News of: Friday, September 23 2005,
Today a statue was unveiled of the famous Dutch folk singer André Hazes, at the corner of Albert Cuypstraat and Eerste Sweelinckstraat.
The statue was unveiled on the occasion of the first anniversary of André Hazes' death, exactly one year ago today, in the presence of mayor Job Cohen.
André Hazes, one of the most popular Dutch singers, was born and bred in Amsterdam. He was born in neighbourhood 'de Pijp', in 1951, and as a young boy he already performed as a singer on the Albert Cuup market. This is why the location of the statue was chose to be here.
He wrote songs about his often unhappy daily life in the language of the streets and bars of Amsterdam - simple songs, easy to sing along with and if possible, as loud as you can muster.
This music is in the Amsterdam tradition of popular music from the city's De Jordaan quarters - the Jordan. It is here where the working class lives (or more accurately, used to live before the yuppies took over) and visits their brown bars that double as living rooms. In the beginning of the 20th century, De Jordaan's poverty was great and music an escape from the harsh reality. These songs are about drinking fathers, lost loves, children without mothers and other daily sufferings and the melodies based on the Italian tradition of bel canto, long exhales on a single note that are easy to sing or cry along with. It may be described as American Country lyrics on a cheap operatic melody.
His funeral was held in the 50,000 seat Arena Stadium, which was packed with fans. The whole event was broadcast live on national television for 2.5 hours.
On his website (Dutch only) you may find pictures and parts of his songs.