Izaline Calister is an accomplished singer and songwriter with a unique musical style. She infuses folk and Afro-Caribbean elements into the traditional music of her native island of Curaçao, and has been winning the hearts of audiences all over the world with her Papiamentu-language songs. It’s no wonder she’s been referred to as “Queen Izaline” by Cosmopolitan and “The Queen of Antillean Music” by PZC. Her performances are unforgettable; a charismatic performer, she can be at times warm and intimate, then again expressive and extroverted.
Izaline Calister studied singing at the prestigious Prince Claus Conservatory in Groningen, The Netherlands. During her studies, she gained professional experience by performing with various ensembles such as the Dissidenten at festivals Roskilde and Glastonbury, and toured Europe with Jasper van‘t Hof’s 'Pili Pili' (where she replaced Angélique Kidjo).
In 2000, she independently released her debut album ‘Soño de un Muhé’(One woman's dream) and it was to become a major commercial success. The NRC Handelsblad, a national newspaper, proclaimed: “Izaline Calister writes history”. The number one music magazine in the Netherlands, OOR, wrote: “Barefoot and eyes closed, as if she were in her own private dream world; you can almost touch the beauty of Antillean music.” Another national newspaper, the Volkskrant, shared that enthusiasm: “One of the most beautiful vocal albums of recent times.”
After releasing a second album titled ‘Mariposa’, again independently, Izaline was signed to the German label Network Medien, where she would later release two albums ‘Krioyo’ and ‘Kanta Hélele’ to be distributed in more than 40 countries.
On her native island Curaçao Calister becomes quite a Star : in the year 2000 she is elected ‘Tumba Queen’ and scored many number 1 hits in the local charts.
Soon Izaline is recognized worldwide for masterfully weaving together the traditional rythms and creole language of her native island, Curaçao (Dutch Caribbean) with her own compositions.
In 2006, BBC World spotlighted the Diva with a documentary that was filmed during her tour of Mexico. NPS, a major Dutch television station, followed and produced their own documentary of the phenomenon known as Izaline Calister. This documentary was distributed worldwide and premiered at film festivals all over the globe: from Miami to Denmark, Italy to China, mostly in the presence of Izaline herself.
Izaline has frequently been invited to sing for Beatrix, Queen of the Netherlands as well as perform at prestigious national events such as Liberation Day 2007, together with the Metropole Orchestra. She would later perform several more concerts with this renowned Orchestra in such locations as the celebrated national theatre “Het Concertgebouw” in Amsterdam, where she shared the stage with Toots Thielemans.
In March of 2009, Izaline was internationally acknowledged for her role as unique ambassador of Creole rhythms and the language of Curaçao by being invitated to sing for the United Nations in New York for a “Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery” event. Accompanied by a sole percussionist and Nile “Chic” Rodgers on guitar, she delivered a breathtaking performance, sharing the stage with her African colleagues Toumani Diabeté and Salif Keita.
In 2009 Izaline released “Speransa” (Hope) and delivered a spectacular, personal album while displaying her skills as a singer/songwriter. Speransa turned out to be a deliciously sultry summer album with a perfect mixture of melancholy and lots of Caribbean sun and sea. Rightfully so, in November 2009, this album was awarded the most prestigeous Dutch Award 'Edison' (the Dutch Grammy)
Now In October 2011 Izaline Calister presents “Di Fiesta”. Her take on a warm and bubbly Caribbean Christmas. Izaline: Di Fiesta’ is the way we describe in Papiamento the feeling of being in a festive mood. The CD is filled with cheerful Christmas and New Year songs. Some of the songs people from the Dutch Caribbean grew up with. Others are familiar in other languages but were translated into Papiamento. I even wrote a few new ones and hope you will like them.
The songs on ‘Di Fiesta’ in one way or another are all very close to me and I'd like you to consider them as my gifts to you: 13 musical presents from ‘Mother Xmas’ Izaline :) As the holiday season is almost upon us and a new year beckons, I would love for you to join me in this festive mood I’m in.
Press Quotes Izaline Calister Live:
' …Love, passion, and both a perfect vocal and physical union … ' (Leidsch Dagblad).
'Barefoot and eyes closed, as if she were in her own private dream world; you can almost touch the beauty of Antillean music' (Oor magazine).
'The Queen of Antillean Music' (PZC).
'Queen Izaline' (Cosmopolitan)
Line up Live:
Izaline Calister – vocals
Yumarya Grijt – backing vocals
Ed Verhoeff – guitar
Marc Bischoff – piano
Yerman Aponte – bassguitar
Enrique Firpi – drums
Roël Calister – percussion
Julio Hernandez – FOH Engineer