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Aruban musicians and sound engineers during Covid-19 Pandemic

Live Music Aruba’s booking agents decided to speak with local musicians about how the ongoing pandemic has affected their livelihood in the music industry. These are the stories they shared with us;

Sergio ” Checho” Silva – Bass player (Bambu, Bandilama, Dub I Tree, Party Posse, Robin and The Rebels, Kawana)

“Everything came to my mind when the Aruban government first announced all the new COVID 19 restrictions in means live music entertainment. Everything that I had worked for, especially the well being of my family, the house and all the expenses we had and still have. How am I going to cover all that if I’m not going to have an income?”

“All my bookings came to a halt. Going from a steady income to having nothing to hold on to. Being a bass player to some is very difficult to come forward as a 1PC musician, unless you can play and sing simultaneously. This is in comparison to other musicians that can play instrumentals and background but, bass is not a solo instrument.”

“It just feels like our trade is not considered a real trade, so to most people that don’t live from the performing arts or know someone who does, they don’t feel the pain and impotence that we feel towards these strict decisions.”

“I started listening to different types of music, and writing a little. Also, I kept practicing my instrument to stay up to date with the turning of the world.”

“The pandemic and restrictions set me in a very difficult positions and at a certain point I started thinking that this wouldn’t change for a now and that seeking another career was the only option, but even that was blocked for us.”

“My daughters and family inspire me every day.”

“Hoping that it will be over soon and that they let us live again from what we love; music and the spread of good energy.”

Hubert Thiel – Pianist/Producer (Oruba)

“At first I was thinking that it would only last for a month or two.”

“My bookings stopped 100% since I am not a singer nor a soloist.”

“The music industry is the one that got it the hardest. It seems like we are the last ones to get back to the “normal” conditions.”

“Fortunately I own a recording studio which keeps me busy doing music, either for myself or for other artists locally and internationally, looking to make music and I am thankful to get the opportunity to give piano lessons to the younger ones.”

“I sure do miss that feeling being on stage every week.”

“I went over to follow online music classes to keep improving my knowledge of music. Music never stops.”

“If you are passionate enough with music you will notice that it’s everywhere. There is music in everything if you listen carefully.”

“I am looking forward to connecting again with my colleagues in music.”

Chris Kross – Guitarist/Producer

“My initial thought was that the arts community is going to go through a tough time. Moreover, entertainment of all sorts would probably be canceled.”

” I usually perform in different settings; solo, duo, trio and with a band. Now I am limited to performing solo, which means many of my bookings were dropped. On top of that I lost a couple of existing gigs”

“I feel that the arts community in general has been neglected many times. We can remark by witnessing funding in the arts community. Also, the social and financial support to all artists is lacking”

“My band and I decided to make a virtual album seeing that we wanted to keep creating music.”

“Every second I miss the thrill of performing with fellow musicians and being at an event.

“The inspiration comes from the love of music and looking forward to better times.”

“What I am looking forward to the most is the feeling of being on stage and performing my heart out.”

Pierre Koolman – Drummer (Blue Boulevard, Groove Machines, Mercedez)

“At first, when the government announced all the new restrictions, I was mad but at the same time concerned. I was participating with a group of musicians for the “Un Canto Pa Nos Himno y Bandera” annual festival and we had just qualified for the finals, but the government imposed the Shelter in place protocols and canceled all events one day before the finals.”

“At the beginning of the whole lockdown, everything and everyone were canceled. This was very scary for me personally, because I was coming from one of the best years in my drumming career. I was constantly gigging throughout the whole week, and if I wasn’t gigging, I’d be at a rehearsal for a gig. After almost a year, protocols started to lighten up and we even started to do gigs with small bands at the end of 2020/ beginning of 2021. After that, the number of Covid cases started to increase again and the Government immediately reimposed stricter protocols. However, recently, I’ve been observing venues and businesses in every industry, and noticed that basically every business is operating with close to almost 100% staff, where as bands of are running at less than 25%.

