s Take on me on Youtube? This weekend the quintet from the Kum Song (Gold Star) Music School Ensemble played at the Barents Spektakel in Norway. It’s rare to hear or see anything from the most isolated country in the world. Even after the death of the Great Leader Kim Jong-Il and the succession by his youngest son Kim Jong-Un, North Korea remains an extremely secluded communist dictatorship. What made this musical exchange possible?

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