The man, his life, his music... With the projects already released, the upcoming releases and the international presscoverage, it seems that this composer/arranger/guitarist and producer is on his way to a great international career. His challenging way with form and harmony, his melodies and grooves in the popular styles, and his jazz and classical compositions, arrangements and orchestrations put him in the circle of contemporary musicians who are clearly with two feet in their own era, with respect for tradition, their masters and heroes. While at the same time combine a healthy business sense with versatility. As a very rhythmical and melancholic composer, he pushes his music to energy and 'feel', with a lot of emotion and momentum. His concerts are 'high energy' and powerful, his radiation to his audience convincing and open. He is in total control of the music and the band and knows how to bring them to creative and inspired performances. Born in the Netherlands, he started his musical career at the age of 18, after an intense and interesting youth, to say the least. The urge to become a musician was there but life demanded other priorities. The influences, besides local musicians who took him on, were Jimi Hendrix, Manitas de Plata, Andres Segovia etc., etc., in short; anybody holding a guitar: 'Looking back, I consider myself lucky not being fixated on one particular style or kind of music. And that attitude, I think, also kept me from wanting to play 'just' 15 different versions of the same standard in one groove at different tempo's...' Photo © Arnaud Nilwik In 1983, after performing with numerous bands in Europe, receiving a classical conservatory degree with Hans Lutz Niessen, private studies American musicians living in Europe like Charles Green and the help of the Fulbright Committee, the 'Jim Hall Jazz Masters Incentive Award' and a maecenas, he finally went to Boston (USA) where he studied at the famous BERKLEE College of Music, one of the finest institutions of it's kind, but also privately with f.i. John Scofield. After that his career really took off. The contacts made at Berklee, especially with his teacher Maestro Corey Allen and Peter Gordon lead to many concerttours with teachers and fellowstudents and created a lot of activity in his home country, something considered invaluable and influencial by many in that area. His first release 'The Corey Allen Project' on 'Da Capo Records' with his band CULEA (released in the Netherlands only), showed him as a skilled guitarist, arranger and bandleader under the guidance of producer/ pianist Corey Allen. In 1989, by than living in Los Angeles, this all lead to him signing his second recorddeal with 'Optimism Inc.' and 'This is for You' was released. The first in a series of projects to come out internationally. On this CD some of the best players in the world were present; Bob Berg, Alex Acuna, John Patitucci, Cheryl Bentyne, Eric Gale, Brian Bromberg, Bob Militello, Joel Taylor, Peter Gordon, Corey Allen and engineer Tom McCauley. In the years that followed he toured a lot with among others Bob Militello (with Dave Brubeck), Bob Jones (w/Lenny White), Brian Bromberg, Eric Gale, Tony Guerrero, his US 5-tet with Bob Sheppard, Joel Taylor, but also with Michael Pedicin Jr., Peter Gordon, Consuelo Candelaria, Kenny Goldberg, Chico Huff, Eric Vloeimans, Demetrios Papas, Tony Galla (RAVEN), Glenn Corneille and Emiel's adventurous 4-tet with Bart Rademakers,Pno., Jan Knooren, Bs. and Ron van Stratum, Drs.. All these concerts were his original music and sometimes music from featured guest player(s) was added to the bill. Next to this intens touring-schedule he did many composing assignments, studio- and arranging work in many styles varieing from Acid Jazz to Frans Malschaert's and Anandi Teeuw's theaterplay 'VLUCHTEN' for Theater SIRKEL for which he wrote the mostly á capella arrangements and original score that had the press raving. More touring took place in de US, South America and Europe, at for example the new JAZZMECCA from the late NORTHSEA JAZZ promoter Paul Acket, who after that, had him play at the NORTHSEA JAZZ FESTIVAL in The Hague where he did the beautiful REMBRANDT hall. He did the' CANCUN jazzfestival' in Mexico (with Bob Militello, Bob Leatherbarrow, Bob Jones and Jan Knooren), but also smaller ones like the 'Middelburg Jazzfestival' and many others like that.1983 through 1992 were years with a lot of exposure, press/radio and TV coverage, an era with a strong ascending line, showing a musician with a future. But then in late '92 he suddenly quits the business for almost 4 years to return mid '96, stronger and more focused as ever. He did one thing though in his 'break', he became a licensed swordmaster, studied with some of the best maitres d'escrimes he could find or that found him, like retired Olympic Coach Maitre Dick van Winden, fencingchampion Emiel Slijpen, both from the Netherlands and Polish Maitre Dr. Jerzy Wezowski, the three of them who are responsible for him getting his degree as Master, his license; ' The fencing prevented me from going out of my mind in one of the hardest periods of my life'. He records 'Venys Maternon' for BTEA's Tom van Giesen, finishes 'Hybrid Groove' and subsequently he signs with California based 'NEFERTITI records'. After finishing tracking 'Hybrid Groove' he records 'CLUES'with Bob Militello' Bob Militello, Bob Jones, Steve Curry, Tom Brigandi and Consuelo Candelaria. All this and many other projects brings us to the present. A life of touring, studiowork, his own music, teaching, projects to produce, commissions for compositions and arrangements, all mostly done in his own PROTOOLS HD3 studio under the flag of his own production company CULEA Productions, founded in 2003 or in Los Angeles with engineer Tom McCauley. He now works with a production/management team headed by Jolanda Merkelbach.