Pianist/composer/arranger Randal Corsen (1972) is a highly regarded musician from Curaçao, with achievements in jazz as well as in classical and popular music. He lived, studied and worked as a professional musician and music teacher in the Netherlands for 23 years, during which he became one of the most important music ambassadors for Curaçao.
For his debut album ‘Evolushón’ (2004) he received the Edison Jazz Award (Dutch equivalent of the Grammys). On this recording he worked with acclaimed saxophonist David Sanchez and guitarist Leonardo Amuedo, amongst others. After this, he released the classical piano album ‘Corsen plays Corsen’ (2005), on which he performed compositions by his great-grandfather Joseph Sickman Corsen (1853-1911), who was a composer of Antillean Classical music. Randal’s following album ‘Armonia’ (2006) was recorded in Brooklyn, New York, feauturing a stellar line-up consisting of Paquito d’Rivera (sax), Roy Hargrove (trumpet), Scott Colley (bass), Antonio Sanchez (drums) and Pernell Saturnino (percussion). Next came ‘Dulsura di Korsou’ (2008), on which Randal went back to his roots, featuring mainly folklore songs from Curaçao with contemporary arrangements.
After profiling himself mostly as a composer and arranger for a couple of years, Randal returned to the stage in 2013 with a new release titled ‘Symbiosis’ (2013), for which he received another Edison Jazz Award nomination.
Randal performed on many important venues and festivals in the Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, London, Colombia, Belgium, Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Cuba, Curaçao, Bonaire and Aruba.
In 2013, just after moving back to his island of birth, Randal was one of three winners of the Boeli van Leeuwen award, one of the most prestigious awards presented by the government of Curaçao. Randal received this award for his contribution to Curaçaoan culture with his opera ‘Katibu di Shon’, which he composed for mezzo-soprano Tania Kross.
In 2014 Randal composed the original score for the feature documentary ‘A Shtetl In The Caribbean’, directed by Sherman De Jesus (Memphis Film / NPO). The film premiered in The Netherlands later that year and was featured at many international film festivals.
Randal received high praise for his work as musical director, soloist and arranger for Antillean music projects with the acclaimed Metropole Orkest, for his collaboration on the first three albums by vocalist Izaline Calister and for the debut album by mezzo soprano Tania Kross.
Since moving back to Curaçao Randal also became active in the local popular music scene. With his 18-piece Randal Corsen Orchestra (RCO) he released several original singles including the two number one hits ‘Dushi Sintimentu’ and ‘Mi N’ Ta Gaña’. Randal also started to be active in the prestigious Tumba festival, the biggest musical event in Curaçao during which the official anthem for the annual Carnival season is chosen. Randal is the arranger of the 2019 winner of the festival ‘Korsou Ta Den Su Gloria’ by vocalist/songwriter Dibo D, who has become a frequent collaborator with Randal in recent years. Together they are working on a new project titled ‘Muzik Sin Barera’ (Music Without Boundaries), recorded partially in the Netherlands at the Power Sound Studios, featuring a large string ensemble. The first single titled ‘Willemstad’ is set for release this summer.
In May 2018 Randal received the Cola Debrot Award, the most prestigious award for people who made an exceptional contribution to the culture of Curaçao. In 2020 Randal will be featured in a documentary about Antillean music by Polish director Agnieszka Lipiec. This documentary will premiere in October on Polish TV.