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Mark Soskin

Mark Soskin was born July 12, 1953 in Brooklyn, N.Y. Soskin has recorded and performed with such diverse musicians as Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson, Randy Brecker, Billy Cobham, Buster Williams, Eddie Henderson, Stanley Turrentine, Cornell Dupree, Herbie Mann, John Abercrombie, Claudio Roditi, Sheila Jordan, Gato Barbieri, Joe Locke, David\"Fathead\"Newman, Mark Murphy, Slide Hampton, Pete and Sheila Escovedo, Bobby Watson, Miroslav Vitous, The NY Voices, Phil Woods and others.

Soskin attended Colorado State University where he pursued classical studies, but at this time his interests in jazz music were growing. In 1973 he enrolled in The Berklee College of Music, studying composition as well as arranging. In Boston he began to work professionally until moving to San Francisco, eventually going on to work with some of the west coast\'s finest players.

Shortly after arriving in San Francisco, Soskin was introduced to the Latin music legend, Pete Escovedo. Along with Pete\'s daughter, percussionist Sheila. E, they toured and recorded as Azteca, a group in which Soskin\'s keyboard, writing, and arranging talents were showcased. Eventually, the group, which now included Tom Harrell on trumpet, went on to record two discs for Fantasy Records, produced by drum ace Billy Cobham. Soskin was enlisted in Cobham\'s band, a stint that lasted for two years and which produced two recordings for Columbia. Between tours for Cobham, Soskin did a tour and live recording for the CBS All Stars with Tom Scott, Alphonso Johnson, Steve Khan, and Billy Cobham. At this time Soskin was very active as a session player at Fantasy studios in Berkeley, California and veteran jazz music producer Orrin Keepnews took notice.

Soskin signed his first recording contract with Prestige (a subsidiary of Fantasy) produced by Keepnews, entitled \"Rhythm Vision.\" This featured the likes of Benny Maupin and Harvey Mason with the album eventually making it into Billboard\'s top ten Jazz Chart.

Keepnews introduced Soskin to Sonny Rollins, which started a long, fruitful collaboration (14 years). Besides the extensive touring throughout the world, Soskin can be heard on a number of critically acclaimed recordings with the tenor sax master, including a video,\"Saxophone Collosusî.

Since 1981 Soskin has resided in New York City, remaining active as sideman and as a leader. He has seven of his own recordings to date and three as co-leader, one which features Harvie Swartz and Joe LaBarbera with Sheila Jordan called \"Spirits\", one under the name \"Contempo Trio\" with Danny Gottlieb and Chip Jackson featuring Ravi Coltrane and another Contempo Trio recording named \"The Secret of Life\" featuring Carolyn Leonhart. His recording, \"17\" on TCB, highlights Soskin in a quintet setting featuring mainly original compositions. His CD \"One Hopeful Day\"(Kind of Blue,2007) features John Abercrombie,John Patitucci,Chris Potter, and Bill Stewart. His latest recording is "Man Behind The Curtain"(Kindofblue, 2009) which features Ravi Coltrane, Bill Stewart and Jay Anderson. Soskin's most recent CD is "Mark Soskin Solo Piano/Nino Rota(Kindofblue, 2012) which was voted in the top ten recordings of 2012 by All About Jazz. He continues to maintain a busy tour schedule as well as giving master classes and workshops. Television performance credits include the HBO hit series, \"Sex And The City.\" Examples of arranging projects have been writing for Slide Hampton\'s \"World Of Trombones\" and his writing and playing on Steve Smith\'s DVD,\"Drumset Technique/History of the U.S. Beat\". Soskin has been featured in solo piano concerts throughout the world such as the Ottawa Jazz Festival. He has performed the premier of contemporary classical music composer John Adams\' opera, \"Ceiling/Sky\" at Lincoln Center.

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"Mark Soskin, in particular, shines with his melodically inventive and clearly articulated choruses" —Peter Niklas Wilson from his book, Sonny Rollins: The Definitive Musical Guide

"Soskin establishes a compelling style at once sophisticated and spontaneous" —Chuck Berg, Jazz Times

"Soskin renders flailing arpeggios in conjunction with harmonically based block chords with stinging rhythm accompaniment. Buoyantly executed medium tempo swing vamps and tuneful choruses, abetted by the pianist\'s intricate maneuvers and lyrically charged solos" —Glenn Astarista All About Jazz

"Soskin added crisp, leaning-into-the-beat solos with a distinct flair for rousing climaxes" —George Kanzler Newark Star-Ledger

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Primary Instrument

Piano

Willing to teach

Intermediate to advanced

Credentials/Background

Currently serving on the faculty of Manhattan School of Music.
Contact at 212-724-2453 for hours/rates.

Clinic/Workshop Information

A wide variety of clinics are offered. For more information contact at 212-724- 2453 or at [email protected]

Photos

Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

The Wailing Sounds of...

Whaling City Sound
2022

buy

Brown Book

Alice's Loft
2020

buy

Nino Rota

Kind of Blue Records
2012

buy

Back In The Mix

Polyglot Music
2012

buy

One Hopeful Day

Kind of Blue Records
2007

buy

17

TCB Music
2001

buy

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