“It’s evident that the music industry is being kept on a tighter lease, almost as if we’re being punished. “

“I decided to take this opportunity to relax and take a long awaited vacation. After a while, I started to get bored and started to explore my hobbies which included cinematography. For the last 2-3 years before this pandemic, my schedule was completely dedicated to music and gigs and rehearsals, but I finally took this new free and open schedule and started taking pictures, recording videos and editing.”

“Music is not something I love doing, it’s who I am, so not being able to perform like this feels like I’m not being allowed to be myself.”

“Without performing, I definitely feel like a part of me is missing.”

“I feel like I make music everyday to some extent. Even if I hear a bird singing, or I hear water droplets make a certain rhythm, or even putting my phone down and it sounds like a beat, I would sing along or repeat the rhythm with my hands or mouth. I’m like this the whole time. I look forward to being and feeling like myself at 100%.”

Kevin da Silva – Sound engineer

“My first thought was that the live entertainment would be the first to be cut off, so I knew ahead that the entertainment world would need to adapt or take a long vacation due to the nature of a pandemic. We did not know for sure what COVID-19 was at the start, or what its spread rate was. We knew that venues and performances would have to adapt, but we unfortunately never had the chance to do so.”

“All my bookings were immediately cancelled since I mainly worked for 4pc bands or consulting on corporate events. Many outside companies that usually hold corporate events on the island cancelled right away due to travel restrictions as well, so there simply was no gigs for me. At the start of COVID, I worked as an independent sound engineer that focuses only on mixing. I didn’t own any equipment, so for the little gigs that I had left it was shared among production companies.”

“The only regulations are when it comes to paying taxes. That is the only time any industry really matters.”

“Luckily I have my own home studio with guitars, bass, and a keyboard to keep busy. I kept working mostly on other markets like Youtube cover artists or singer/songwriters in the US. So it gave me to time to focus on those markets and also experiment with other things.”

“Of course, doing live sound has and always will be a new challenge, no matter how long one has been doing it. Sound is basically kinetic energy, so it involves a lot of physics which was always a favorite subject of mine. A lot of inertia laws and geometry involved, so no two shows are ever the same. You can’t just “save” a show as a preset and expect it to sound the same next time. So I miss being a problem solver when it comes to that. Most times it’s stressful, but fun regardless.”

“I always loved music and sounds. I was never a good musician, but I can put my love of music in live shows for making others sound good. Nothing beats having the feeling when the band is performing perfectly and full of emotion. I feel it transfers to the audience as well, so its quite hypnotic really. Seeking that feeling, keeps me doing what I love. Not only that, but learning more so I overcome new challenges as well.”

“Honestly, the rock gigs I miss the most. Mixing for bands at bar venues or concerts is simply fun. I know a lot of the musicians too, a lot of them are amazing people. So I miss hanging out with them. Together, we all made it feel like its more than just simply work, but an experience that simply can’t be put in words.”


In depth analysis of one of Aruba’s leading Bass players Sergio Silva

Good evening ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another edition of Live Music Aruba. Right now, we have with us Mr. Sergio Silva, one of Aruba’s long-time performers, and we have to say… for us, the most versatile players on the island.

LMA: Sergio how are you doing tonight?

Sergio: Thank you thank you; I am good, good, very happy to be here!

LMA: Nice! For us it is a pleasure having you here. So, tell us a little bit about yourself, how did you start in the music industry?

Sergio: Well, I started music when I was very young, and it elaborated to what it is now my daily life, I used to work “normal jobs” in the past, until I decided to take music as a full-time job.
And sometimes people do not believe that, but it is a real time job. So, you really must dedicate, you must learn a lot, you must practice a lot, and of course by doing that it takes you to a certain level. And it is nice! It has always been nice for me. I always had fun doing what I am doing.

LMA: That is the main thing! You must have fun doing something that you like to do.
Tell us a little bit of the genres that influence you.

Sergio: Ok, I started with Folk music, to your surprise haha!

LMA: Oh Yeah!

Sergio: I started with folk music when I was incredibly young, and its folk music from where I come from, which is Venezuela, Maracaibo. So, I started in Gaita groups, and later after I decided to go after different other genres, including my favorite which is Reggae, Rock, Soca, I love Soca Music, It’s basically that, I also do a lot of Afro-Caribbean rhythms, I love Afro-Caribbean beats.

