Short biography

You can download her Curriculum Vitea here

Studies: Conservatory Electric Organ in Maastricht - the Netherlands Conservatory Trombone Jazz (´Popular Music´) with Bart van Lier in Hilversum - the Netherlands
Teacher Spanish second grade Fontys Hogeschool (University) Tilburg. Trombone player (tenor and bass), organist, arranger and director, studiomusician. Teacher Jazz Trombone y Caribbean Music at Conservatory of Music in Puerto Rico 2006-2007, Jazz Combos, assistent director Big Band y Afro-Caribbean Ensemble.

May played in twenty seven countries (from Holland: The Cubop City Big Band; from Surinam/Holanda: Ronald Snijders Extended Band; from Puerto Rico: Elías Lopés, Plena Libre, Eddie Santiago; in Curaçao: the Festival di Tumba, Jazz Festival, and many more) She gave workshops and lectures in the Caribbean, the United States, Europe and South Africa. May is a correspondent for representing Puerto Rico and the music of Curaçao, and a reviewer for the Antillean Newspaper. In July 2009 her new book ¡Música Maestra! ´brieven uit San Juan´ (letters from San Juan) appeared. She produced a tour with the program ‘Bohemia del Alma’, in the Netherlands, with Puerto Rican singer Gryssel Ramírez; In Augst 2011 she gave, together with saxofonist/multi instrumentalist/composer Edgar Abraham a concert in Teatro Beckett in Río Piedras-Puerto Rico entitled ‘Jazz 100 por 35’,music of the Puerto Rican Songbook.She continues giving clases and workshops of Latin Music in the Caribbean and Europe. June 22, 2013 she released her album Tributo de Tambor y Trombón en Clave de Mujer Boricua, arranged and produced by Eric Figueroa, which she presentated with the 5 piece band and special guests on Nov 3 , 2013 for the Puerto Rican audience in a full Teatro Arriví- Santurce, San Juan.The album is nominated on #9 of the Top 20 Best Albums of 2013 of Puerto Rico, by the Fundación Nacional para la Cultura Popular.

More... Caribbean

What happened in Europe?

May Peters (1964) grew up at Zwaantjeshof, a Roman farm of 1734 in Berkelaar-Echt, in the most southern province of Holland. When she was ten she wanted to become a missionary (she had a correspondence with a local missionary in Africa), at age fourteen her profession would be journalist ( interviewing teachers and writing cartoons and plays) but when she was fifteen she decided to become a musician. Finally after four decades she would be a professional in all three of them. A description of the start of her career.

May Peters born in Echt- the Netherlands, started to play the flute at the age of five. Three years later she started to study horn and became a member of the local brass band. Growing up in the culture of the southern area of Holland with a lot of Catholic feasts: Limburg, and being the oldest daughter of who loved to celebrate carnival, she joined the band who accompanied the Prince of carnival.

Foto May Peters als elfjarige op de corhoorn met carnaval. Being fifteen she switched to trombone. In the meantime she was playing: electronic organ. And in 1987 she graduated at the Conservatory- Maastricht ´Electronic Organ´ Keyboard/ Synthesizer.

Three years later she graduated at the Conservatory Hilversum where she had studied with Bart van Lier ´Trombone Jazz´ (Lichte Muziek). The final concert was a delicious menu of all kinds of musical styles. She presented herself as the all-round musician she is: with an Original Old Style band, her bebop quintet Jazz It Up with saxophone player/composer Carolyn Breuer, big band, Brazilian- and salsa music. Later on she performed on stage as a tenor-and bass trombone player, an arranger/copyist and big band director.

Her passion: ‘big band‘ was fed since the age of sixteen in several big bands, (Conservatory Big Band Maastricht, She played freelance in among others: the Midland Big Band, the Jazz Orchestra of the Royal Concert Gebouw, the Ramblers)

Concierto con the Glenn Miller Orchestra 1993 From 1990 on she toured with the Glenn Miller Orchestra Holland/Germany and the Glenn Miller Memorial Orchestra France/Holland/United Kingdom (trombone/bass trombone/ close-harmony choir) through the Benelux, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Sweden and Tunisia.

But she always loved to play pop-and soul music. She started out in the Belushi Memorial Blues Brothers Band, and many other Dutch en German pop groups (on keyboard, trombone and as an arranger).

After her return to the Netherlands, May 1995 she studied Spanish, out of homesickness to the Caribbean, having her teacher´s degree after two years.

After a five week tour on a cruise ship between Stockholm and Helsinki with Perfume de Salsa (Leticia y su Rumba Dama) she kept on playing with this Dutch/Cuban formation. Shortly after, she became the musical director of Big Band Beeg, Grevenbicht. She would transcribe, arrange, and direct a Mambo-project: Fiesta Latina with guest musicians: from Venezuela: Javier Plaza (vocals and percussion) and Gerardo Rosales (percussion) , Jorge Martínez (piano) from Cuba, Randal Corsen (piano) Curaçao, Liber Torriente (percussion), Cuba, La Tigresa and Daniel Patriasz (percussion) Holland.

May dirigeert en is gastsolist van de Big Band van Music Academy of Gauteng Zuid Africa op het Europe Day Gala 1998 In May 1998 the Royal Dutch Embassy of the Netherlands asked her to represent the Netherlands on the EURO DAY GALA, being the director of the Big Band from the Music Academy Gauteng, South Africa. She gave workshops and concerts in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

May playing and directing the Big Band of the Music Acadamy of Gauteng South Africa on Europe Day Gala 1998

From 2000 until 2003 she was the musical director from the Blue Basement Big Band (Swinging Sounds) Hoevelaken.

