Mark Elf has been on the Jazz scene for over 35 years. He was born in Queens, New York in 1949 and started playing the Guitar at the age of 11. He has played and or recorded with the Jazz Giants: Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath & the Heath Bros., Wynton Marsalis & Jon Hendricks just to name a few. His first professional Jazz performance occurred around 1971 as a sideman at the Club Barron in Harlem, New York with Gloria Coleman and Etta Jones. This performance was a double bill with the George Benson Quintet.
During the 1970’s he toured with Lou Donaldson, Jimmy McGriff, Groove Holmes & Charles Earland and recorded a number of albums with them. He recorded his first album as a sideman with Jimmy McGriff & Groove Holmes in 1973 on the Groove Merchant Record label called Giants of the Organ Come Together. In the late 1970’s Mark worked with Junior Cook and Bill Hardman in New York City and also recorded with them on the Muse Label.
In the 1980’s he toured Europe with Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry and other Jazz Luminaries and also recorded his first album as a leader in 1986 called the Mark Elf Trio Volume 1.
In 1988 he recorded his second album as a leader The Eternal Triangle with Hank Jones, Jimmy Heath, Ray Drummond and Ben Riley. This album would be released in 1996 on Mark’s Jen Bay Record Label.
1993 brought Mark his first overseas record deal with The Alerce Record Label and The Mark Elf Trio was recorded in Santiago, Chile. This recording was marketed to radio in 1996 and went to #7 on The Gavin Jazz Chart.