A life on stage
– Mat Clasen was James Last's saxophonist and flutist until his death in 2015. He plays with Otto Waalkes (personal highlight: OTTO and the Friesenjungs 2018 in Wacken) and has worked with Stefan Gwildis and many others for many years. Mat learned a lot more about making music on stage than in the rehearsal room. Immediately after his community service in 1990, he joined the then new and revolutionary Street Band tattoo and blasted one or the other party with the sheer force of the nearly thirty-strong formation, standing on the tables in the midst of an enthusiastic crowd who loudly shouted the solo lines. The first tours with Tony Christie, Vicky Leandros and Otto Waalkes soon followed. In 1999 Mat became saxophonist and flutist in the James Last Orchestra and played 334 concerts here on various tours, 17 of them in the holy grail of concert halls, the Royal Albert Hall in London.
– In addition to the above, Mat works or worked with Michy Reincke, Wolfgang Müller, Niels Frevert, Duncan Townsend, Omar, Flo Mega, Joja Wendt, Inga Rumpf, Rudolf Rock, Jan Delay (as a sub for Lieven Las Vegas), Helene Fischer (as a sub for Olge "Rool" Rovner), Sasha (as a sub for Denis Gäbel), Markus Wiebusch or Kettcar (as sub for Sebastian Borkowski), Achim Reichel (sub for Andreas Böther) and many others. From 2010 to 2012 Mat played in The Lion King, occasionally replacing Katie Zahn on various flutes.
– Mat plays all common saxophones (soprano, alto, tenor, baritone), all common flutes (piccolo, bass flute, alto flute, bass flute), clarinet, bass clarinet, pan flute and ethnic flutes (e.g. tinwhistle, Chinese bamboo flute). Stability of notes and experience as an arranger or composer are just as much a part of his craft on stage and beforehand in the rehearsal room as playing percussion instruments or singing choral parts.