Born: May 12, 1964 Primary Instrument: Drums
Mark Merella is a versatile percussionist adept at both drum set and hand percussion. He has worked with a variety of artists in the jazz and Latin fields including saxophonists Fred Foss and Rene McLean, trumpeter Tom Williams, vocalists Imani and Eva Cassidy, and percussionist Steve Berrios co-founder of the Fort Apache Band. Mark has also worked with the groups Rumba Club, Mambo Combo, Ala Carte Brass & Percussion and as part of Havana Select he played for Celia Cruz's induction into the Smithsonian and 1997's Black Music Conference in Chicago. On the R&B circuit Mark has worked with The Flamingos, Bo Diddley and Mary Wilson of The Supremes. Mark was also commissioned by the American Composers Forum to compose a piece for Jane Franklin Dance, which premiered March 1st, 2003. As a freelance musician Mark has played ay many embassies, the White House and the Kenndy Center. A highlight of Mark's career was playing with the Latin Jazz All Stars alongside Steve Turre, Ray Vega and Andy Gonzalez. Mark currently co-leads the group Mantra and is also part of Auto Looming, a free improv duo which allows him to explore his interest in electronically processed percussion. Mark also teaches and freelances throughout the Washington/Baltimore area.