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Famous Curacaoans

Izaline Calister
A highly talented singer, composer and lyricist with a distinctive personal musical style. A charismatic performer, she can be at times warm and intimate, then again expressive and extroverted, masterfully weaving together the traditional music of her native island, Curaçao (Dutch Caribbean), with Jazz. She possesses the exceptional gift that makes all the difference for a soloist, as she sings in her mother tongue, Papiamentu, with feeling and grace. She has this ability to remain true to her roots and successfully reach out and conquer audiences around the world singing in an unfamiliar language, while melding seamlessly the pulsating rhythms of Afro-Antilles music with Jazz.

Randal Corsen
Randal Corsen was born on Curaçao in 1972. He is the great-grandchild of well known Curaçaoan poet and musician Joseph Sickman Corsen and he is related to composer and conductor Chris Ulder and poets Oda Blinder and Charles Corsen. With the distinctive way he blends Jazz with influences from classical, Antillean and Latin American music, the Antillean pianist Randal Corsen has gained much recognition. In 2004, he was honoured with the Edison Jazz Award, the most prestigious music award in the Netherlands, for his album "Evolushon".

Andruw Jones
Andruw Jones is a well-known Major League Baseball player in the U.S. who has been playing for the Atlanta Braves with considerable success. Andruw was selected to his third All-Star team in 2003, and won his 7th consecutive Gold Glove Award in 2004. He made his Major League debut at 19 years of age in 1996 and ended up playing in the World Series, becoming the youngest player ever to hit a home run in the Fall Classic. Andruw currently comes out for the Chicago White Sox. 

Tania Kross
Mezzo soprano Tania Kross was born in Curaçao in the Netherlands Antilles in 1976. She studied voice at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Utrecht. In recent years Tania Kross has been awarded various important prizes: a first prize by the Stichting Jong Muziektalent Nederland, first prize in the Cristina Deutekom Concours 2000, an incentive prize in the Rosa Ponselle International Competition for Vocal Arts (New York), the NPS Cultuur Prijs 2000 and the Dutch Edison Award 2006. Tania Kross has performed in several opera productions.

Churandy Martina
Churandy Martina (born 3 July 1984 in Curaçao) is a sprinter from the Netherlands Antilles. His personal best time over 100 metres is 10.04 seconds. Martina holds the Central American and Caribbean record on 100m, with 10.06 seconds. With this result he won the gold medal at the Central American and Caribbean Games 2006. Martina performed excellent during the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing, where he reached both 100m and 200m finals. He came in fourth at the 100m, setting a new national record: 9.93 seconds. 

Bob Pinedo
Dr. H.M. (Bob) Pinedo is Professor of Medical Oncology and Founding Director and first Chairman of the VUmc Cancer Center Amsterdam. He is also former Chief of the Medical Oncology Department at the Free University of Amsterdam. He has always been one of the top oncologists in the Netherlands and has numerous international publications to his name.

Rudy Plaate
Songwriter singer / composer born in Curacao 25th of February 1937 a.k.a. as “De Zingende Groenteboer” or the singing produce seller.
He always knew how to project his love for our “Dushi Korsow” in his simple songs like “Atardi” (Sunset), M’a yega laat (I came late) Caminda di Santa Rosa love songs like “Si mi cama por a papia and countless more.
The jovial Rudy has always been an icon in our community and has helped many budding artists starting up and was the engine behind the successful children’s choir “Perlitas” On the 22nd January of 1961 right after the departure, the Portuguese cruise ship Santa Maria was hijacked on open sea. The intention was to overthrow the reign of President Salazar. The Antillean Rudy Plaate composed a song around these events and put it on record. This song became the anthem of many Portuguese nationals that wanted president Salazar's departure. Thousands of Rudy Plaate's record "Santa Maria" were smuggled into Portugal and that landed Rudy Plaate on Salazar's black list in Portugal as a persona non grata!
To add Rudy Plaate to the list of great achievers would be the minimum we could do to honor this great Curacaoan.

Randall Simon
Randall Simon, born in Willemstad, is a former Major League Baseball star. He has played with the Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Texas Rangers and the Philadelphia Phillies.

 Boeli van Leeuwen
Boeli van Leeuwen (Curaçao, 1922-2007) was a writer and jurist, publishing books since 1959. In 1961 Boeli received the Vijverbergprijs for his debut Rots der Struikeling. The nature and society of Curaçao always played a big part in his books, like Een vreemdeling op aarde and De eerste Adam. More recently Jona (1988) and the non-fiction books Geniale anarchie (1990) and De taal van de aarde (1997) were published.

Angel Salsbach
Born in March 1, 1937 in Bonaire, engineer, scholar, politician, writer, musician, composer, gourmand, philosopher and Reiki master.
He is the first Curacaoan to write not one but two musicals about the history of Curacao of which one has even been translated in German.
His passion for music especially Jazz made him an icon in the musical world.

A multi talented musician starting playing the mandolin at the age of 5, switching over to piano and the trumpet only to end up with the string bass.
As a writer he wrote several children's books portraying his experiences as a child growing up in Bonaire.
Even when he suffered a stroke it did not stop him and he, as always, made something positive of an bad situation and wrote a book about “Skibi sin por papia” Writing without being able to talk” putting in writing his feelings and experiences when he had a stroke, Aphasia and the recuperation process.
For popularizing Jazz in Curacao and his everlasting love for Curacao we honor Mr Angel Salsbas has one of the great achievers of Curacao.

Dinah Veeris
Dinah Veeris, world-famous on Curacao, preserves traditional medicinal plants.In the early 1980s, she began Den Paradera - a magnificent botanical garden where she propagates over 300 species of wild medicinal plants. She started bringing the herbs to this garden not only to keep them from dying out, but also to conserve the medicinal knowlegde about these plants for future generations. Dinah still visits remote hilltops in hope of preserving medicinal treasures and is known throughout Curaçao as a healer. Her knowledge of local botany is impressive and the books she has published are often used by local botanists.

 Vernon Anita
Vurnon Anita was born in Willemstad in 1989 and started playing soccer at CVV Willemstad. After moving to the Netherlands, he was scouted by soccer-giants Ajax Amsterdam.
Despite facing tough competition for the defensive and midfielder positions, Anita succeeded in starting most league matches for Ajax during the 2009-2010 season.

 Jair Jurrjens
Jair Jurrjens was born in Willemstad in 1986 and Jurrjens was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Detroit Tigers in 2003. In seven games during his 2003 campaign with the GCL Tigers, Jurrjens accumulated a 2–1 record with 20 strikeouts and just three walks. However, Jurrjens really broke out during his 2005 season with the West Michigan Whitecaps, the Tigers' single-A affiliate. In 26 games started, Jurrjens went 12–6 with 108 strikeouts and 36 walks. He continued to improve during the 2006 season, as a 5–0, 2.08 ERA start with the Whitecaps earned Jurrjens a promotion to the Erie SeaWolves, the Tigers' AA affiliate. In 12 games with the SeaWolves, Jurrjens went 4–3 with a 3.36 ERA.