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Marc Mommaas Tenor Saxophone
Marc Mommaas Tenor Saxophone


Marc Mommaas comes from a creative background. With four generations of professional musicians in his DNA the arts in all its varieties quickly became an integral part of his life. He grew up with his mother performing and teaching opera and classical piano, and his father in the center of the Dutch art scene using oil on canvas as his art form while being deeply passionate about Jazz and Improvisation.
During his study in Amsterdam he combined his musical development with a university education (Masters in Comm.Science/Business). After being awarded two Dutch grants (Stichting Podium Kunsten, Prins Bernard Fonds Anjer Fondsen) he made the move to New York City in 1997. Once in New York he received a full scholarship to attend the Manhattan School of Music where he became a Cum Laude Graduate and was awarded the William H. Borden Award.
Marc Mommaas made his debut as a leader in his 1999 recording "Global Motion Trio" with Nikolaj Hess (piano) and John Hebert (bass). In 2001 the acclaimed drummer Tony Moreno joined the group. Since joining Sunnyside records as a recording artist in 2003 he released five intrinsically different albums bearing witness of his immense stylistic versatility and his unique and powerful approach in sound and composition.
"A fearless improviser on both tenor and soprano, Mommaas has the ability and sense of spontaneous composition to start from almost nothing and build solos that were alive with energy and commitment, fairly bristling with power" (John Kelman, All About Jazz).

In 2003 after an extensive tour in Europe the band returned to NYC to record the critically acclaimed studio album "Global Motion".
"For the last two decades Sunnyside has showcased some of the best and brightest jazz musicians on the scene. "Global Motion" is no exception. It heralds the sound of the 21st century" (By Eugene Holley, SunnySideRecords).
This record was followed by another well received Sunnyside release titled Balance (2006), a long anticipated duo recording with pianist and longtime friend Nikolaj Hess.
"Part of the reason for Mommaas’ unexpected accessibility, in spite of his freedom to go his own way when he winds improvisatory lines, is his attention to tone and an unspoken narration. For Mommaas does have stories to tell through his music. His use of clipped phrases, upward sweeps, intervallic leaps and approximations of the human voice create segments within the lengths of his tunes that bear wordless explication and exclamation". (Bill Donaldson, Jazzimprov).
In 2010 he jumped into a new project born out of his extensive collaboration with drummer Tony Moreno. It became “Landmarc, the guitar project”, a band with three guitars, sax, drums and no bass. The touring band includes two stellar guitars, Vic Juris and Nate Radley. Acclaimed critic Thomas Conrad of Jazztimes cited this release as "Landmarc is a breakout recording for Mommaas," which was reaffirmed by notable critic Dick Hovenga of Written in Music: "Landmarc is a true masterpiece and Mommaas is the man to watch out for".
Not content to rest on his accomplishments, Mommaas challenged himself further by releasing his ambitious and highly successful solo Saxophone project “Irreversible Momentum” inspired by and in commemoration of his father who passed away in 2009. A reflective counterpart is another release where Mommaas connects with his roots and the tradition of Jazz, his first love. This release includes ballads and standards in collaboration with Nikolaj Hess and guests Vic Juris and Thomas Morgan. "Ballads and Standards is an album that you want to keep returning to. An album full of timeless Jazz of unprecedented beauty that will touch your heart deeply" (Dick Hovenga, Written in Music).


At the moment he is working in a new formation presenting 5 extended suites written over the last three years. The center of the band is saxophone, drums, bass, guitar and piano which can be extended with a full string quartet. Some of the musicians involved are Johannes Weidenmueller, Matt Clohesy, Nate Radley, Sebastian Noelle, Gary Versace, Nikolaj Hess, Ari Honig and Dann Weiss.
Marc has toured the world with many formations as a side man including the Amina Figarova sextet featuring Alex Norris, Bart Platteau, Jason Brown and Rashaan Carter, and with other formations lead by the Tony Moreno Quintet including Ron Horton, Oganna Okegno and Jean Michel, Ron Hortons group with Frank Kimbrough, John O'Gallagher, Tim Horner and Dean Johnson and Sebastian Noelle's formation including Dan Weiss, Matt Clohesy and Matt Mitchel.
He played all the main stages, from the New Port Jazz Festival to Carnegy Hall. Besides his impressive career as a saxophonist and improviser he also made his mark as an educator. He co-founded the New York Jazz Workshop with Marco Chelo and Hudson Jazz Works with Armen Donelian, a faculty member of the New School, has given masterclasses on conservatoria across the globe, and is an in demand saxophone and composition teacher in NYC. Marc is currently working on a text book on "a rhythmic approach of improvisation and composition for linear instruments" and a new work focusing on Harmony and Improvisation in combination with Infodesign.