LMA: You yourself as a performer, do you perform as a Soloist or do you perform with a band(s)?

Sergio: I’ve performed alone before, but it’s fun when you play with other people, and it creates a different energy when you’re on stage, especially in the hotel circuit, while doing functions, the audience live with you when you are on stage, so if you have a 3 or 6PC band it really doesn’t matter, but as long as you deliver the music and you see the crowd having fun that is what makes you feel great! I love it when I play with bands, I have performed with several bands on the island, and not to forget I’ve performed in a lot of hotel functions, those are fun too!

LMA: That is nice! How long have you been working with Live Music Aruba?

Sergio: Since the beginning, so it has been about 12-years.

LMA: Waw!! That is a long time, so you know Live Music Aruba has been in existence for more than 12 years.

Sergio: Yeah, and it will keep going, believe me, it will go on.

LMA: Do you consider yourself more of a musician or entertainer?

Sergio: Both. You have to consider yourself both, not only one, because you can be a very good musician, but you can’t be in entertainment. So, it has to be both, you have to have a little both of those two so everything can be successful.

LMA: That is amazing. Sergio, thank you very much for coming over.

Sergio: Thank you, and of course Thanks to Live Music for having me!

LMA: Yes of course, thank you to Live Music Aruba for providing an in-depth analysis of our friend right here Sergio Silva. Remember to check out the interview below!


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Magy’s trajectory as a leading female vocalist in the Aruban entertainment industry.

Good evening ladies and gentleman, my name is Lee Croes, and I am here representing Live Music Aruba. With me I have Magy in the studio, we are going to discuss a little bit of what Magy does here with us at Live Music Aruba.

Lee: Magy, how are you doing tonight?

Magy: Hi Lee I’m fine, thank you for the invitation.
My real name is Margaret Marin and my artistic name is Magy. I’m originally from Venezuela but was raised here in Aruba and I have been a singer for almost all my life, so this is what I do for a living and I truly love it!

Lee: That’s awesome!
So tell us a little bit of how you started in this industry.

Magy: Well that’s a long story, but to keep it short, since I was about five years old I was already singing.
It all started with Maybeline Arends Croes. She’s a very popular teacher here on the island, and a very dedicated teacher, so she was also like my mother to me, she taught me everything that I know. When my musical career started I was singing in several bands and also sang by myself, until I met Jeremy Bonarriba (Live Music Aruba’s musical director) 5 years ago. After that I started singing more often in the hotel and restaurant industry together with bands consisting of an incredible array of musicians.

Lee: So, what are the genres that you mostly dominate?

Magy: Almost all of them, that comes with the fascinating diverse backgrounds we are exposed to on the island. For example Latin Music such as Salsa, Reggeaton, Merengue but of course also R&B and Pop Music.

Lee: Amazing amazing, so you do corporate events as well and what about weddings?

Magy: Yes, definitely! I can sing everything so, it all depends on the clients’ preferences, the type of event and ambiance.

Lee: So, you name it and Magy’s got you covered!
Alright, thank you very much for tonight Magy, wish you all the best and hope to see you here again with us. Check out her Youtube interview here below

Magy: Thank you so much, Bye!

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The art of POI

The Live Music Aruba Team sat down with Elias, the founder of Energy Dance for a very cool and interesting interview on this creative and very innovative type of Art which he has been presenting at all kinds of events in Aruba and also around the world.

Live Music: Hi Elias, how are you? Thank you for sitting with us today!
Elias: Hey, I’m doing great, thanks for the opportunity.

Live Music: Tell us a bit about your art, the poi & fire dancing.

Elias: Yes, of course!  Our art is called POI, it’s named after New Zealand’s natives the ‘Maori’, POI has exponentially gained a huge following in many countries. The expansion of the POI culture has led to a significant evolution of the styles practiced, the tools used and the definition of the word “POI”.
POI involves swinging tethered weights through a variety of rhythmical and geometric patterns. The performers also dance while swinging their poi. Poi can be made from various materials with different handles, weights, and effects for example, LED lights and fire.

Live Music: What made you get into this type of art?

