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Take Five with Mark Zandveld

Mark Zandveld By

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Meet Mark Zandveld:

Bassist, producer, and composer Mark Zandveld was born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He is the director/ coordinator of the jazz quartet of the American singer/composer, Deborah Carter, to whom he is married. They produced five CDs together. They tour often abroad for concerts, jazz festivals, jazz club tours, and seminars in many countries like The Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, USA, Azerbaijan, Tunisia, Russia, Lithuania, Colombia, Austria, Canada, Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, Switzerland, UK, Malta, Turkey, France.

Besides that, Mark initiated his own instrumental group Zandscape, for which he composes all the material.

Mark started studying the guitar at the age of thirteen. A few years later he switched over to the bass. He began playing in various rhythm & blues bands as well as backing up various well-known artists such as Arthur Conley, Candy Dulfer. In his mid-twenties he went off to Hollywood to study at the renowned Bass Institute of Technology, receiving the award of Yamaha Bassist of the Year, at the end of his course.

Returning to Europe, he played and recorded with several R&B, funk, and jazz groups and artists. Mark also has been teaching bass guitar and music theory in schools and various seminars throughout Europe, as well as teaching privately.

In recent years Mark has been involved in programming and producing various vocal jazz concert-and session-series in Holland.

Instrument(s):

Electric and acoustic bass guitars.

Teachers and/or influences?

I studied with Jeff Berlin and Bob Magnusson at the Musicians Institute, but I'm mostly self-taught. Influences range from bassists like Steve Swallow, Jaco Pastorius, Ray Brown, Anthony Jackson and Dave Holland to other musicians, bands and composers like Pat Metheny, Bill Evans, Yellowjackets, Gary Burton and Weather Report.

Your sound and approach to music:

As a jazz bassist who plays acoustic and electric bass guitar, I strive to function like an upright player. Depending on the musical setting, I do like to open things up and and get melodic. When the material is more groove-oriented, I like to find a place somewhere between old-school soul and a more contemporary Jimmy Haslip/Anthony Jackson approach.

Your dream band:

I'm working with singer Deborah J. Carter, and have my own project Zandscape, for which I compose as well. Can't wish for more!

Favorite venue:

I love playing festivals and theaters in Spain. The outdoors concerts in beautiful weather and historic settings are very fond memories. But I also enjoy playing weekly in Bethany's Jazz Club in my home town, Amsterdam!

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

My favorite recording is usually the latest CD. Which for now is my project, Zandscape. On this album, for the first time I wrote all the music and and chose the instrumentation with vibes and guitar accompanied by bass and drums. We got to explore interesting harmonies and create an original sound.

The first Jazz album I bought was:

Gary Burton, The New Quartet (ECM).

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?

After playing with vocalists for decades, I'd like to consider that a speciality. That said, I've been getting very positive comments on the instrumental tunes I wrote for Zandscape, so my focus is shifting towards composing now.

CDs you are listening to now:

Gary Burton/Pat Metheny, Quartet Live! (Concord);

Meddy Gerville, Sobat' ek lamour;
Al Jarreau, Accentuate the Positive (GRP);

Gal Costa, Gal Costa canta Tom Jobim (Sony BMG);

Jimmy Haslip, Red Heat (Unitone Recordings).

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

The jazz scene nowadays seems very much alive. Musician all over the world embrace the music and add there individual and/or national flavor to it. I like the interesting mixes that are the result of that, like the flamenco jazz in Spain, or some European/Arab blends I've heard.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Mark Zandveld

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