idea to establish Unicorn came from Martien Tijburg (accordion)
and John Kuiper (singer/guitarist)
In 1996 the group UNICORN was a fact.
A violinist (Inez Adema) and a singer (Monique Bosse) were found
Since then there have been changes in the group composition. Mostly
this was because of changes in private circumstances (the start
of a study, taking over a business, relocating, moving abroad,
disease, changing family circumstances).
But the founders of the band (guitarist John Kuiper and accordionist
Martien Tijburg) have always ensured, by their way of playing
and by their choices for appropriate new band members, that the
distinctive sound of UNICORN was maintained and that the repertoire
was expanded and improved in the same musical style.
UNICORN stands for quality, and we wanted to maintain this quality
in the respective successors.
this we have certainly succeeded and UNICORN nowadays has a very
high quality (both instrumental and vocal) and has a very versatile
band format. This makes UNICORN a welcome guest at various musical
A short history of the band:
As said: we started out with singer / guitarist John Kuiper, accordionist
Martien Tijburg, singer Monique Bosse and violinist Inez Adema.
In 2002 violinist Inez Adema unfortunately had to quit the band.
Luckily we soon found violin virtuoso Karin Bakker. For 8 1/2
years we played with Karin, but in 2011 she indicated that she
did not have enough time to continue. So after 15 years of UNICORN
we set out so find our third violinist. We did not find one but
two!: Martine Nijenhuis and Erna Sommer, two conservatory trained
violinists. They were suggested to us by Karin and are both brilliant
violinists! Martine and Erna both have busy schedules so they
mostly alternate between gigs, but sometimes they perform together.
Karin Bakker and Inez Adema also continue to be standby in case
Martine and Erna are not available.
Therefore, there is a continued strong and stable instrumental
base in the band.
also have been changes in singers:
We started out with singer Monique Bosse. After 6 years she was
succeeded by singer Laura Stolp. Laura was succeeded by Ester
Ladiges in 2005. Because Esther’s schedule was too busy
we also started working with singer Jolanda Traarbach (from 2008
on). Esther and Jolanda alternated between gigs and sometimes
sang together. In september 2010 we had to say goodbye to Esther
and she was succeeded by Betty Borstlap. So now we have two singers:
Jolanda and Betty, who love to sing together, but mostly alternate
between gigs. This means you can book UNICORN with either one
or two singers!
For all of the singers (5 in total) who have sung in UNICORN it
has always been said, that they have "class" and very
high vocal abilities, each in their own way.
Thus UNICORN has been known for years as a band with very high
UNICORN now has a permanent staff of two violinists (Martine and
Erna), 2 lead singers (Jolanda and Betty), a singer / guitarist
(John) and one accordionist (Martien), but will mainly perform
in a quartet formation. (1 singer / guitarist, 1 accordionist,
1 female singer, 1 violinist)
The solid base is always singer / guitarist John Kuiper and accordionist
Martien Tijburg. The singers: either Jolanda Traarbach or Betty
Borstlap. The violinist: Martine Nijenenhuis or Erna Somner.
It is also possible to book the two female singers together and
/ or the 2 violinists together. For an audio clip of the two singers
together click here. (More fragments on the page "sound clips")
Unicorn continues to surprise you!
If you are interested in a full-length Irish dance show like Riverdance,
with music by UNICORN and high-level Irish dance (European Champion
mainland), please look at our "themes-tab".