|Born in the Netherlands, Chicago based drummer Marc Gratama started playing the 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. Some of the Iowa bands Marc has played with include Fairchildren, Johnson County Landmark Big Band, Funkfarm, Blue Tunas, Meanstreet and the Hellhorns, Divin' Duck and Dagobah.|
After having studied classical percussion at the University of Iowa, Marc transferred to Berklee College of Music to focus on his drumset playing and emerged as a Professional Music graduate 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. Cuba Gooding 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, Massimo Biolcati, 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 then went on to perform and record with the Boston fusion power trio Neptune Ensemble for the 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 Bobby Jacobs, Theo de Jong, Hein van der Geyn, Jean Louis Rassinfosse, as well as Hans "Big Boy" Dulfer and Dutch trumpet player Saskia Laroo. While in Holland, Marc played drums on a solo album by Debbie Sledge, one of the famous 70's "Sister Sledge" disco queens. He was also part of the Amalgam Jazz Quartet, and recorded a CD with them In May of 2001. 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", performing in theatres throughout Italy.
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.
Marc was a founding member of the Chicago based original R&B/Soul group Starcandy. More information can be found here.
In 2003, Marc engineered and played drums on a CD entitled "Elastic" by the Chicago based band of the same name. More information on the CD can be found here.
In 2008, Marc played drums on Anibal Rojas' CD debut. More information can be found HERE
Marc has performed with world renowned bass player Anthony Cox in the Scea/Grismore Group, and can be heard on their 2006 CD release entitled "Well Behaved Fish" on the Accurate Records Label, and again on their 2007 CD release entitled "Contemporary Residents" on the BluJazz label. He also continues to perform with local Chicago bands and musicians such as the Associates Band, The Last Best Hope, The Chris Winters Band, pianist Mark Maegdlin, bass player Jim Stechschulte, and Gitchagumi