Mark Haanstra is a versatile bass player based 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, Marzio Scholten, Theo Loevendie, Marnix Busstra, Jam de la Crème, Windkracht 7, Ellen ten Damme, Tini Thomsen Max Sax (feat. Nigel Hitchcock) and the Barnicle Bill Trio (featuring saxophonist Miguel Martinez and drum legend John Engels). He also plays in the indi rock band Martha Jane & the Talisman and a brand new duo with viola player and composer Oene van Geel.
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. Mackey also asked him to be part of his New York based prog-rock band Big Farm. Their album was released in 2012 and received a Grammy nomination.
Mark has been teaching at the Prince Claus Conservatoire in Groningen since 2004.