Famous Jazzfestivals where May performed:

(North Sea Jazz Festival 2002 Holland, Moers Festival-Germany, Cayenne Jazz Festival- French Guyana 2004, Klaipeida Jazz-Lithuania 2005)

Coquí Promotions

Ever since 2001 until 2006 she played trombone in the Extended Band of Surinam flute player Ronald Snijders, with whom she recorded several compact discs. She gave concerts on several little- and big, national and international stages (North Sea Jazz Festival ’02 Holland, Moers Festival-Germany, Cayenne Jazz Festival- French Guyana ‘04, Klaipeida Jazz-Lithuania ’05)

After half a year of managing the Ronald Snijders Black Straight Music she started Coquí Promotions, an agency for salsa groups. F.e. from Venezuela: Javier Plaza and Son Risa, Grupo Sabroso and Kimbiza featuring Yma América, from Puerto Rico Victoria Sanabria, Gryssel Ramírez and Elías Lopés.

Since 1990 she played in Europe in Latin/ South American orchestras like Fra Fra Sound, the New Cool Collective, from Venezuela: Orlando Watusi, Javier Plaza, Connexión Latina, Kimbiza and bands from the Dutch Antilles or Cuba (Jorge Martinez to mencion a few).

She shared Dutch stages with famous international artists like saxophone player Boots Randolph, salsa singer/composer Trina Medina, Eddie Martínez, Melconchita and guitarist Path Matheny. But she played also in the Musical the Pink Crocodiles written by Haye van der Heyden & Martin van Dijk on accordion and trombone.

Teacher Spanish and Trombone Jazz

Since 1984 May Peters was not only a teacher of keyboard- electronic organ and trombone at several music schools, she also taught Jazz Trombone at the Conservatory of Alkmaar

From September 2002 until 2006 she was teaching Spanish at the ‘Hoge School‘ Utrecht and Tilburg- Holland.

In September 2005 she made a demo-cd in Wisseloord Studios for André van Duin, with the Rosenberg Trio and clarinet player Bernard Berkhout. Shortly after she was being asked to join the New Orleans Syncopators with whom she recorded a cede January 2006 : Midnight in Moscow.

In September of that year she left for Puerto Rico where she accepted the job of teacher Trombone Jazz and Caribbean Music at the Conservatory of Puerto Rico

What happened in Puerto Rico and Curacao?

1993 During some concerts in Paris with Javier Plaza y Orquesta Son Risa May Peters had a conversation with Puerto Rican bass player Tomas Pérez which would influence her life. He contacted her with colleagues in Puerto Rico. And so she left for the Caribbean in the beginning of 1994.

On Curaçao she participated at the Tumba Festival 1994 and 1995, playing first trombone and copying music. She even played in the Carnival Parade, like in her hometown. But this time it was the tropical version.

In Puerto Rico, June 1994 she was being asked to play in the orchestra of the well known Eddie Santiago and a new trombone formation: Plena Libre, playing a mix of the Porto Rican plena and Cuban guanguacó.

With Eddie Santiago Carolina 1994 Foto: With Eddie Santiago Carolina 1994

She played with the orchestras of:

  • José Nogueras
  • Edwin Mulenze
  • singer and composer Pedro Arroyo
  • Amuni Nacer

and other people, giving concerts and making TV shows.

In October 1994 she introduced her Jazz Quartet at the Chivas Regal Jazz Festival in San Juan with: composer and piano player Eric Figueroa (from Bata Cumbele), Jimmy Rivera (drums), Hector Venero (saxes) y Freddie Gumbs (bass).

Her performance with Juan Pablo Torres was seen as stimulance for female musicians. Concerts at the Conservatory of San Juan, different jazz clubs in San Juan and Ponce.

After her tour in September 1999 with Lucas van Merwijk & his Cubop City Big Band to the Dutch Antilles, she returned to Puerto Rico for a month to play with Rafy Leavitt y la Selecta.

In the winter of 2004-2005 she did several concerts and TV shows in San Juan-Puerto Rico, with Los Pleneros del Quinto Olivo and William Cepeda.

Teacher Trombone Jazz and Caribbean Music at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico

Rehearsal with maestros del CMPR May, Luís Perico Ortíz (trumpet), Luís Marin (piano) and Marco Pignataro (sax, head of the Jazz and Caribbean Music department) Foto: Rehearsal with maestros del CMPR May, Luís Perico Ortíz (trumpet), Luís Marin (piano) and Marco Pignataro (sax, head of the Jazz and Caribbean Music department)

From August 2006-May 2007 she was a member of the Department Jazz and Caribbean Music at the Conservatory of Puerto Rico, where she taught Trombone Jazz and Caribbean Music.

Being the trombonist of the Orchestra Elías Lopés she played with Luís Perico Ortíz. They accompanied Puerto Rican artists like Andy Montañez, Lalo Rodriguez, José Nogueras and others.

Reviews for Antilliaans Dagblad/Newspaper Curaçao

From January until July 2008 she stayed in Curaçao, where she participated at the Festival di Tumba 2008. She founded a Music Education Program for Children‘s home Brakke Put. May Peters was a guest in the Television show Morú Bon Dia (TeleCuraçao) and Konklushión (TV11) and did successful workshops, concerts and lectures for the Fundashion di Músikos (see Pers Curaçao taller) and the International School of Music zie . Besides being a freelance musician, May is the reviewer of Music for the Antilliaans Dagblad, Curaçao. And she is the correspondent for Puerto Rico and Curaçao (music) Reisjournaal.

In May 2012 she obtained three A's for the courses: ‘History of Puerto Rico, History of the United States and Special Education for the Exceptional Child‘ at the Interamericana University- Metropolitan Era- Puerto Rico

Since 2009 she lives 10 months a year in Puerto Rico and two months in Holland.