My first ‘close encounter’ with an instrument was as a young 8 year-old, when my father purchased an old pianola. I remember him having great fun playing the paper rolls, by operating the foot pedals that drove a complicated-looking tubular air pressure system.
I was so impressed and mesmerized by the wonderful music that came out of that old pianola. It was at that very moment I envisioned how “cool” it must be to write and play music.
A year later I started taking piano lessons studying classical music. Another year or so later my older brother Guus sat next to me at the piano with his guitar and played along with me… Wow! I clearly remember the impact and was super-impressed… playing music together with another person was a whole new world to me… a world as from that moment I never wanted to leave. Another few years passed and I picked up the guitar and got some coaching from my brother, showing me some chords and finger-picking patterns.
As far as ‘light music’ goes, I’ve always had an interest in and affinity with the semi-acoustic band sound like that of bands such as Crosby, Stills & Nash, Poco and Eagles, as well as the more ethnic American folk music (Bluegrass, Old-time, etc.) and also traditional Celtic music. The western guitar, mandolin and 5–string banjo became my favorite instruments.
Some years later, when living abroad after experiencing a Iife-changing moment, I traded in my (rather mundane) office job for a two-year contract with Folk–string band Silver Creek Mountain Band. With that band I started work as a professional musician and toured on an entertainment circuit.
I then returned to the Netherlands and from then on played with Bluegrass band “Hickory Skinners” on Folk festivals, folk clubs in Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, Denmark and Sweden.
L. to r.: Thijs Rührup, Peter Wallace, Guus Ruhrup and Joseph Hasty.
After a decade gaining (not just musical) experiences I settled in The Hague to set up a practice and work as a music coach. Soon I realized that my practical music experience gained until then, needed expansion and the result was a start in professional music training in 1990. I successfully graduated a State-examination Light Music after which I also started work as a piano and mandolin coach. In 2004 and 2005 I was touring in the Netherlands performing with a theater company playing guitar and mandolin.
2004-2005 Theater tour in Holland with “De Berini’s”
L. to r.: Walter Kuipers, Thijs Rührup and Marjolein Meijers.
In 2005 I started work again as a full-time music coach and I also keep myself busy with maintaining and expanding my classical guitar repertoire, and writing music and live performance with musicians mentioned in the “Live Music” section of this website.