Born: August 3, 1953 Primary Instrument: Guitar
Guitarist Harris Mark has performed in the Toronto area since the late 1970’s. His recent CD “Nancy Dreams” has gotten ample airplay on JAZZ-FM 91.1. He often performs in solo and duet formats and also leads his own trio in various venues in the GTA. He recently led his quintet (including Bernie Senensky and Norman Marshall Villenueve) at an engagement at Toronto’s venerable Montreal Bistro. While primarily playing in jazz and jazz-related idioms, he is no stranger to other styles. He has often shared the stage with Toronto Blues great Jack deKeyser and backed up R&B/Soul singer Tyrone Gabriel (now with the Nylons) for many engagements. He has also worked extensively with singers Louise Lambert and Yohanna van der Klay. In the late 70’s and 80’s, he performed regularly in country and country rock bands in the Toronto area, often incorporating elements of jazz, blues,and r&b into what was being played. Harris is also one of the few Southern Ontario guitarists who fully understand and perform music in the solo fingerstyle manner developed by Chet Atkins, Merle Travis, and Jerry Reed. His guitaristic influences cover an entire universe, ranging from those players to post-bebop jazz guitarists like Joe Pass, Kenny Burrell and Wes Montgomery to A.C. Jobim to John Abercrombie and beyond. His playing has also been influenced to a large degree by various pianists and horn players. Primarily self-taught, he credits countless jam sessions as his biggest source of learning - especially those with Chicago tenor sax legend Von Freeman for a period in the mid 80’s and Norman Marshall Villenueve in Toronto. Although primarily self-taught, he has studied privately with Reggie Wooten of Nashville, NYC guitarist Mordy Ferber and Bruce Jones at the Kassner School in Toronto and in groups with Jack Wilkins, John Knowles, and the late Lennie Breau, among others.