Charlotte Haesen, born in Amsterdam in 1987 and raised in the French-speaking part of Belgium, studied jazz singing at the Amsterdam University of the Arts. On a sunny Saturday afternoon she sang French chansons at Amsterdam’s Noordermarkt, where she was discovered by viola player Odile Torenbeek.
Odile and Charlotte decided to put together a chanson programme anchored in a string quartet ensemble. Leading arrangers such as Paul Prenen and Wijnand van Klaveren then ‘arrayed’ the chansons around Charlotte’s own particular sound. The next step was the founding of Café des Chansons: Charlotte Haesen plus four musicians from the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra. They perform gems of the repertoire, including the great French classics by artists such as Barbara, Gainsbourg and Piaf.
The first album of Café des Chansons received critical acclaim. Erik Voermans of Het Parool awarded it with five stars:
"Those who listen to the cd Café des Chansons, are stunned by three things at once.
A fascinating voice.
The crystal clear French.
And the surrounding velvet strings."
Café des Chansons feat. Charlotte Haesen:
Charlotte Haesen - vocals
Robert Lis - violin
Evelien Jaspers - violin
Odile Torenbeek - viola
Anjali Tanna - cello