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Canadian Heritage

Mark Eisenman


MARK EISENMAN (pianist) was born November 9, 1955 in New York City, New York, U.S.A. Born in New York City but based in Toronto since 1972, Mark started studying the piano with his father. By the age of eighteen he had resolved that he would be pursuing the piano as a career interest. He entered into the music program at York University and after a short time discovered jazz music. With his introduction to this idiom his musical interest peaked.

Under the tutelage of John Gittins and others, Mark ultimately took a degree in Fine Arts, and as testimony to his continuing dedication to the learning process, currently conducts jazz workshops at York as a part-time faculty member. His teaching has expanded to include “The Jazz Camp”, classes at Mohawk College in Hamilton plus private teaching in his home studio. Mark has performed and toured with numerous eminent jazz artists including Blue Mitchell, Woody Shaw, Nat Adderley, Ed Bickert, Rob McConnell, Sam Noto, and Pat LaBarbera. He is heard frequently on radio including regular appearances on CBC's Sunday Edition with Michael Enright, and is well represented on recordings. His most recent CD "Sweet and Lovely" features legendary drummer Jimmy Cobb and bassist Pat Collins.

In addition to being a pianist of great clarity and discipline, Mark has been developing his compositional skills. His tunes appear on recordings by a variety of groups.

In Mark's own words, what is most rewarding to him as a performer is the sense that "everyone is having a good time because that means the music is good". With an outlook such as this, it should come as no surprise that he frequently works Toronto's major jazz spots. He is a skillful soloist, a versatile ensemble player and a thoughtful and sensitive accompanist who has recorded or performed with some today’s finest vocalists including Ranee Lee, Carol Welsman, John Alcorn, Anne Hampton Callaway, George Evens, Shirley Eikhard, Arlene Smith, and Mark Murphy.

In 2014, Eisenman released a duo recording with vocalist Joe Coughlin. The recording Saloon Standard, features thirteen jazz standards.