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Kees, The Netherlands

Music is my life. I am playing music every day. Favorites I like to play are by John Denver and Neil Diamond. I also like Johnny Cash. I study these three the most, but I play all kinds of genres. One is never done learning, because there are millions of songs. Every so often, I come across another song that I want to learn and spend some days on it. I just love it.

I play a lot at parties and sometimes also as a busker, like today on King's Day. When a child stops by, I immediately grab the ukulele and sing some children's songs. Then I pick up the guitar again and continue my regular repertoire. By the way, I am also a volunteer at Libertas. On average, I perform twice a week in a center for the elderly.

Making music started quite late for me, when I was 25 years old. I took guitar lessons for 15 years. I attended music school performances and later started a band with some friends. We played covers from the seventies and eighties. Nowadays I play solo, but I am supported by orchestral tapes. That makes it a little more attractive. And of course I also sing.

I have lived in Leiden all my life, except for three years as a small child in Voorschoten. I love this city. She has changed quite a bit in the past 70 years, but always remains pleasant to live in. I live on a canal in the center of town. That is and remains so beautiful. It is a lively yet quiet city. And of course, you hear many languages, which makes it special.

I didn't know that a third of all Leiden residents have a migration background, but it doesn't surprise me. I live close to the university and there one definitely feels that international character. I mostly hear English, but of course not all those people are from England. It enriches our city, that’s for sure. Plus, we are also gaining more and more international fame.

Later today, after I finish performing, I will go into town with my girlfriend. I like King's Day, even though the royal family doesn't do much for me. I go for our own fun and the king is secondary. Other things I do? I like to walk. Simply, here in the city or in the green areas just outside of Leiden. And I spend time with my two grandchildren. To them I am also that cheerful guitar playing grandpa.


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