Growing up in a small town in the state of Missouri, Bart comes from a mixed European heritage — predominantly German, Scottish and Irish. Somewhere in that genetic blend there must have been an entertainment gene, igniting Bart's creativity and performance tendencies at a very young age. By the time he was 10 years old, Bart was emceeing school productions, as well as performing as a magician and ventriloquist at talent shows, church functions, and Boy Scout jamborees. It was also during this time that he was producing/directing/creating/performing shows (not unlike The Little Rascals) for all of the kids in his neighborhood.
At the age of 12, having worn out all of the Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass vinyl albums in the house, Bart began to further explore his love for music by learning to play percussion instruments through his school's band program. It was during his second year with the school concert band that Bart took his savings (a whole $365) and bought his first drum kit — a used set of Ludwig drums — and joined the school's jazz band. The year that followed included the addition of the high school marching band to his music experience.
By the time he was 15, Bart was playing with several "garage" bands in his hometown and performing professionally with several music groups in the surrounding area. It was also at this time that he began to explore ethnic music and teach himself to play a wide variety of hand percussion instruments, as well as keyboard percussion instruments (eg. xylophone, vibraphone, marimba) incorporating 2-mallet and 4-mallet techniques.
Some of Bart's professional polka music performance credits include:
- Nashville Oktoberfest (five years)
- Chattanooga Oktoberfest (five years)
- Tennessee Volksfest (two years)
- Helen Oktoberfest at the Helen Festhalle in Helen, GA
- Clarksville Oktoberfest
- Cullman Oktoberfest
- Columbia TN Oktoberfest
- Knoxville Oktoberfest
- Plus numerous International festivals, biergartens, restaurants and private events
To learn more about Bart, visit bartelliott.com.