Lucas van Merwijk
Drums United / Cu-Bop City Big Band / Teacher / Independent
Ever since he was a kid, Lucas van Merwijk, born in 1961, has been under the spell of drums. He was elected 'Best Jazz drummer' in the Benelux countries for six years running (1993-1999). Furthermore, he was elected best Fusiondrummer in the Benelux in 1994,1995, 1996 and 1999. At the moment Lucas is the bandleader of three groups: His own duo Drumix! with Ali N'DiayeRose, the world-percussion ensemble Drums United and the 20 piece Salsa and Latin Jazz band Cubop City Big Band. Besides that he has been with the Latin Jazz group Nueva Manteca for 17 years. Lucas is teaching Jazz and Latin Drums and Percussion at the Rotterdam as well as the Amsterdam Conservatory. Apart from that, he has appeared in a lot of television and radio shows and can be heard on many CDs. As a percussionist he has worked with many bands and participated in a numerous amount of recordings and productions. Lucas has played with different artists such as Armando Peraza, Orestes Vilato, Karl Perazo, Raul Rekov, Alex Acuña, Giovanni Hidálgo, Joe Pass, Arturo Sandoval, Luis Conté, Nicky Marrero, Claudio Rodíti, Candy Dulfer, Georgy Fame, Michel Camillo, Jan Akkerman and Ralph Irizari. Lucas van Merwijk heard Machito and his big band play at one of their last concerts, in 1982. He was so impressed with Machito's sound that he decided, fifteen years later, to put together his own big band and to revitalize Machito's music for live performance. "I was bowled over by that sound, that sparkle. I thought to myself: If I could someday hear that backing me up onstage, that would be something." With his Cu-Bop City Big Band, Lucas van Merwijk won over audiences at home and abroad. His orchestra was not only big (20 piece strong!), it also produced a big sound. No other Dutch orchestra had ever created a more authencically Latin-American sound than the Cu-Bop City Big Band.