Mark began playing jazz as a teenager in Daytona Beach, Florida. Continuing his education in Boston and New York, Mark studied with Hall Overton, Herb Pomeroy and Jaki Byard, before moving to California in 1966.
A key phase in Mark's education was a year spent in Woody Shaw's quartet. "Every night was serious school," says Mark.
Mark spent significant time working with Joe Henderson, Blue Mitchell, David Liebman and Harold Land, composing all the while. Joe recorded two of Mark's tunes on "Canyon Lady," the late tenor giant's only Latin jazz album. Mark returned the favor by playing two of Joe's classic compositions, "Inner Urge," and "A Shade Of Jade," on his 2000 release, "Serengeti."
His interest in Latin jazz led to work with Mongo Santamaria, Willie Bobo, Moacir Santos, Francisco Aguabella, Pete Escovedo, and Cal Tjader (including Cal's Grammy- winning Concord Jazz recording "La Onda Va Bien").
Mark has continued to pursue the Latin side of his craft, attending Centro Nacional de Escuela de Arte in Havana, Cuba in 1997.
Twice, Mark has been the recipient of a National Endowment For The Arts Grants (1975 and 1977) and was awarded a "Jammie" as Best Bay Area Jazz trombonist, 1983-1984 (no, he no longer plays trombone, but he has taken up the gimbri, a Moroccan 3-stringed lute).
Grammy Nominee 2003
Grammy Winner (w Cal Tjader) 1981
Latin Grammy Nominee 2010
"Mark Levine is a wellspring of knowledge on modern jazz piano playing... his brilliant playing is proof that he knows what he's talking about."
— Mulgrew Miller
"The preeminent Latin jazz quartet found north of Havana."
— Luis Tamargo (Latin Beat)
"...absolutely incredible and inspired. "the best record I've heard in a long time."
— Donald Brown
"Mark's new CD is a CLASSIC.
— Ray Vega