“The Godfather of the Zeedijk, Jan Tervoort”

“Whistling artist Jan de Jong”

“Jaap Vos from Smilde”

“Regulars Wendy Buseman and Johan van Leeuwen”


Happy days are here again

by Frank Dam


My sister Ada, who worked at the Golden Tulip in 1986, made me aware of the existence of the weekly singing evenings at an Amsterdam's cafe in the Zeedijk during the construction of the Golden Tulip Hotel Royal Barbizon at the Prins Hendrikkade. “This is surely something for you; it is very “gezellig”. The evenings were destined mostly to the staff involved in the construction works. The hotel would be ready by the end of 1987, and the cafe at the Zeedijk 10 got opened on November 28, 1986, already, under the name 'Café Bar Bizonder'. My sister was right; it was a fantastic acquaintance and a delightful atmosphere. I got to know Hans de Bruijn, the amazing lead pianist. The numbers played were all of them complete 'evergreens' of which melody I knew. The singing was a whole experience because the lyrics were shared out. A lot of different people showed up. Also neighbours, who regularly came back. There I met Riny and the unforgettable:


Aldert Klut


Aldert was a striking personality who led the singing virtuously with his voice and charisma. A lot of you probably still remember him, it is too bad that he is not among us anymore. At the end of 1987 the Golden Tulip Hotel Royal Barbizon was finished and therefore the end of the musical evenings was also a fact. Riny polled Hans de Bruijn to move them to In de Olofspoort and managed to convince him. The Sing-Along evenings got their continuation from 1988 on in tasting cafe 'In de Olofspoort'. We even appeared in the newspaper in 1990. It was a reportage in Het Parool with a nice picture of Hans at the piano with a straw hat and an enthusiastic singing crowd: “It is the beat of the music, the 'gezelligheid', the kick of the unabashed singing explosion”, according to the journalist. Hans, who was part of the Jazz-O-Matic-Four got reinforcements from band members Tom Stuip (banjo), Peter Ivan (cornet), and Ad Houtepen (bass saxophone) at a later stage. A great band that made the musical evenings even greater. I hope – and of course many hope with me – that we can enjoy these musicians and their excellent music for a lot longer. This is the reason why every singing evening is still, every time, an authentic experience.


Sing-Along celebrates its fifth lustrum

by Hans de Bruijn


In 1988 the first Sing-Along took place in tasting cafe In de Olofspoort. The beginning of a tradition which grew unexpectedly, and which celebrates its fifth lustrum in the autumn of 2013


Piano exercises were held at the Zeedijk, thus. A premise was bought there to foster the construction works of the Barbizon Palace Hotel and named after 'Bar Bizonder'. There, a piano was set to play songs from the popular American book. During the construction, this event took place, mostly, twice a week. It was a meet-up place for the Golden Tulip staff, KLM employees, construction workers and neighbours. The finishing of the enterprise and opening of the Barbizon Palace meant the closing of Bar Bizonder. When Riny asked me if I wanted to, one day, organise a Sing-Along at the recently opened tasting cafe In de Olofspoort because of how much she had always enjoyed those evenings, we set ourselves to do it, for the first time, at Prinsjesdag (Little Princes' Day). A lot of former singers confirmed their presence and the mood quickly became similar to the one in years prior. Riny called me afterwards, a bit timidly, and told me that a lot of guests and herself had really enjoyed the event and that it would be very nice if we could repeat it. That's how we have set up to continue this singing celebration on the third Tuesday of the odd months. This happened until our brilliant lead singer Aldert Klut failed us at the end of the 90's. In order to fill in this blank it was necessary to reformulate the whole band and since then the Jazz-O-Matic-Four took the lead of the Sing-Alongs. 2013 was a Jubileum year also for this band; they celebrated forty years of existence. In the 70's they played every Thursday evening to a full house at the Shaffy Theater. Not a lot has changed, except for the fact that nowadays everyone sings along. Jazz-O-Matic-Four's CD - with the appropriate title Happy Feet - was recorded in the tasting house. The acoustic is perfect there; the only con being that the recording had to be paused every time the municipal garbage van rode along the alley. Every singing evening is different and that makes it so unique. Riny, Bas and Raymond's hospitality was and still is an example, and Riny also supports the music with her magnificent voice. Once, there was a try-out with a different (Dutch) repertoire, but it turned out that the English song sheets resonated way more with people. Hopefully so, for a lot longer.


“Babs and Chris Rietdijk”

“Jazz-O-Matic-Four: Hans de Bruijn, Ad Houtepen, Tom Stuip, Peter Ivan”

“Hans de Bruijn: “Just wear your panties...” and Marie-Anne Roozen”