Mark grew up in the seaside town of Torquay in South West England in the 70's and early 80's in a busy, artistic home full of music and foreign visitors. His father is a a trumpet player and his mother a singer who are still active in their late 70's today! His first musical memory is sitting right under the upright piano in a workers club while his Dad played in a "trad Jazz" band at Sunday brunch. By age 10, Mark was exploring music for himself, playing his Dad's old guitar and listening to everything he could on TV, radio and records. He soon got a cheap electric guitar and so the journey began.................
Being the son of musicians in a popular tourist town led Mark to numerous performance opportunities at a very early age. Not least was the chance at age 15 to play a Sunday residency and many events with his father's then new band High Society which is still playing to this day. He also played in local rock and pop groups and began busking in the streets for extra cash! From the get-go mark moved comfortably through the worlds of Jazz, Rock, Folk and other styles of music and he began developing his own voice and repertoire at this time.
Age 19 and with five solid years of performance behind him but not enough opportunity at home to satisfy a hungry young musician, Mark took a chance and moved to Paris France with his guitar. He busked there for close to 2 years while honing his craft and seeking any opportunity that may present itself! There he performed with musicians from all over the world and met his first wife who happened to be from Vermont and so in 1987 began many visits to the state that culminated in his settling there in 1998.
Mark moved to London in 1989 and quickly developed a reputation as an upright bass player. He spent the next few years playing up to 10 shows a week everywhere from dive bars to theaters, festivals and even a couple royal events! These were Mark's real formative years as a professional and he studied with Mario Castronari, a Jazz virtuoso and a fixture on the London scene. During these years mark played with a popular blues trio, the uk group The Spikedrivers, toured Europe with Irish band, Waxies Dargle, and worked often for the London Music Agency with the David Price Hot Jazz Quartet, a Gypsy Jazz band active at the time.
With The Spikedrivers at the Kings Head Theater Bar, London , England
Played events and Jazz festivals for the London Music Agency all over southern England in the early 1990's with brothers Doug and Ron-Phillipe Wilson on Guitar, David Price on Banjo and Mark on Bass.
Mark moved to the US in 1995 and completed his studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston before moving to Vermont to raise his family in 1998 . In Vermont he taught for 16 years including work at the Long Trail School, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Burr and Burton Academy, Castleton State College and the Community College of Vermont. He also continued to perform with numerous acts and tried his hand at running a music store in Manchester.
Mark began playing with Gypsy Reel, the well loved Vermont Celtic band in 1995 and stayed with them as a full band member till 2016, Having now gone his own way, he continues to perform with them on occasion. Mark has also performed extensively under his own name and has worked with everybody who's anybody on the Vermont music scene over the years, from the late Sandra Wright to the Vermont Jazz Ensemble , Enerjazz and Joey Leone.
Mark has played at venues across Vermont from Brattleboro to Burlington, among them Stratton Mountain Resort, The Paramount Theater , The Flynn Theater, The Basin Harbor Club, Jackson Gore, The Grafton inn, Woodstock Inn and Resort, Killington Grand Hotel and other Killington venues, small rooms and town greens across the state and for weddings and events at venues such as Riverside Farms in Pittsfield the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe and Hildene in Manchester. He has opened for artists as diverse as folk singer Greg Brown, Jazz Saxophonist Branford Marsalis, and rapper Matisyahu!
In 2016, after Mark closed his music store, he withdrew from the music scene and took a sales job on the road in order to catch up on some financial obligations and regenerate his inspiration. Last year he returned to Vermont full time and took a couple of steady small venue gigs through the winter to get back into his performance stride while developing his new sound and recording hundreds of instrumental parts for his new accompaniments. Mark is now ready to present his new sound at your venue and is sure you will love it!
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