Check it out in the Music page









Saxophonist / Composer Marc Mommaas, NYC.




Marc Mommaas, tenor saxophonist and composer was born in Tegelen, Netherlands on Sept. 12th, 1969. He grew up in Amsterdam and since 1997 made NYC his home.


His father Henk Mommaas, was a well-known painter/artist in the Netherlands and developed his career in Amsterdam. His mother Carolien Collette is a pianist, opera singer and educator. His grandfather on his mother’s side was a professional multi instrumentalist playing flute, viola da gamba, recorder, organ, spinet and harpsichord and taught at the conservatory of Maastricht. His grandmother on his mothers side was an opera singer and his great grandfather an organ player.


Although always surrounded by music and playing accordion and chromatic harmonica he first became an athlete (swimming). Training ten times a week built up his discipline and concentration while competing all over Europe gave him a taste of the joys of visiting different countries experiencing their cultures. At 16 years of age injuries in his shoulders stopped him in his track and he returned to music. He decided on tenor-saxophone.


His first hero was Ben Webster who he shook hands with at a Sunday afternoon concert when he was 3 years old by climbing on stage to say goodbye and to thank him for the music. His first teacher was Ronnie Rem (an alto saxophonist) who introduced him to Stan Getz, Bill Evans and Charlie Parker, followed by flutist and saxophonist Peter Guidi who became his mentor and introduced him to Coltrane, Rollins and Cannonball Adderley. He also had some lessons from Jasper Blom (saxophonist and educator, teaches on the conservatory of Amsterdam). Coming from a rebellious artist background the self-taught road appealed more to him than the common conservatory route. During Marc's musical study he managed to combine his musical development with a university education.


After finishing his education (Master-degree in Comm. Science/Business/Economics at the University of Amsterdam, 1995) he visited New York City to continue his musical career. There he studied with wellknown musicians David Liebman, Garry Dial, and Dick Oatts. He returned to Holland where he continued to work as a freelance musician. After receiving two grants (Stichting Podium Kunsten, Prins Bernard Cultuur Fonds/Anjer Fondsen, 1997) he returned to New York where he continued his musical development by participating in master classes and studying composition, harmony and piano with Garry Dial who became his main mentor. Not ready to return to the Netherlands Mommaas extended his stay by applying at the Manhattan School of Music. He received a full scholarship (2000) where he pursued his Master's in Jazz Performance and upon graduating was awarded the 'William H. Borden Award' (2002), given to one student out of the graduating class for outstanding achievement. He also participated in the Lake Placid Seminar (1997) and the Aspen Snowmass Jazz Sessions (2001) for which he received full scholarships.


New York City became his home from where he would expand his wings. He frequently tours Europe, Scandinavia and Canada with different formations and tours on a regular basis with his band "Global Motion", making his first recording as a leader in 1999. In 2002 the renowned percussionist/drummer from New York City, Tony Moreno joined the band. Global Motion also includes alternating bass players John Hebert from New Orleans and Jay Anderson from New York City, and pianist Nikolaj Hess from Copenhagen. In 2006 Balance was released by Sunnyside Records, a long anticipated duo recording with Nikolaj Hess which received critical praise. The third release by Sunnyside records and fourth release as a leader is Landmarc, a guitar project including three guitarists, Nate Radley, Vic Juris and Rez Abbasi, and on drums Tony Moreno. Compositions are written without bass function and is a testament to the depth in Mommaas’ rhythmic language.


Mommaas’ goal in his art form has always been to create boundless freedom of expression, not restricted by any technical or intellectual limitations. Balancing harmonic depth, a natural talent for melody and an endless pallet of rhythmic colors Mommaas has created his own sound both as a performer and composer. As an artist he feels the importance of connecting with his environment by presenting a musical language that is in balance with the time we live in. He attracts students from all over the world and is co-founder of HJW (Hudson Jazzworks) and NYJW (New York Jazz Workshops).


