THE ACADEMY of?ST OLAVE’S – Mark Crooks
Clarinet soloist Mark Crooks played Dick Blackford’s clarinet concerto with the orchestra in 2009. The concerto was written for Mark in 1987.
Mark Crooks has released several CDs with his own quintet to great critical acclaim. He is a member of the superb John Wilson and Back To Basie Orchestras.
Mark Crooks studied clarinet at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and then 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 variety of musical settings including classical worksessions and shows on saxophones and clarinet but his real love is for jazz clarinet. He has appeared at jazz clubs and festivals all over Europe including residencies at Ronnie Scott’s and the Pizza Express Jazz Club.
In 2007 Mark was invited to be the Clarinet Soloist with James Langton’s Solid Senders Orchestra for two special performances at the National Concert Hall in Dublin of the music of Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw. The sold-out concerts were a huge success and a London Premiere for Artie Shaw with Strings was quickly arranged for the Cadogan Hall in September 2008.
Mark has released three CDs with his own quintet to great critical acclaim.” I Won’t Dance” and ” How My Heart Sings” were the first. His most recent album “After You’ve Gone” was released in September 2008. As well as his own group Mark is a member of the celebrated John Wilson Orchestra and the superb Back To Basie Orchestra.
“a star on clarinet” – Jazz UK
17 January 2009