Bio

Carly E (Carlijn van Wijk, 1989) played cello and sang from the time she was 5 years old. Between the ages of 12 and 18, she toured Europe with the Youth Orchestra of The Netherlands. In 2012, she moved to London before moving again a year and a half later to Argentina, where she stayed until 2016. Far away from home she discovered her own music. She became a singer, composer and solo artist, accompanying herself on a cello, also with loop pedal or band. Carly E’s cello idol is Yo-Yo Ma and she loves the old jazz and soul ladies like Aretha Franklin and Nina Simone. Her big example is Andrew Bird. This combination makes her music a mix of jazz, folk and pop with an intuitive poetic groove.

Performances & Releases 

In 2016 she released her first solo EP “Blue Funny You”, recorded in Buenos Aires. Back in The Netherlands, she attracted attention during TEDx. Carly E founded her own Amsterdam based band in 2017 and recorded with them her first album “Timeless Thoughts” in collaboration with all analog recording studio The Lullabye Factory. The analog recorded album was released on a 12 inch vinyl on June 15th 2018 in the sold out venue Cinetol. The album was financially supported by the Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst and VSB Fonds, two important foundations for stimulating new music in The Netherlands. And also by hundreds of fans through a successful crowdfunding campaign. 

After the release of the album, she was a regularly seen person in the live music scene. In 2019 she played in major venues like the DeLaMar Theater, the Amstelkerk, Werkspoorkathedraal and other well-known venues like De Roode Bioscoop. Also she played on various international festivals like the Red Light Jazz festival (closing act) and the famous Fringe Festival in Edinburgh

In 2020 Carly E released her second solo EP “Day Dreams“. Here she experiments with a new sound by combining the cello and her voice with subtle and original world beats. “Day Dreams is an EP that gives so much in such a short period of time”, commented The Music Below. She played her new set at the famous club De Helling just before the release. That live performance was very well received. Shortly after that, she was nominated to play on the Sexyland stage at Lowlands Festival, which was a huge compliment for her work. But unfortunately due to Covid-19 it got canceled. See here Carly E’s nomination video. Sexyland made the following comment about Carly E: “Obviously an authentic mega talent with the sexiest instrument ever“. Her current band called ‘Carly E & The Outstanding’ consists of drummer Efraim Schulz- Wackerbarth and guitarist Daniël Yves Dudok, who also plays bass guitar and does backing vocals. They released a summer single in June called “He Is For Me”. 

The latest release of Carly E was the home-recorded solo single “You and Me” on the 14th of February 2021. Carly E is now preparing for the recording at famous Dutch TV show Vrije Geluiden. This year she will be focusing on releasing more singles as well as with her band as solo. Also she hopes to conquer more stages this year as soon as it is possible to play for an audience again.

For photos of Carly E and performances go to this page. You can find (live) video material over here.


“I recently found the four track EP ‘Day Dreams‘ by Carly E on my never ending quest for music and ‘Day Dreams‘ is an EP that gives so much in such a short period of time. It’s the classic less is more concept! The stars of this EP are Carly and the Cello. Honestly, nothing more is needed. By layering different Cello parts and adding in percussion beats, Carly is able to create the right atmosphere. Filling space where it’s needed as well as allowing the space to add to the tension of the poetic lyrics certainly makes ‘Day Dreams‘ feel more substantial. All of which comes together to set the stage for Carly’s raw and sincere vocals to shine through, lighting the way through this poetic field.
Between the four songs there is plenty of variety in sound. It feels more like you’re listening to a full length album rather than an EP. When you consider ‘Day Dreams‘ is just under twenty minutes, that’s fairly impressive songwriting talent.”

Ash 10/04/2020- The Music Below

“Beautiful!!!!! I saw yesterday’s performance at the club De Helling. Worldly!”

Adje Kwestie 23/01/2020 – De Helling

“We were introduced to Carly E at an ‘Einaudi’ piano concert of ‘Theaterkantoor’ where she provided the support act. She played wonderful, which made us decide to book her for our 12.5th wedding anniversary. During the reception of the guests, she again provided very nice music, completely attuned to the atmosphere in our castle.”

Thijs 31/08/2019 – Werkspoorkathedraal Ligconcert

“Carly E is an energetic young woman with a cello who took the breath away of our audience during her performance on the TEDxHilversum. She is best described in 3 words: driven, forceful and honest. During her performance she took us on a world tour with her super original and strong voice. She completely conquered the stage of the ‘Theater Gooiland’ in Hilversum.”

Mie Dries (Head producer TedX Hilversum) 07/12/2016 – TedX Hilversum – The Art of Engagement

“It was a treat to have Carly E a whole month in the house, because Carlijn is such a nice and talented person. All visitors who saw her performance in TapasTheater were enthusiastic! She surprised lovers of classical music with the versatility of her cello and pop music lovers were impressed by how a classical instrument can create such fine pop and jazz songs. Carlijn gave the songs context by telling where and why she wrote them. These hilarious and recognizable stories together with her comic timing gave the performance an extra theatrical touch. Worth repeating.”

Tessa Harmsen 01/03/2019 – Tapas Theater

“It was a pleasure to have you. You’re very talented and have a great band as well. Good luck with the album and hope to see you playing again in the future. Let me know if you’d like to play at the Winston again.”

Vincent 12/10/2018 – Booker of Winston Kingdom Amsterdam

“The cello glories in the hands of Carly E A beautiful and intriguing performance.”

Richard Wagenaar 22/07/2018 – thenextgig.nl

“Insane! Carly has a golden voice and creates a pleasant atmosphere. We had a really great party!!”

Hilana – 31/05/2020 – Private garden party

“She has her very own style. She is very talented and has a lot of passion!”

Ivonne – 13/05/2018 – Huiskamerconcert

“Poetry may not be for everyone, but this way it is more accessible than just reading a book. Musical lady who stands her ground. From nicely laidback to more up tempo music. Great to program at a festival or at a summer party in your garden.”

Frans – 10/07/2017 – Festival Deventer