“Now Marc Mommaas finds himself at the zenith of his musical powers with Landmarc, a recording that best exemplifies the kind of “tradition in transition” artistry that modern jazz is all about. “It is the artist’s goal to translate the emotions, ideas and energy that we live in into an uplifting, sincere and powerful sound with relevance.” ---------------------------------------------------------------------- By Eugene Holley (2010)









Some of the Musicians that Mommaas played with:

Frank Kimbrough, Nikolaj Hess, Art Lande, Jean Michel Pilc, Armen Donelian, Jim mcNeely, Chris Davis, Amina Figarove, Bill Gerhardt, Henry Hey, Russ Lossing, Garry Dial, Garry Versage, Allen Farnham, Jurgen Friedrich, Mads Baerentzen, Kenny Werner, George Colligan, Jim Ridl, Scott Tinkler, Christian McBride, Roland Guerin, Jay Anderson, Rufus Reid, Francois Moutin, Ben Allison, Dean Johnson, Boris Koslov, Ben Street, John Hebert, Eivind Opsvik, Carla de Rosa, Stefan Lievestro, Matt Pavolka, Phil Palombi, Brad Jones, Roland Guerin, Thomas Morgan, Anders Christensen (AC), Johannes Weidenmeuller, Belden Bullock, Martin Wind, Luques Curtis, Rashaan Carter, Tony Marino, Reggie Workman, Mark Sherman, Joe Locke, David Liebman, Chris Cheek, Scott Robinson, Ted Nash, Rez Abbasi, Vic Juris, Miles Okazaki, Ben Monder, Nate Radley, Sebastian Noelle, Mike Moreno, Sheryl Bailey, Dave Allen, Brad Shepik, John Hart, Tom Chang, Tony Moreno, Tim Horner, Dan Weiss, Ted Poor, Tyshawn Sorey, Jeff Hirshfield, Jeff Ballard, Billy Drummond, Henry Cole, Rob Garcia, Jeff Davis, Mark Ferber, Matt Wilson, Allison Miller ,Jason BrownJacob Bro, Mikkel Hess, Gregory Hutchinson, Dena DeRose, Corinne Bailey Ray, Fay Victor, Ron Horton, Ralph Alessi, Alex Sipiagin, Alex 'Pope' Norris, Ernie Hammes, Matt Schulman, Doug Beavers......







Some of the places where Marc Mommaas performed;



New Orleans Jazz Fest, Chicago Jazz Festival, Twin Tower Jazz Festival, Vancouver Jazz Festival, Calgary Jazz Festival, Copenhagen Jazz Festival, The Dutch Jazz Festival in Madrid, Arhus Jazz Festival, Edmonton Jazz Festival, Medicine Hat Jazz Festival, Tri-C Cleveland Jazz Festival, Hudson 400 Festival, New Port Jazz Festival, Euro Jazz Festival Mexico City, Rochester Jazz Festival, Gene Harris Jazz Festival, NYC Winterfest, Erie jazz Festival, Detroit Jazz Festival, Bakersfield Jazz Festival, Portland Jazz Festival, Jazz Festival Mexicali, Jazz Festival Ensenada, Somer's point Jazz Festival...



Carnegy Hall NYC, Lincoln Center NYC, Dizzy's Club Lincoln Center NYC, Blue Note NYC, Jazz Standard, 55Bar, Corneliastreet Cafe, Yoshi's Oakland, Improv. San Diego, Atheneum La Jolla, Kitano NYC, Dakota Club, Blue Wisp, Copenhagen Jazz House, Thorveldson Museum, Circulo des bellas Artes Madrid, Nighttown Cleveland, Fundacion Carlos de Ambers Madrid, Mahogany Hall, Artishock, Jazzaffairs Hoorn, Jazzpower Eindhoven, SJU huis, Kunsthuis 13, Bethanian Klooster, Brewery Arts Center, Jazzbakery LA, Scandinavia House NYC, Smalls, Blaagaardse Apotek DK, The Blender theater, Sweet Rhythm, Joe's Pub, Kerrytown Concerthall, Yardbird Suite CA, Yukon Arts Center CA, Erie Art Museum, Philadelpia Art Museum, Settlement Music School Philly, ShowCase Chicago, Snug Harbor New Orleans, Richmond Jazzsociety, Victoria Jazzsociety, Piedmond Jazz Alliance, Giant Steps DK, Bimhuis NL, Lantarn Venster NL, Indie House Baltimore, Paradox Tilburg, Jazzstation Brussels, Jazz Kongress Trier, Beaux Jazz Breda, Blue Monk Mexico City, De Werf Brugge, DJS Dordrecht, Porgy and Bess Terneusen, Metropolitan Room NYC, Jazz Gallery NYC, De Doelen NL, Puffin Foundation NJ, The Music Village Brussels, L'ilnoui Luxembourgh, Smalls NYC, Firehouse12, Deerhead in PA, Hnita Jazz BE, Musis Sacrum NL, Cliff Bells Detroit, Smalls NYC, Bach Society CA, Outpost NM, Jazz Alley Seattle, MCG Pittsburgh, .......


Schedule a lesson through skype.

If you are not in the NYC area and would like advice, lessons etc a new option is to hook it up through skype. For this you need to email me a link to a music sample etc......