From a young age, Mark was drawn to music’s ability to bring people together. Fast forward through stages of banging on pots and pans to basement bands and beyond, Mark landed at New England Conservatory of Music in Boston to continue his musical pursuits. Entering as a classical percussion major and graduating as a jazz studies major, he received the Chadwick Medal in 2008, which is awarded to one outstanding undergraduate.
After college, Mark primarily spent time touring the country with his musical compatriots. During this time, he also lived in New Orleans, soaking up the city’s world renowned musical and drumming history. This was one of the most formidable times of his musical career, shaped by countless hours seeking out music across the city, lessons with Johnny Vidacovic, and spending most every night at Maple Leaf Bar. Upon returning to his hometown of Denver, Colorado, he sunk his teeth into performing locally, touring, and recording with several groups. This includes The Congress (‘10-’15) with whom he recorded four albums and toured extensively supporting Tedeschi Trucks Band, Lake Street Dive, Hard Working Americans, and more.
As Deadheads congregated to celebrate the historic Fare Thee Well run in Santa Clara and Chicago, concertgoers buzzed about the uniquely hypnotic music that played during set breaks. From there, Levy’s latest project Circles Around The Sun (CATS) emerged from the woodwork as the band behind the jams and released the 5-hour collection of songs on Rhino Records, aptly titled Interludes for the Dead, in late 2015. The music is notable in that it attempts to capture the essence of The Dead, while retaining a voice of its own. CATS has toured actively over the past year and quickly developed a faithful following. They plan to record a follow-up album and continue touring as soon possible.
Since playing with CATS, Mark has had the honor to perform many times with Phil Lesh & Friends at Phil’s venue, Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, CA as well as a 3-night run of shows for Phil’s 77th Birthday at the legendary Capitol Theater in Port Chester, NY. These opportunities introduced Mark to the Bay Area music scene, and its deep pool of talent. He is consistently called upon as a member of Scott Law and Ross James’ Cosmic Twang, which has included artists such as Nicki Bluhm, Chris Robinson, and Dave Schools.
Constant trajectory and diverse exploration of your craft are necessary to be a successful artist. Mark harnesses those traits and has shown no signs of slowing down. With a busy local schedule and albums on the way from his current projects Circles Around The Sun, Bonfire Dub, and We Dream Dawn, there is no doubt that he has earned his reputation as a sought after musician who can hang with anyone and everyone.
Mark received a Bachelor's Degree in performance from The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA, graduating with honors and receiving the Chadwick Medal (awarded to a single outstanding undergraduate) in 2008. He graduated from Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village, CO in 2004, with high honors. Mark's formal studies focused on drum set, classical percussion, tabla and other hand drums. Informal studies continue every day...
Respect to the teachers: Jimi Bauchat, Jerry Leake (tabla, world percussion), Jamey Haddad (percussion, Paul Simon) Bob Moses (Jaco, Pat Metheny, Gary Burton), Billy Hart (Studio Legend), Dave Holland (Miles Davis), Billy Martin (Medeski, Martin, and Wood), Johnny Vidacovich (Professor Longhair), Stanton Moore (Galactic), and John Kinzie (Colorado Symphony Orchestra) ...