Mark Levine

Mark began playing jazz as a teenager in Daytona Beach, Florida. Continuing his education in Boston and New York, Mark studied with Hall Overton, Herb Pomeroy and Jaki Byard, before moving to California in 1966.

A key phase in Mark's education was a year spent in Woody Shaw's quartet. "Every night was serious school," says Mark.

Mark spent significant time working with Joe Henderson, Blue Mitchell, David Liebman and Harold Land, composing all the while. Joe recorded two of Mark's tunes on "Canyon Lady," the late tenor giant's only Latin jazz album. Mark returned the favor by playing two of Joe's classic compositions, "Inner Urge," and "A Shade Of Jade," on his 2000 release, "Serengeti."

His interest in Latin jazz led to work with Mongo Santamaria, Willie Bobo, Moacir Santos, Francisco Aguabella, Pete Escovedo, and Cal Tjader (including Cal's Grammy-winning Concord Jazz recording "La Onda Va Bien").

Mark has continued to pursue the Latin side of his craft, attending Centro Nacional de Escuela de Arte in Havana, Cuba in 1997.

Twice, Mark has been the recipient of a National Endowment For The Arts Grants (1975 and 1977) and was awarded a "Jammie" as Best Bay Area Jazz trombonist, 1983-1984 (no, he no longer plays trombone).

Mark Levine has played/recorded with:

Woody Shaw, Mongo Santamaria, Joe Henderson, Willie Bobo, Bobby Hutcherson, Hubert Laws, Moacir Santos, Freddie Hubbard, Cal Tjader, Wallace Roney, Tito Puente, Jerry Bergonzi, Milt Jackson, Francisco Aguabella, Harold Land, David Liebman, Blue Mitchell, Pete Escovedo, James Moody, Art Farmer, Dizzy Gillespie, Milton Cardona, Sonny Fortune, Eddie Harris, Stefon Harris, Eddie Henderson, Conrad Herwig, Clark Terry, Ingrid Jensen, Charlie Rouse, Bobby Watson, Chet Baker, Mark Murphy, Art Pepper, Julian Priester, Bobby Shew, Enrique Pla, Nestor Torres, Rene Touzet and Poncho Sanchez

Mark's compositions have been recorded by:

Joe Henderson, Blue Mitchell, Cal Tjader, Tito Puente, Pete Escovedo, Mongo Santamaria, Nuyorican Soul, Joanne Brackeen, Moacir Santos, Tom Lellis, Poncho Sanchez, Esencia, Chuck Clark, Jerry Rusch, Mike Morris, and Houston Person.

As an educator, Mark authored "The Jazz Piano Book," which has become the bible for jazz pianists all over the world. Available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and Korean. In 1996, he completed "The Jazz Theory Book," with similar success. In 2006 he authored the definitive book on Drop2, titled "The Drop2 Book"

Jazz Times named "The Jazz Theory Book" as the #1 choice in its "recommended basic jazz library."

Mark's faculty affiliations include:

  • San Francisco Conservatory of Music, 1992-2009
  • Monterey Jazz Festival Foundation Traveling Clinicians, Monterey, CA 2002-2007
  • University of California at Berkeley, 2000-present
  • Jamey Aebersold Jazz Camps, 1977-2002
  • Stanford Jazz Workshop, Stanford, CA, 1982-2003
  • Jazz Camp West, La Honda, CA, 1982-2002
  • Jazz Studio Summer Camp, Dworp, Belgium, 1993-2004
  • The California Jazz Conservatory (formerly The Jazzschool), Berkeley, CA, 1997-present
  • Jazz Flute Camp, Carmel Valley, CA, 2003-present
  • Mills College, Oakland, CA, 1986-present

Guest Clinician and residencies at schools in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Iceland, Mexico, Sweden, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Wales.

In the early '90s, Mark produced The Jazz Masters Clinic Series, a combination workshop and master class taught by touring artists passing through the Bay Area. Featured artists included Cedar Walton, Mulgrew Miller, Kenny Barron, Elvin Jones, Eddie Palmieri, and Tommy Flanagan.

Additionally, Mark is the pianist on more than a dozen of Jamey Aebersold's play-along series.

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