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The tour began with the airplane flying right over a volcano just before landing in Managua: Welcome to Nicaragua, the country of mountains, volcanos, lakes, rum – and music!
The first day was spent at the beautiful city of Granada, where Colijn performed at the Imagine bar, featuring Barbara Smit on vocals.

Tuesday April 9th – Managua
Press conference with Carlos Mejía Godoy, ambassador of the Netherlands Reina Buijs, and Colijn at Casa Mejía Godoy. That evening Colijn played a solo piano concert at the SOHO piano bar.

Wednesday April 10th – León
Concert in the theatre of León, the hermanamiento-partnercity of Utrecht, where Colijn played together with the great musicians of Jazz’ta: Melvin Vásquez Zeledón on drums, Erick Hernandez on bass, and guitarist and composer Andres Sanchez Vega – a fantastic concert, they rocked the theatre! The quartet played Latin and jazz standards but mostly compositions by Andres and Colijn, a.o. ‘El Balde’ and the new ‘Mitico’.

Thursday April 11th – Managua
Rehearsal and concert at Casa Mejía Godoy, with songs by Carlos Mejía Godoy which are beautifully arranged for instruments and vocals by Raul Martinez. Colijn was very honoured to play with them!

Friday April 12th – Juigalpa
The workshop in this partnercity of Leiden was great, the mayor gave a speech and they even went on after the lights went out! The students had prepared a.o. Imagine, Waiting for you (in Spanish) concluding with La Bamba, in which many students ventured to improvise. The concert was on the main stage of Parque Central, part of the annual Teletón Charity event, aired live on national TV.

Saturday April 13th – Estelí
A much cooler city because of its altitude. Colijn taught a workshop about history of harmony, applied in practice by improvising a Passacaglia, and exploring and applying more and more harmonic possibilities. The second part was about jazz and modern music, with participants improvising. The concert in the evening was with students and teachers. Full house!

Sunday April 14th – Granada
2nd concert at the Imagine bar also the last concert of the Nicaragua Tour! Barbara Smit was again on vocals and also Charlotte took to the stage!

This week has been about the exchange of music and inspiration: playing eachother’s compositions on such a high level was a truly great experience, and getting to know the young students was very promising for the future!

Many thanks to everyone at the Embassy of The Netherlands, especially Charlotte and Miguel, to Stichting Utrecht-Leon, all the musicians, teachers, students and audience at the workshops and concerts for their great participation and enthusiasm.

Videos will follow next time, so stay tuned!