Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Gratama, Marc, drums; b. Netherlands, 23 July 1968. Marc Gratama started playing drums at the age of 9. In 1982, he and his family moved to Iowa City, Iowa. During his time in Iowa he performed and recorded extensively as part of the Iowa City music scene. After having studied classical percussion at the University of Iowa, Marc transferred to Berklee College of Music to focus on his drumset playing and graduated with a Professional Music Diploma in the summer of 1997.
During his five years as a Boston resident Marc was very active on the East Coast music scene, performing in Boston, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Martha's Vineyard and New York with steady projects, recordings and freelance work. In New York he performed with Cuba Gooding and the Main Ingredient. The Main Ingredient wrote and recorded the popular song "Everybody Plays the Fool" which was later covered by Aaron Neville of the Neville Brothers. Apart from his musical endeavors in Boston, Marc performed with various rock groups, funk groups, jazz small groups and Big Bands in the United States, Holland, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden and Hungary. Marc has performed with many well-established musicians including Phil Wilson, Hal Crook, Dave La Spina, John Abercrombie, George Garzone, and Jerry Bergonzi. He also toured and recorded with Bergonzi for the Swedish X-Records label in the fall of '94 and the Dutch A-Records label in the fall of '95.
Marc's most recent work in the U.S. was a recording in New York with the fusion band Neptune Ensemble for the American Hi-Test records label. In August of 1998, Marc moved back to Holland, where he was in high demand as a freelance drummer. He was a member of the Max Vax Trio, performing at the 1999 Iowa City Jazz Festival, and played with such European notables as Jazz tenor saxophonist Dick de Graaf, bassists Theo de Jong, Hein van der Geyn, Jean Louis Rassinfosse, as well as Hans "Big Boy" Dulfer and Saskia Laroo. Marc can be heard on the upcoming solo album by Debbie Sledge, one of the famous 70's "Sister Sledge" disco queens. While living in the Netherland he was part of the Amalgam Jazz Quartet, and recorded a CD with them In May of 2001. The Self-Titled CD has since been released on the Dutch GOY Records label. More information on Amalgam and the CD can be found at www.Amalgam.nl
In September of 1999, and again in October of 2000, he played drums for the Tribal Love Musical "Hair", touring throughout Italy for two months. From the fall of 2001 and into 2002, Marc played drums for an "open run" production of the Andrew Loyd Webber / Tim Rice musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, at Chicago's Royal George Theater and at the Chicago Center for the Performing Arts. Since January 2002, Marc has been a member of the up and coming original R&B/Soul group Starcandy. More Starcandy information can be found at www.starcandy.net.
Marc is currently producing as well as playing drums on a new CD with original songwriter and guitarist T.J. Holsen and Chicago bass player Michael Weimann. He also continues to teach drums privately.