An old LP cover dug out from the Concertzender archives. Max Woiski.
On the cover a beautiful old colour picture with the master himself, surrounded by his orchestra members. On the back an unlikely story written by Rud Niemans that in short comes down to this:On March 1936 Max Woiski, third class passenger of a KNSM boat from Paramaribo, set foot on Dutch shore. As a child in Suriname he learned to play the flageolet and wanted to become a professional musician in the Netherlands and not an accountant as his parents wanted him to become. After some gigs as a guitarist (because he also could play the guitar) he managed to take part in several small orchestras as a flageolet player. He started to become known at home and abroad. Together with his girlfriend Alma, that he had come over from Suriname, he performed for nine months in "Villa d’Este" in Paris. Back in the Netherlands they performed in The Hague and Amsterdam and he just started an engagement in Tuschinsky with his own Cuban orchestra when World War Two broke out. Well, the nazi’s would rather listen to Aryan notes, whatever those may be. Woiski opened, at that time, surprisingly enough, his own joint in the Amstelstraat: "La Cubana" and played at the Savoy at the Leidseplein himself. Unfortunately business for La Cubana (für Wehrmacht verboten) didn’t run well, until the American pianist Freddie Johnson played there. Johnson was imprisoned in 1942 but in the meanwhile La Cubana and Woiski’s flageolet playing was popular enough to continue going, although at a different location in the Leidsestraat. Remarkably enough the Germans left La Cubana undisturbed during the war and occupation years until about four months before the liberation. This is when Max Woiski had to close his business and take shelter. Not for long: after the liberation he reopened La Cubana and music from Suriname became very popular. Woiski was in the hit parades with his own compositions like "Piauw Piauw", "Zestien April" en "B.B. met R." (=brown beans with rice). His contribution to the development of the Dutch music taste was considerable. Lets go back in time and see how it all started.