Interview with Bassist Mark Neuenschwander
The following shows are a tribute to drummer, band leader, impresario, landscape artist and bad joke teller Al Hixon and the musicians and singers who appear at his long-running Jazz Jam, currently 6:30-9:30 every Monday night (Oct 3-May 15) at
15 South Ristorante 15 So, Blvd of the Presidents Sarasota, FL 34236
9-6-16 Outstanding bassist Mark Neuenschwander is one of the busiest musicians in in Florida and, luckily for us, he sets aside one Monday a month to share his remarkable talent – and wicked wit – to join Al and Billy at 15 So – and accompany the fortunate singers and musicians who perform there. Mark has played with Billy Eckstine, Cab Calloway, Rosemary Clooney, Michael Feinstein, Atlanta Ballet, Tampa Bay Opera, Philharmonia Virtuosi, The Florida Orchestra, Eddie Arnold, Bob Hope, Red Skelton, Andrea Bocelli, Herb Alpert, Yanni, Chick Corea, The Moody Blues and the 5th Dimension as well as over 140 national Broadway touring shows Also respected as an educator/clinician, Mark is on the faculties of USF, SPC, Southeastern University.
Ironically Mark never expected to live a life dedicated to music, it seemed to sneak up on him. Self-effacing, Mark says that he wasn’t born to do this. Continually told how smart he was, Mark believed he had to be an engineer or a physicist or a combination of both, but music just kept getting in the way. Mark’s is the story of a man who kept trying to be what they told him he should be, but who kept bumping his head against what he actually is – until finally realizing and allowing himself to embrace and enjoy the “tremendous” joy of doing what he loves to do and getting paid for it. Listen to this candid man describe his, not a straight line journey, to becoming the musician he always was. And hear his solo on a cut from a CD with pianist Johnny Varro.