Elias: Honestly everything started as a hobby, it took a couple years for me to realize this is what I was meant to do, it was like the artist inside of me wanted to finally express itself. I started practicing at least one hour a day, every single day. The feeling I got when people started to connect with me, no matter if the dance was choreographed or improvised, at that moment I realized… There is no turning back.

Live Music:  What are the different performances you give, and can you explain them?

Elias: Energy Dance is Aruba’s pioneer crew. We offer Live Entertainment with LED-lights and Fire. With a great amount of energy, we supply shows using the millenary art of The Fire Poi Show, the power of the Light Poi Show, and the amazing Logo Poi Show, like you have never seen before!

Explaining each performance:

  Led Show

The Led show is a very colorful performance, we use the latest technology in Led and Motions instruments, performed on electronic music or on the beat of drums it’s great for all kinds of events.

Fire Show

In this show we use wicks made from Kevlar and Technora for the weighted ends. The wicks are soaked in fuel, set on fire, and then spun for a dramatic effect.

Energy Dance

The Energy Dance show is a combination of the FIRE POI and the LED SHOW, this is the ultimate performance. A custom and choreographed performance displayed with the latest technology of LED-lights will have the crowd going crazy.

Live Music: For what events do you mostly get requested to perform at?

Elias: Because I’ve been doing Energy Dance for 20 years now, I’ve had the honor to perform at many places. Now living in Aruba, we get requested to perform at Weddings, Carnaval Groups, Corporate Events, Award Dinners, Restaurants, and Music Festivals.

Live Music: How do you prepare for a performance?

Elias: We practice 3-4 times a week, we go over every choreography we have and come up with new ones, and we adapt each of them to the event we are performing at.

Live Music: Tell us, what sets your art apart from the others?

Elias: Energy Dance is the only group in Aruba who creates a show with elements such as Lights, fire, dance and music, we are not apart from any other Art we are just a complement for any other art expression!

Live Music: Thank you for all this information on the Art of POI, we think it’s amazing!
Elias: It’s our pleasure.

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You Can’t Stop A Good Wave!

Recently, Live Music Aruba officially welcomed Tsunami into their entertainment family. We had the privilege of sitting down and conducting a short interview with one of the band’s lead vocalists; Mitch Almary.

Live Music: Can you share a little about Tsunami’s background with us?

Mitch: Definitely! It all started when a couple of members of the popular Aruban brassband “D2U365” were looking to change the way they made music. They were exploring different alternatives and influences that would blend into a unique style. Their objective was to create a band that would look, sound, and basically do everything in a way it had never been done before. The look; most of the time you will see the band members wearing white, which reflects the purity of the energy that they put into each performance.

Live music: Elaborate on the meaning behind the band’s name?

Mitch: ‘Tsunami’ represents the purity of water, the strength and energy of a tidal wave. Both our music and performance styles are pure because we do it from the heart. The band’s showmanship is very contagious…beware! Our slogan says it all: “You can’t stop a good wave! “

Live Music: For what type of events would you say that Tsunami is requested the most?

Tsunami: Basically, for all types of event. Thanks to our diverse playlist you can rest assured that we’re capable of successfully entertaining any event.
All in all we’ve performed the most at concerts, weddings, corporate parties, dinners, birthdays.

Live Music: How can you describe the band’s style?

Mitch: An energetic band that will get you off your feet from the first tune!

Live Music: When performing for first time visitors of the island or locals how does the band prepare for the performance?

Mitch: It depends on who our target group is. If it’s an event for locals, we prepare music that we know the locals love. If it’s for visitors, it really depends on where they’re from or what the specific genres they like. For example, we have top American songs in different genres, Latin songs that we’re sure everyone knows the words to and Caribbean songs if they are from our sister islands or just to get our crowd in a Caribbean vibe. We even show visitors the moves to a nice Soca tune! We’re also used to preparing for requests for special songs like a ‘first dance’.

Live Music: Where on the island can tourist see Tsunami performing live?

Mitch: To get a good preview, Tsunami is currently playing every last Friday of the month at the famous ‘La Cabana Happy Hour’ at La Cabana Resort and Casino (Palm Beach). Locals and tourists are all more than welcomed to come. You’ll have an amazing time and we’ll make sure to entertain the everyone with top Latin, American and Caribbean music.

