Hands On Mark Nilan Jr.
Mark Nilan’s musical journey began from day one. Raised in a musical family, Mark’s father also being a pianist, Mark was surrounded by the music that would shape his style such as Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire, Chick Corea, George Duke, Ray Charles and Tower Of Power. Nilan was so gifted and adept in music that by the time he was a high school senior he had already been playing professionally for many years, attending college music courses, and teaching music theory at his high school. Nilan won several awards for ‘Best Jazz Soloist’ at Music Festivals in his early years. Due to his bright future he was awarded a featured slot at the Detroit International Jazz Festival while still in high school. Nilan went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in jazz piano from Wayne State University on full scholarship. WSU awarded him with ‘Best Jazz Composer’ in 2004. In 2006 Nilan made the move west to Los Angeles. Upon arriving he delved straight into more studies, this time at California Institute of the Arts. Mark was one of only two pianists that were accepted to study at CalArts. He graduated in 2008 with his master’s degree in jazz piano. One year later... In the summer of 2009 Mark Nilan Jr. sat down to pen what has turned out to be the riveting, fresh and vibrant album, Hands On. Nilan assembled a stellar cast of musicians for Hands On: bassist Abraham Laboriel, drummer Gregg Bissonette, guitarist Ricky ‘Z’ Zahariades and percussionist Brad Dutz