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Mark Crooks

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Biography of Mark Crooks

Mark began his musical training by earning a degree in music performance at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music. He moved to London to study on the postgraduate jazz course at the Guildhall School of Music after winning the Young Jazz Player of the Year Competition in 1991.

Since leaving college Mark has worked in a wide range of musical settings including classical work and shows but is most at home in the jazz world. He has played in all of London’s top jazz venues and at jazz festivals up and down the country. A recent highlight was a week’s engagement at Ronnie Scott’s with the John Critchinson Quartet opposite the Mingus Big Band.

Mark’s own group features his clarinet and tenor with the brilliant guitar playing of Colin Oxley and is featured on his highly-rated CDs “I Won’t Dance” and “How My Heart Sings”.

Mark is a member of the superb Back To Basie Orchestra and the celebrated John Wilson Orchestra . He also enjoys appearing in a two-tenor “ Al and Zoot” group with Jim Tomlinson and a two-clarinet “Benny” quintet with Julian Stringle.

Mark was invited to play the part of Artie Shaw in a gala tribute concert in Dublin in January 2006 featuring The Solid Senders Orchestra with strings.The sold-out concert featured Mark performing classic Shaw repertoire including Stardust,Begin The Beguine and Nightmare, along with the infamous Interlude in Bb for clarinet and string quartet and the virtuoso Concerto for Clarinet.The concert was such a great success that Mark was immediately invited back to perform a Benny Goodman programme in April 2007 and to reprise the Artie Shaw with Strings Concert in September 2008. A UK Premiere of the Concert in September 2008 at the prestigious Cadogan Hall,London,SW1 has recently been confirmed.
"AFTER YOU'VE GONE" Mark's third album was released to great acclaim in September 2008.Mark was invited to feature as clarinet soloist with an all American band at the Lincoln Center in New York in June 2010.

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