Mark Bassnett Musical Biography
I am 53 years old and have been playing music since the age of 7. I joined DV8 earlier this year (2016) as a keyboard player. My first music lesson was on a church organ where I could barely reach the keyboard. I took up playing the clarinet at Junior school and Saxophone came later.
I studied a music foundation course at the now closed Coventry School of Music in Percy Street, Coventry. Here I progressed my studies in Piano, Clarinet and Saxophone to an advanced level. I took part in Musician of the Year competition whilst studying here.
I was a member of the Coventry Schools Choir and performed in a Save the Children Fund concert in front of HRH Princess Royal in 1985. The choir developed and then became Coventry Youth Singers and eventually Crescendo, a Cabaret style male and female singing and dance act. We performed many concerts in Coventry and completed 2 sell out tours of the Mosel region of Germany. We made an album on limited edition black vinyl. I still have it!! Darn it you didn't know I could sing .... don't tell Dave I can sing!!!
While in Crescendo I used my musical knowledge to create arrangements for us to perform. The best efforts being a Flying Pickets style arrangement of Only You and Barry Manilow's version of Bandstand Boogie. Others were For Your Eyes Only which made it to the album and America from West Side Story. I also played show stopping solos on the Saxophone while on tour. Saving All My Love For You by Whitney Houston being the highlight in front of 2000 German fans in Bernkastel town.
I have performed in many amateur dramatics pit orchestras across Midlands theatres playing Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Alto, Tenor and Baritone saxes in shows such as Barnum, Annie Get Your Gun, Singing In The Rain, Chess, Chicago and 42nd Street.
I was a member of the Mussolini Brothers "Juganaut of Musical Mayhem", a 12 piece outfit covering all genres from Blues Brothers to The Commitments, Glen Miller, Beatles and Van Morrison. This was the only time In my life I have played the double Sax solo from "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick" Ian Dury and The Blockheads.
I have various musical interests and enjoy playing and listening to music. My favourite artists are Bob James and Four Play Jazz ensemble. I play Saxophone in the Tongue and Groove big band who are made up of some the finest jazz musicians, teachers and professional musicians in Coventry .... not sure how I got in there. We gig as regularly as possible and rehearse when we can.
Currently my day job is Desktop Support Team Leader for Airwave Solutions who provide the critical communications radio network for the emergency services.