Simon Ho: If

Simon Ho (a.k.a. Hostettler) is a pianist and composer from Berne, Switzerland. He is a musician who knows no musical boundaries and loves working with different people. IF is his second CD as a songsmith, but it is his first with his own band. These very competent singers and musicians are joined by guests from the North of Europe: Henk Hofstede of the Nits and the singers of Värttinä from Finland and many more.

IF offers a trip through various musical styles in fourteen songs.


    "IF" is an album about traveling in the widest sense of the world: these are 14 songs about places in Africa and places in Finland, about home and about the feeling you get when you are far away from home. Accordingly, recording was done with international participation: voices from Holland, Ireland and Finland, traditional instruments such as the Finnish kantele appear in a sound carried by Simon Ho's excellent band.
    The six minutes about some place in the Sahara called "Tenere" featuring the angelic voices of the singers of Värttinä, the hymn-like "Joki" or the jazzy soundscape of "First Snow" are worth the price of admission.


        Simon Ho - keyboards
        Shirley Grimes - vocals
        Vera van der Poel - vocals
        Oli Hartung - guitars
        Monic Mathys - basses
        Andi Hug - drums

        Henk Hofstede - vocals
        Susan Aho, Mari Kaasinen, Johanna Virtanen - vocals
        Michiel Peters - vocals
        Markku Lepistö - accordeon
        Kimmo Kajasto - electronics
        Timo Väänänen - kantele
        Misa Stefanovic - violin, viola
        Orlando Theuler - cello
        Pekka Lehti - bass

          Ho Orchestra: Normal Sunday

          This CD is a celebration: in February of 2005, fourteen musicians and singers from different countries gathered to play the songs of Simon Ho's CD IF. Two of these special concerts were recorded for posterity; this CD offers a selection of songs played during these concerts. Includes songs by Simon Ho, The Nits, Värttinä and Markku Lepistö.

            Meeting on stage

            Two musicians form the core of this project: the Swiss composer and pianist Simon Ho (a.k.a. Hostettler) and Henk Hofstede, the singer and composer of the Dutch cult band The Nits. Hostettler and Hofstede do not only (almost) share a family name, they have similar conceptions of music. They search for refined, unique pop songs that refuse to be categorized.
            Whenever Simon Ho sets out to travel, worlds collide; Henk Hofstede hasn't left out any aspect of pop music in the 30 years of his career. Hofstede has participated in the recording of Simon Ho's two studio albums.
            In order to celebrate the release of IF (see separate page), Simon Ho set out on tour with his Swiss band; at the end of the tour, two special concerts in Basle reunited most of the musicians involved in the recording. It was a paneuopean meeting of talent: fourteen musicians, 8 women and six men from Switzerland, Holland, Ireland, Germany and Finland formed a big band: The Ho Orchestra.
            These two gigs were recorded and this is a selection of the best recordings of those two memorable evenings. It contains songs by Simon Ho, the Nits, Värttinä and Markku Lepistö.

              In concert

              Susan Aho - vocals, accordion
              Shirley Grimes - vocals
              Oli Hartung - guitars electric and acoustic
              Henk Hofstede - vocals, acoustic guitar, piano
              Simon Ho - keyboards, pump organ, piano
              Andi Hug - drums, percussion
              Mari Kaasinen - vocals
              Rob Kloet - drums, percussion
              Titia van Krieken - keyboards, accordion
              Markku Lepistö - accordion
              Arwen Linnemann - basses
              Monic Mathys - basses
              Vera van der Poel - vocals, synthesizer
              Johanna Virtanen - vocals