Ed Nijst Ed Nijst immigrated with his family to the United States by boat from the Netherlands. He turned six on the boat a week prior to it's arrival past the Statue of Liberty into New York harbor. That journey set the stage for a life of appreciation for the United States. For all that it gave his family as they assimilated into the culture with a deep and sincere patriotic sense. Ed captured these moments in his song - 'Tall French Lady,' recently released on his Ed Nijst and Henk Meulstee - Collaboration CD. Ed began playing guitar, singing and writing songs when he was 16, just a year prior to joining the Air Force, where he served for four years in the early 70's. Prior to going overseas, Ed served at Altus AFB in Oklahoma where he gained a special love for the people and country-based music. Altus as well as other surrounding towns would hold monthly town gatherings to allow local musicians a chance to get on stage and sing a few songs. This was something Ed did periodically to get feedback on his writing. This music coupled with the styling of Jim Croce, Neil Diamond, Elvis and others of the day formulated Ed's style. His style is a unique blend of music that doesn't fit easily into one single genre. Rather, it is a mix of Country, Easy Listening and Pop and although the music is very melodic, the focus is on the lyrics and on the story each ballad brings. As with most aspiring songwriters, Ed was torn between working to provide for his family and focusing on his music career. He attended Cerritos College and CSULB at night while working and raising his family and after ten years, he earned degrees in Engineering and a Masters in Business. Even though Ed experienced much success in business, he never stopped writing his songs and longed to do something more with his music. Through his affiliation with the Inland Empire Song Writing Association, he met Marshal Haney, who introduced him to Harriet Schock and eventually to Nik Vinet, whom Ed admired tremendously. Later, at the urgings of Harriet Schock, Ed attended one of Nik's famous song writing classes. Unfortunately, this was to be the last class Nik would teach as shortly thereafter, Nik was diagnosed with and died of cancer. Still, Nik continues to influence Ed's songwriting. Based on Nik's teachings, Ed has many works-in-progress and is always trying to raise his words and music to that elusive 'next level.' Ed has teamed with Henk Meulstee and together they have recently released their first Collaboration CD. They met at a Harley Owner's Group gathering, where Ed was performing and have been inseparable as musical partners since. Together they've performed at other 'Harley' venues as well as performed as the opening act for a concert featuring David Earnest Lijoi. Henk Meulstee has been a singer, songwriter and professional musician for many years and the blending of their musical styles on the Collaboration CD has indeed brought the music to life. Henk Meulstee Henk Meulstee was born in Bandung, Indonesia and moved to Holland when he was one year old. He started playing music at the ripe young age of seven, when someone gave him a ukelele, which he took with him where ever he went. Henk was born in a very musical family. His mom used to sing and play guitar with her sisters in the style of the McGuire Sisters in four-part harmony. His dad had his own band, 'The Million Aires,' in which he played guitar and sang songs by Bing Crosby, the Ink Spots, and the Hi Lo's. Other relatives also were involved with music. His uncle played piano and several cousins ended up in well known bands in Europe. Henk's first band, with him on bass, guitar and vocals, were the Drifters in 1963. Together they recorded his first album. He still plays with some of the players once in a while. After several stints playing guitar, bass, keyboard and vocals with the Orientals, and the Prophecy at local clubs on the weekend, Henk joined a hard funk rock group named Chocolate Hare, on guitar and vocals and went on the road to get his music heard. During this time he backed up many other acts like Big Joe Williams, the Shirells, the Coasters, the Pinguins, the Drifters, the Platters, Ron Holden and several other acts. He also started writing his own songs and played them with the band. In 1974, he moved to Europe, where he joined the Jane Tielman Selection, with whom he traveled throughout Europe for five years. On the play-list, were again, Henk Meulstee originals. In 1979, he moved to Holland were he played guitar and sang with several bands, including the Cherokees, the Weekend Band and the Grapevines. In 1980 he started a jazz oriented trio, Space Bus, on bass and vocals. He was playing the music of George Benson, Al Jarreau, Tower of Power, Edgar Winter, Casiopea and others, besides playing the straight ahead jazz standards. In 1987, Henk moved back to California, where Brothers and Friends was born, with Henk on bass and vocals, with his brother, Jerry. He still freelances once in a while with Soundwave and sits in with different bands when asked to help out. Now, he spends his time composing with his partner Ed Nijst. The first CD is a true collaboration, hence the title. Henk did all the producing, arranging, backup vocals, fill guitars and percussion. Hope you enjoy!