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This project was made possible by funding through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy and the Heritage Policy Branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Canadian Heritage

Mark Kelso


MARK KELSO (drummer, percussionist, singer, composer, producer, educator) was born February 22, 1963 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. His family emigrated to Canada when he was nine years old, and began playing drums at the age of 12. A former graduate of Humber College in Toronto, he is now Head of the Percussion Department there.

Beginning to play on the Toronto scene when he was just 18 years of age, Kelso has amassed a solid reputation as a versatile and musical performer who is now one of the first call players in the country. His ability to play in a multiplicity of diverse styles has led to work with many of the entertainment world’s best including James Taylor, Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan, Gino Vannelli, Michael Buble, Dave Liebman, Jerry Bergonzi, Carol Welsman, Guido Basso, NOJO, Doug Riley, Pat LaBarbera, Rob McConnell, Ranee Lee, John Pizzarelli, Gary Morgan’s Panamericana, Ian Tyson, Jake Langley, Susan Aglucark, Bonnie Raitt, Vince Mendoza, the Montuno Police, Pete Townshend, Holly Cole, Amanda Marshall, Amy Sky, Randy Brecker, Michael Brecker, Donny Osmond, Shirley Eikhardt, Hilario Duran, Paquito D'Rivera, Russ Little, Jim Galloway, Jovino Santos Neto, Bob Rice and Sundunga, Soul Stew, Joe Sealy, John Allan Cameron, Marc Jordan, Jane Siberry, Shania Twain, the Brigham Phillips Big Band, and Michel Cusson’s Camino.

Mark Kelso’s busy touring schedule has taken him all over North America, Russia, Japan, Iceland, Australia, England, Scotland, Italy, France, Germany, Indonesia, and even the North Pole. As a respected clinician, he has performed at numerous major drum festivals including Montreal Drumfest, the Cape Breton Drumfest, and KOSA. He has participated in over 150 recordings, radio and TV jingles, movie soundtracks, and operates his own recording studio (Groovy Drums) where he records drum tracks for a number of other artists.

Kelso recently recorded an instructional DVD that will released in the near future.


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