Meurkens began to play vibraphone at the age of 16 and had lessons with Wolfgang Schlüter in 1976 and 1977. Under the impression of Toots Thielemans , he also studied autodidactically with the chromatic harmonica. Between 1977 and 1988 he studied at the Berklee College of Music . Afterwards, he lived in Brazil for some time. Back in Hamburg, he worked for Torsten Zwingenberger as a vibraphonist, worked as a gastsolist of the «Danish Radio Orchestra», but also with Buddy Tate and Sweets Edison as well as head of own bands. With Brazilian musicians, he recorded his record «Samba Importado» (1989), with Claudio Roditi and Paquito D’Rivera «Sambahia» (1991). In 1992, he moved to New York, where he went on tour internationally – with the trio of Ray Brown , for example. Meurkens worked with Toots Thielemans, Dick Oatts , Harvie Swartz , Herb Ellis , Charlie Byrd , James Moody , Herbie Mann , Monty Alexander, and Mundell Lowe, and also founded the New York Samba All Stars alongside his quartet. He also worked as a film composer (among others «Dolores Claiborne»).
Meurkens is regarded as the most important harmonica player in the jazz scene since Toots Thielemans. In 2000, he was engaged as a soloist by the «International Harmonica Summit» in Minneapolis and in 2001 by the «World Harmonica Festival» in Trossingen .