Q&A: Hendrik Meurkens
Define your genre in five words or less:
Jazz harmonica, composer, jazz and Brazilian jazz.
Bearing the terrible clichéd nature of this question, what do you reckon people will say you sound like?
Probably like Toots Thielemans, the pioneer of jazz harmonica.
What do you love about making music?
I don’t know how it would be NOT making music. Is that love?
What would you say are the main challenges of being in the music industry?
Not making any money. Don’t get into music expecting to get rich. It can happen and it might happen, but expecting it is the wrong start.
If you could travel back in time and perform for one of your musical heroes, who would it be and why?
I would be wise enough not to play for my musical heroes, but I would ask them to play for me. Charlie Parker, Art Tatum, Mozart and Bach would be on top of that list.
What advice do you have for musicians who are trying to succeed these days?
If you feel that you need to be a musician than you don’t need any advice, you will do it anyway through thick and thin.
Do you have any record releases to date? What are they? Where can I get them?
This tour is promoting Albare’s album, Long Way, on which I perform, and I have about 20-something CDs under my name which I recorded over the years. They are all listed on my website and also available there.
Do you have a pre-gig ritual? If so, what is it?
I do 354 one-handed push-ups and then I recite Shakespeare in Kisuaheli. That brings me a certain focus.
What makes a good musician?
If people connect to his music he is doing something right. It is never about technique or being a virtuoso, it is only about people being touched.
How do you stop your pre-gig jitters?
Drugs, sex and Rock’n Roll.