To Top

Life & Work with Mark D’Ambrosio

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mark D’Ambrosio.

Hi Mark, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
My name is Mark D’Ambrosio and I am a percussionist, handpan player, music educator, and event organizer from Longmont, Colorado. I have been passionate about music my whole life and started playing the drums when I was ten years old. I played throughout school and with different projects and ultimately studied music in college at Colorado Mesa University. (Class of 2018) In 2013, I started playing an instrument called the handpan, a rare and unique percussion instrument from Switzerland which is sort of like a steel drum that is played with the hands. Since beginning playing the handpan I have traveled all across the world playing and teaching handpan music. I have recorded a full-length album (Bird of Paradise, released October 26th, 2020), authored the first-ever handpan educational book (the Hal Leonard Handpan method) and created the annual “Steel Mountain Handpan Gathering” Colorado’s largest handpan event. These days I operate my studio in Longmont, where I teach aspiring handpan players, sell handpans, and write and record new music.

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The handpan is a brand new artform, so when I began playing, there were very few resources for learning how to play. I had to develop my own approach to the instrument from my knowledge of other instruments and styles of music. Still to this day, handpans are produced in relatively small numbers, and there is a large amount of misinformation online. Consequently, it is quite easy to get tricked or straight up scammed when players are first starting out. Because of this, it is my mission to help new handpan enthusiasts find reliable information, a handpan that fits them, and to learn, create, and have fun!

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am the only in-person handpan teacher in all of Colorado. Additionally, I sell and rent handpans from handpan makers from all across the globe in my studio. If you’re looking at getting your first handpan, then come down to my Longmont studio to take a free intro lesson and play all of my different inventory!

What matters most to you? Why?
I am passionate about growing the handpan artform in Colorado! This instrument has brought so much joy to me, so I think it is my responsibility to bring that same joy to other people! Colorado needs more people playing handpan and I am here to help make that happen!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Jackson Issacs and Above Alpine Photography.

Suggest a Story: VoyageDenver is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in