Live Music: What are some aspects that make Tsunami different from other bands?

Mitch: What sets us apart are our looks, sound and incomparable energy on stage!

Live Music: Thank you very much Mitch, it’s a great pleasure having Tsunami as part of the Live Music Aruba entertainment family.

Mitch: The pleasure is ours, in the name of Tsunami we would like to thank The Sunny Ray Aruba family for this great opportunity!

party posse

Party Posse on the event scene

Live Music Presents the Master of Percussion Jeremy Bonarriba, with an exclusive insight on one of Aruba’s prime dance bands: Party Posse.

We sat down with Jeremy at Sunny Ray Aruba’s studio for a quick interview on what’s new with Party Posse.

Live Music: Tell us, when was Party Posse established?

Jeremy: Party Posse has been together with, Jairo Boekhoudt on vocals, Angelo Kock on the keyboard, Sergio Silva & Armin Solognier on the bass and guitar and myself on the drums, for over 10 years now.

Live Music: For what type of events is Party Posse most known for?

Jeremy: We as a band are thrilled about doing corporate events but, we also receive requests for numerous weddings and we love to perform together for all occasions.

Live Music: All these years performing for major corporate events and weddings, how did you establish this?

Jeremy: The band first started playing at local Pubs and cafés around the island, but quickly got noticed by different event planners and DMCs. Sure enough after that we started to go in to the event scene.

Live Music: How can you best describe the name “Party Posse”?

Jeremy: We have to make justice to the band’s name, so we most definitely make sure that every event we perform at turns into a Party.

Live Music: Tell us about the music preference for corporate events?

Jeremy: We have to be versatile for example, if the events starts with a dinner then the band will play easy listening music, from Jazz to Soul. Later on for the dancing and party the band plays it by ear and feel so, we need to have a wide arrange of music from pop to disco to classic rock, you name it.

Live Music: What do you think makes an event in Aruba different and unique?

Jeremy: It can be the most simple thing like, dancing barefoot on our white sandy beaches.

Live Music: What is to be expected for the upcoming seasons from Party Posse?

Jeremy: More music of course! We are working a lot more on production so you will undoubtedly see more audio visual material from us. Expect to enjoy your event from start to finish.

Live Music: Thank you Jeremy for taking the time and giving us insight on Party Posse.

Jeremy: Hey! It’s always my pleasure.


Armin Solo from Robin & The Rebels, giving you short insider tips on booking live entertainment for any event on Aruba

