About Paradiya

Albert Distelbrink

As a little boy, Albert Distelbrink created music on elastic bands which he stretched between the legs of a chair. No wonder he ended up with the kora, a beautiful 21 sting harp-like instrument from west Africa, for a long and passionate relationship.
Besides self study, he studied the traditional kora repertoire intensively with masters from Guinée, Mali, Gambia and Senegal. Many years he absorbed kora- and other African music styles with lots of enthusiasm. This became the source and inspiration for his own style of playing.
Albert’s kora playing can be heard on his solo album “Kora Dioulo”, eleven traditional pieces enriched with his own rhythmic and melodic variations, which will be appreciated by experienced kora listeners and kora players from Africa as well.
Albert also composes new kora music and is eager to play with other instruments and musicians from other backgrounds, as is the case with the unique project “Paradiya”.

Kees van Boxtel

Kees van Boxtel is playing flute since young age, starting with the recorder, later followed by the Silver flute. After playing many different kinds of music (new wave, folk, blues and pop) as well as producing and arranging within these styles, in 2006 the Bansuri (bambooflute from India) crossed his path. During a trip to India Kees fell in love with this beautiful instrument and became interested in North Indian classical music. Back in Holland he took lessons from Julia Ohrmann and switched direction towards “World Music”.
Besides studying the classical Indian repertoire (raga’s and tala’s) Kees was searching for new collaborations with musicians from all kinds of backgrounds. The result can be heard on the albums “We were born to be light” and “Music from the mountains”.

Kees van Boxtel is currently chairman of “Helende geluiden” (healing sounds), which reflects his love for the beauty of sound. Within the project “Paradiya” Kees feels at the right place because of the beautiful combination of Kora, Bansuri and African or Indian percussion and its endless composing possibilities.

Paco Diedhiou


Paco is een Djola en geboren en getogen in de Casamance, Senegal, waar de tradities nog sterk aanwezig zijn. Al op jonge leeftijd is hij ingewijd in alle zeden en gewoonten van de Djola-cultuur. In die cultuur kreeg hij al op jonge leeftijd percussieles, en leerde verschillende dansen en liedjes. Daar ontdekte Paco zijn passie voor muziek. Paco verhuisde al snel naar Cap Skirring aan de kust. Hij vormde een groep die muziek en dans van de verschillende bevolkingsgroepen uit de Casamance bracht.
Hij bespeelde bijvoorbeeld de seourouba-drums, oorspronkelijk van de Mandingue (ook wel Sossé genoemd), maar overgenomen door o.a. de Djola en de Peul. Seourouba komt van het Mandengue-woord Seouba, een plaats waar het gezellig is. De seourouba bestaat uit drie trommels, te weten de solodrum djaliba, de begeleidingsdrum koutirnding en de bas koutirba 

Bij Paradiya speelt Paco ook de Kess Kess