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.