Live Music Aruba Presents: Armin from Robin & the Rebels We at Live Music Aruba have been getting lots of great reactions and special requests for the latest uprising band in Aruba; Robin and The Rebels, so we thought it would be a wonderful idea to conduct an interview for anyone planning an event on Aruba and looking to add live entertainment, featuring the band’s lead guitarist; Armin Solo. Live Music Aruba: How did Robin & the Rebels come together? Armin: We’ve had this tight unit of Jeremy Bonarriba on the drums, Sergio Silva on bass and vocals, myself playing the guitar, and Sunny Ray Aruba landed us weekly Wednesday night gigs at the Hard Rock Café. Initially we played one or two gigs as a trio, but soon after that we came across Robin who was back on the island. She got on stage with us the following week and we hit it off immediately as a band. It felt like a perfect fit. She’s an amazing vocalist, has experience performing and knows how to engage with the crowd so; we named the band after her. Live Music Aruba: How does the band prepare for different events like; weddings, corporate events, award dinners, company anniversaries etc.? Armin: Before any event or gig we meet as a group and discuss a customized approach so, we’re all on the same page about the type of vibe that our client wants to set. We have an extensive song list varying from one genre to the other to please everyone’s musical preferences and we’re a pretty well rehearsed band so, we have been known to adjust on the fly and as we go, always reading our crowd’s energy. However, it’s always helpful when the band that you want to book knows where the crowd is from, what the age range is and of course favorite genre. On that account the band will prepare their repertoire accordingly. A handy tip for meticulous planners; it’s safe to add which songs the band should stay away from. Live Music Aruba: At which venues can someone experience Robin and The Rebels performing live? Armin: We have a residency at Aruba’s Hard Rock Café, which is every Wednesday night from 9:30PM to 11:30PM. Hard Rock Café Aruba has done an amazing job at providing an atmosphere of artistic freedom where we can play new stuff and have the confidence to experiment here and there. It’s a real fun gig every time! For those who are planning an event from abroad or on short notice and can’t personally watch a band perform, it’s essential to request audiovisual demos. In this way the decision to book any type of entertainment can be based on solid material. Live Music Aruba: Describe the band’s energy in 3 words. Armin: Vibrant, Fresh, Live. Live Music Aruba: Describe the types of events on Aruba that Robin & the Rebels perform at. And do you also do acoustic performances for more intimate settings? Armin: Robin & the Rebels is a band that adapts very easily to their environment, which is why we can perform at almost any type of event. We have done various ballroom corporate functions, but also intimate weddings on the beach that require quieter settings. It’s also, very pleasant to have a band perform soft background music during the ceremony, dinner or networking segment of an event and afterwards changing it up with a more high-energy repertoire. Live Music Aruba: Which venue is your personal favorite to perform at? Armin: Moomba Beach (close to Marriott Resort) is definitely a fun venue, because you never know how crazy it is going to get. The crowd is high-energy, especially on a Sunday night, and the band feeds off that energy. An amazing reaction from the crowd makes any musician play better! And in many cases it even encourages the band to play one or two extra songs after the planned performance ended. That’s a small trick to keep the party going just a little bit longer with no added cost. Live Music Aruba: Thank you so much Armin for taking the time to sit with us and talk a little bit about Robin & The Rebels and giving our readers a few tips. We wish you guys a lot of success on your musical journey! Armin: Hey, it’s always a pleasure! On behalf of the whole band we thank you too for the fun interview.

Saxophones on the beach, the perfect combination for an Island wedding.

Upon request we started of 2018 conducting the following interview with international saxophone player Jairo Valles. Live Music Aruba: When did you start playing the saxophone and who were your early influences? Jairo: I began my journey to become a successful saxophonist in 1994. My main influences were Maestro Benjamín Brea, Maestro Ramón Moncho Carranza and Maestro Santiago Baquedano. Thanks to them I learned some incredible skills. Live Music Aruba: In what type of events do you play and which of them are the most popular here in Aruba? Jairo: I’ve performed at international and local concerts, festivals, weddings and receptions. Live Music Aruba: Weddings are the most popular events here on the island. What are the most requested genres at weddings and receptions? Jairo: Most couples request romantic, contemporary and classic standards. Live Music Aruba: What do you consider to be the most decisive moments in a wedding or reception when it comes to music? Jairo: The most decisive moment is when you select the repertoire according to the audience you are in and the venue. Many details go in choosing the right songs and the more people that attend the event, the more difficult it gets to please everyone so, that’s when we musicians step-in and help by making suggestions. Pairing songs with the audience’s preference, the venue and the type of ambiance that the couple or planner want to set. Live Music Aruba: How important is the practice and instrumental technique to achieve your musical goals? Jairo: It is super important to be prepared at any level of demand at the time it is required. Staying up to date with new songs is also, extremely important when it comes to pleasing your audience. Live Music Aruba: Please recommend two artists for our readers who feel they deserve your attention. Jairo: I think that everyone should listen to Eric Marienthal & Greg Vail at least once in their lives.  
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A Master Class with a bang

   PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Master Class Leadership 2017

