Born: October 1 Primary Instrument: Bass, acoustic
Bassist/Composer Mark Helias has been making innovative music since beginning his career in the mid seventies. He has enjoyed long musical associations with Edward Blackwell, Anthony Davis, Dewey Redman, Ray Anderson, Don Cherry and Gerry Hemingway.
Eight albums of his music have been released since 1984, including Split Image, The Current Set (1987), Desert Blue (1989) and Attack The Future, (1992) Loopin' the Cool (1995), Fictionary (1998), Come Ahead Back (1998) and New School (2001) Verbs of Will (2003).
Mr. Helias had a seventeen year association with the great drummer Edward Blackwell, with whom he recorded two CDs. He has also collaborated for 26 years with Ray Anderson and Gerry Hemingway in the ensemble BassDrumBone. A prolific composer of small ensemble music he has composed music for short films and two feature films by director Jay Anania.
Helias has worked with numerous bands including those of Oliver Lake, Slickaphonics, Julius Hemphill, Marilyn Crispell, Arthur Blythe, Abbey Lincoln, Karrin Allison, Cecil Taylor, Barry Altschul, Don Byron, Mose Alison and Marty Ehrlich's Dark Woods Ensemble. In addition to his many performances on records and CDs, Mr. Helias has produced recordings for other artists on the Gramavision, Enja, New World, Arabesque, Sound Aspects, and Avant/DIW labels.
Presently, Mark is leading and collaborating on various projects: Open/Loose with Tony Malaby and Tom Rainey, Solo Bass performances, The Marks Brothers with fellow bassist Mark Dresser, MOI Project-a sextet with varying personnel, Attack the Future a quartet/quintet. Mr. Helias, a graduate of Rutgers University and Yale School of Music teaches at Sarah Lawrence College, The New School and SIM (School for Improvised Music)