May Peters Creative Page


 born in Echt- Netherlands, started to play the flute at the age of five. Three years later she 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, she also became the horn player of the Band who accompanied the Prince of carnival. Music was part of the party; party was part of her life.



 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’. 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;  on both tenor-en bass trombone, arranger/copyist.

    Her passion: ‘big band’ was fed since the age of sixteen in several big bands, (Conservatory Big Band Maastricht, Pall Mall Big Band directed by Erik van Lier, and others)

From 1990 on she played with the Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Wil Salden and the Glenn Miller Memorial Orchestra France (trombone/bass trombone/ close-harmony choir). With both orchestras she toured through the Benelux, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Sweden and Tunisia

     Concerning pop music she played in the Belushi Memorial Blues Brothers Band, besides playing in many other Dutch en German pop groups (on keyboard, trombone and being arranger).   


In 1994 her life would change completely because she stayed in the Caribbean for a year and a half.

On Curacao she participated at the Tumba Festival 1994 and 1995, playing first trombone and copying music.  She even played in the Carnival Parade, after so many years. This time it was the Tropical version. 

   In Puerto Rico, April 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.

She played with the orchestras of:

                                                * José Nogueras

                                                * Edwin Mulenze

                                                * Ismael Rivera híjo y  Rafi Cortíz híjo

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

  Concerts and a five week tour on a cruise ship in Scandinavia with the Dutch/Cuban Perfume de Salsa (Leticia y su Rumba Dama).

   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 Martinez (piano) from Cuba, Randal Corsen (piano) Curacao, Liber Torriente (percussion), Cuba, La Tigresa (percussion) Holland.

   That’s how May Peters founded a mambo-base in Limburg by workshops and concerts in Grevenbicht, Maastricht, Geleen and Echt.


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.


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

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

Ever since 2001 she plays 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.


The last fifteen years 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 f.e.).

   She shared Dutch stages with famous international artists like saxophone player Boots Randolph, salsa singer/composer Trina Medina 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, and in the “New Swing Show” of Mieke Stemerdink. 


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.


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

   Ever since 2002 she is also teaching Spanish at the ‘Hoge SchoolUtrecht and Tilburg- Holland.

She made several recordings with a.o. The Glenn Miller Memorial (bass trombone), Ronald Snijders ( Bijlmerjazz, ), Eddie Veldman (Opo Yéyé), Lesley Joseph, Javier Plaza (Mi Música), GIO and others.                                                         


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

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

 January until July 2008 she stays in Curaçao, where she participated at the Festival di Tumba 2008. She is organizing a Music Education Program for Children home Brakke Put. She was a guest in the Television show Morú Bon Dia and did successful workshops, concerts and readings for the Fundashión di Músikos and the International School of Music. Besides being a freelance musician, May is the reviewer Music for the Antilliaans Dagblad, Curacao.    

In September she gave some lectures about Caribbean Music and directed the big band at the University of Alabama Huntsville, USA.

In November 2008 she was the director of the salsa show on Kleurrijk festival in Holland. 

From December 2008 on she will be in Puerto Rico. 


More information:



mob Puerto Rico :+1-787-6454038

mob Curaçao: +5999-6615905

tel/fax Netherlands: +31-475-481316

mob Netherlands: +31-630667086            

SKYPE: may.peters3 


To see May Peters play, take a look at these videos:


A descarga with her collegues of the Gran Combo of Puerto Rico  during their concert in Amsterdam Nov 2008 ,


Igmar la Reine accompanied by Tune on theTumba Festival 2008, Curacao:


Solos Connexión Latina, Germany 2002 :


Television show with Lucas van Merwijk & the Cubop City Big Band, the Netherlands 2003:




Radio program Voces dedicated to May Peters (Latin America):



Interview                  (internet)   zoek ‘Vaya Mae’



The concert at the Kleurrijk festival Nov 2008 May Peters directing the bigband of Dutch amateurs and Latin professionals playing her arrangements/transcriptions of the Mambo Era 




Updated:  December 19, 2010

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