  The PwC Masterclass Leadership started years ago with approximately 15 to 20 participants and it has grown into a full blown event where more than 500 participants to be expected this year. We sat down with  PwC’s advisory director Mr. Goedhoop to ask him how he paved the way combining the corporate world with his passion for music making the formula for a new kind of Master Class. Following our interview: What role does music play in the PwC Masterclass Leadership 2017 and to what degree does this impact the audience? We started to incorporate music about 4 years ago and 3 years ago we started to incorporate live bands in the event. Live music has a very big and important impact on the audience as it boosts the energy and the momentum during the event. This year we took it a step further, where we were involved in the song “Together”. This song will be the key element before, during and hopefully long after this year’s event. How did this song come about? The song “Together” is the symbol of the fact that we all have to step up as individuals, as an organization and as a nation and the realization that if we truly work together, we can achieve great things. This is further symbolized by the fact that most of the prominent speakers of PwC Masterclass Leadership 2017 also participated in the actual song “Together” by means of background vocals / choir. Once an event is accomplished, how do you find a different source of inspiration to create a new concept for the next edition? I just try to be open for it and let it come to me. Trust the process and don’t be easily satisfied until you feel it is the right call. An event of such magnitude as the PwC Masterclass Leadership 2017 takes a lot of time and effort. You are extremely enthusiastic about this event; why do you enjoy organizing it every year? I enjoy the creative process behind it. I enjoy the journey that I see in ideas materialize in an actual event. And I enjoy seeing that people are getting enthusiastic and motivated to work on the event and more importantly that they believe in the overall message and objective that we are trying to do here which is to elevate the level of leadership in Aruba and now also an additional theme of Only Together We Can Make Music.  

Planning your dream wedding? Meet our guitarist and create a memorable music trademark.

We at Live Music Aruba understand how essential it is for couples to turn their wedding into a true reflection of their personalities and love for each other. With more than 7 years of experience providing newly weds with the perfect artist(s) for their special day, we are here to help you tailor every musical aspect of your wedding to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We interviewed one of our most requested wedding musician to give couples a little more insight on wedding music. Derrick Lopez is an Aruban native guitarist that juggles his personal life with the love he has for music and jamming with friends. He helps students of all ages to develop their musical skills, passing on knowledge as a full time teacher at Aruba’s Music School. At what age did you start studying music? My never ending journey with music started when I was 11 years old. Where did you study music? I studied music at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood California. What Instruments do you play and what inspired you to pick these up? I play the electric and acoustic guitar. From a young age I was intrigued by the way the guitar’s strings sounded. The challenge of learning a new song excited me and I am still learning. What makes you different from other wedding musicians? I have a big repertoire of finger-style acoustic songs where I play all my songs without backing tracks and that makes it a much nicer experience. I can just progress into the requested songs without gaps, and I’ve been doing it for about 10 years so, now it`s much easier for me to figure out the requested songs. Because I am used to figuring songs out on my own they always sound original and by focusing my sound using the latest technology I manage to consistently sound my best. What are your recommendations for wedding couples when it comes to selecting their wedding music? Please include  your favorites. I always recommend songs that are special or have a certain meaning to them, songs that mirror the way they feel about each other. Nowadays couples don’t go for the traditional wedding songs like the ‘Wedding March’ or the famous ‘Pachabel’, they request more modern songs instead. My favorites are A Thousand Years, Titanium, Thinking Out Loud, How Deep Is Your Love and Fields Of Gold. We have received many questions through out the years about the schedule of your performance, when exactly do you play music during a wedding ceremony? I start playing when guests arrive to be seated, then I’ll play the requested recessional and processional songs. Afterwards, I keep playing for the family pictures. Can you also play music during the cocktail hour, dinner and reception? Yes, of course I can and I almost always receive the requests to do so. I usually vary the music by playing both finger-style and lounge jazz music with backing tracks if, there aren’t any specific requests. Name an unforgettable moment you witnessed at one of the weddings you played at. Here in Aruba most weddings are either on the beach, a private island, or sometimes even hidden in caves or giant boulders of rock formations. I never forget the bride or groom’s face expressions when I play a song that is close to their heart, I can see all the warm sentiments music can bring. Every couple customizes their wedding to truly make it their own so, every single ceremony and reception I perform at is memorable. I’ve done some celebrity wedding renewals and I have also filmed an episode of The Bachelor where I played the guitar for the filming of the dinner in a cave with one of the final contestants. Lastly, what are the steps someone has to take to book you for an event? Anyone can book me through my booking agent Sunny Ray Aruba, just send an e-mail to or feel free to call the musical director at +297 5926552. For more information visit where you’ll find a video demo of my performance, a short description and a preview of my repertoire. No matter what kind of music you opt for, your chosen entertainer(s) will enhance your wedding experience and help shape your memories of that special day in Aruba. We’re here to help,  contact us today!