Interviews with founder Erk Willemsen and Chief Editor Dennis Boxem
Artist biography Jens Kerkhoff
Jens Kerkhoff played with Jaime Rodríguez and Liber Torriente in Rumbatá, a Caribean music combo.
Jens was born in 1968 in Bamberg, Germany. At the age of fourteen he started playing latin percussion. Soon he got in touch with Puertorican salsa musicians who were working for the US-army in the south of Germany. After playing salsa with a lot of different groups over there, Jens moved to the Netherlands to study Latin American music at the Rotterdam Conservatory.
Jens traveled several times to Cuba to take lessons in Afro Cuban percussion with the great Mario 'Aspirina' Jaurequi and with Luis Abreu from the legendary 'Los Papines'. In Holland Jens followed classes and workshops with Nicky Marrero, Giovanni Hidalgo, José Luis 'Changuito' Quintana, Armando Peraza, Orestes Vilató and others. In 1998 he obtained his teaching degree in music as well as his master's.
Jens is momentarily one of the most asked for percussionists in Holland and is a virtuose conga player. Because of his diversity he works in the latin- and the jazz-circuit. He loves working with salsa orquestas, latin big bands, soul and funk groups and with fusion bands alike. The musical range of recordings he made goes from traditional Cuban danzones via jazz and salsa to House-CD's. His ideal is to integrate and use his enormous knowledge of Afro-Cuban music in other musical styles.
He has performed and performs with groups like Lotz of Music/Shango's Dance, Rumbatá, Nueva Manteca, New Cool Collective, Perla Negra, Lovecycle feat. Jazmin, Brian Lynch, Edy Martinez, Nadja Schubert and many others.
With some of the mentioned bands he traveled amongst other countries to South Africa, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Turkey, Denmark, Curaçao, Cuba. He performed on festivals like the Beny Moré Festival, Havana and the North Sea Jazz Festival, The Hague and Cape Town.