Mark Berman is a much sought after pianist, composer, arranger, orchestrator and music director. He was born in New Haven, Connecticut, where his dad, Arnold “Sonny Berman, a well known trumpet player and big band leader, taught the young musician classics like “Moonglow” by playing notes on the horn which he would expect his son to then chord out on the piano. The younger Berman recalls some early piano pounding at age five, followed by a lifelong love of Miles Davis, Glenn Miller, Count Basie and others. You name it, he heard it from his dad and all the other musicians in the family. These included his cousin, another Sonny Berman, a star trumpeter with Woody Herman’s famed Thundering Herd. Great-uncle Harry Berman was the conductor of the New Haven Symphony and his cousin Bill Rhein was the youngest member of the New York Philharmonic.
A graduate of the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Connecticut, Berman has written for, played and recorded with the proverbial who’s who of jazz, pop and rock. His fun to read resume reads like a history of modern music: Illinois Jacquet, Jackie McLean (one of his former teachers), Aretha Franklin, Carole King, Wycliff Gordon, Mark Murphy, Betty Buckley, Hilary Kole, Houston Person, Nana Mouskouri, Petula Clark, Cornelius Bumpus, Lesley Gore, Gladys Knight, Hugh Jackman, Ben E King, Buster Poindexter, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Richie Havens, Phoebe Snow, Helen Reddy, Jennifer Holliday, Morris Pleasure and Phil Ramone, among many others.