Mark Haanstra

Hoofdvakdocent Jazz Elektrische Bas

Mark Haanstra is a versatile bass guitar and double bass player living in the Netherlands. He started playing classical piano at an early age but switched to bass in his teens after hearing the music of James Brown. Soon after he started his studies at the Conservatory of Amsterdam where he graduated cum-laude in 1997. His recognizable sound, groove and flexibility make him a much sought after musician by artists, ensembles and orchestras in many genres.

Mark won several prizes, including the Dutch Jazz Competition with the Nemesis Quartet (1994), Geel (1998) and Agog (2002).

Last 10 years Mark recorded and played in over 30 countries with artists such as Yuri Honing, Simon Phillips, Terry Bozzio, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Morgan Ågren & Mats Öberg, Theo Loevendie, Jam de la Crème, Windkracht 7, Ellen ten Damme, Tini Thomsen Max Sax (feat. Nigel Hitchcock) and the Barnicle Bill Trio (featuring drum legend John Engels).

Mark played with major classical ensembles and orchestras including Concertgebouw Orkest, MDR Sinfonieorchester, Asko Schoenberg, Nieuw Ensemble and many more. Besides this he is a soloist in Steve Mackey’s Grammy Award-winning work Dreamhouse, which has been performed and recorded by several renowned orchestras such as the BBC and New York Philharmonic.

Currently one of his main projects is his duo with viola player Oene van Geel: Their album ‘Shapes of Time’ got released in March 2018 and received rave reviews from the press. For season 2019/20 Mark is the bass player for David Bowie’s musical Lazarus. Through this production he met Henry Hey, who has worked with Bowie on this monumental work. Together with singer songwriter Jeff Taylor and drummer Marc Schenk they founded the new band Test Propeller. September 2019 they toured in some of Holland’s main venues.

Mark teaches bass and ensemble at the Prince Claus Conservatoire in Groningen and the Royal Conservatoire The Hague.

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