"Gross is a new and powerful alto sax player who is a Cannonball type player." As you may presume . . . funky is his flavor. Mark Gross is a sax man deserving wider attention who is blessed with a rich, pute tone.
His consistently professional musicianship has led to live and recorded efforts with many of his fellow pacesetters in jazz music. Mark has toured the world with the Mark Gross Quartet, Buster Williams 'Something More' Quartet, Delfeayo Marsalis, Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, Philip Harper, Nat Adderley, Dave Holland, Mulgrew Miller, Nicholas Payton, Dizzy Gillespie, Nancy Wilson, James Moody, Jimmy Heath, John Lee, Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Tom Harrell Big Band, Duke Ellington Orchestra, Frank Foster and the Loud Minority, Charles Mingus Big Band, Freddie Hubbard, Donald Harrison, Mark Whitfield, Joe Dukes, Captain Jack McDuff, Joe Chambers, Neal Smith, Cyrus Chestnut, Regina Carter, Lionel Hampton, Stephon Harris, Walter Booker, Jimmy Cobb, Don Braden, Vincent Gardner, Lenora 'Zenzalai' Helm, Marlon Saunders, SEPIA, Jann Parker to name a few. His professional relationships with these musicians and others have been long lasting and far-reaching.
Mark credits his prolific sound to the rich appreciation for Gospel music that resounded through his parent's Baltimore home.
Mark has performed on Broadway several times, as well. He performed in 'FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE' (1992-1993) based on the music of Louis Jordan. 'KAT AND THE KINGS' (1999-2000). This musical explores the joyous sounds that were born out of oppression during the 1950's in Cape Town, South Africa; APARTHEID. This is a rollicking rock-'n'-roll musical. Mark has also added to the exciting musical that showcased music of the same title, 'SWING' (2000-2001). Mark has also appeared in 'Malcolm X' (1992), Spike Lee's major motion film. Mark also was the lead alto saxophonist with the Jazz @ Lincoln Center All Stars in the Broadway musical 'AFTER MIDNIGHT' (2013-2014). Mark Gross was also a featured musician on the HBO series 'Boardwalk Empire' season 4 (2013). Mark will also appear in the film 'ANNIE' (2014), to be released December 19, 2014.
TODD SIMON is a highly sought-after keyboardist in the Washington, D.C./Baltimore area and served as pianist and saxophonist for the United States Naval Academy Band from 2009-2014. The Dover, DE, native studied piano and organ with Tim Murphy and saxophone with Gary Thomas at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where he earned his Bachelor's of Music degree in 2007.
After joining the Naval Academy Band in December 2009, Todd continued to establish his reputation on the local scene as an outstanding pianist, jazz organist, saxophonist, improviser, sight-reader, accompanist, arranger, and composer. His first CD as a leader, “Simon Says,” contains all original compositions and was released in March 2013. Todd is also featured on trumpeter Donvonte McCoy’s album “Third Floor” and vocalist Tom Moore’s debut CD “Restless Journey.”
Recent professional highlights included winning an ASCAP Young Jazz Composers award for the track "Amalgam" from his CD "Simon Says." Todd also had the pleasure of organizing a gig and performing with Nicholas Payton and Tim Warfield at the Tinder Box, as well as being a standout performer for the Peabody Jazz Program 10th Anniversary Concert.
MICHAEL BOWIEis an internationally recognized musician, performing on both the electric and contrabass. With roots in the Washington D.C. jazz and gospel community, he was a recipient of the National Endowment of the Arts Award in Jazz Studies and trained with Betty Carter and Keter Betts. Soon after, Michael signed with Verve Records as an original member of “The Harper Brothers”. He went on to perform, record and tour with Abdulla Ibrahim, Michel Pettruciani, including the Grammy Award winning “Look What I Got” with Betty Carter. Michael has expanded his musical interests and performance to include a wide variety of musical forms from jazz to symphony to rock.
As a musical director he has worked with many artists worldwide including Patti Labelle, James Ingram, Jeff Majors, Abbey Lincoln, Angie Stone, Isaac Hayes, Gil Scott-Heron. He has shared his talents in the recording studio and on the stage with Sarah Vaughn, Joe Williams, Manhattan Transfer, Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, Della Reese, and Michel Camilo and Ricky Skaggs.
He has appeared on countless television shows such as BET, Austin City Limits, Charlie Rose, Radio One, as well as having performed at major venues and festivals such as Carnegie Hall, the Newport Jazz Festival, Playboy Jazz Festival, Montreux, and most major festivals world-wide.
As a composer his works can be heard in television, radio and the industrial markets. Michael is a certified teacher in Washington, D.C.'s Public School System and is currently the musical director of the Blues Alley Youth Orchestra.
JOHN LAMKIN, III
JOHN LAMKIN, III is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. He began playing drums at the tender age of four. John attended The Manhattan School of Music in New York City and later, Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.
John has been recognized by toured, played, and recorded with a number of exceptionally talented recording artists including Donald Harrison, Sean Jones, Najee, Michael Henderson, Kenny Garrett, Christian Scott, Warren Wolf, Chick Corea, Pharoah Sanders, the late great Lionel Hampton, the late great Abbey Lincoln, and many others.
John maintains a deep respect and appreciation of those who've set standards in the music world.
After a recent performance at Caton Castle a show reviewer (Gregory Lewis) wrote, "John's adept use of a busy interplay between his drum and cymbal options (a lot of bass pedal), put the drums into the melodic mix, over and above maintaining the rhythmic time-stamp. In that way, John's high-volume flourishes of dissonant tom-tom accents would sneak up on you, Blakey-like. Yes, John channeled Blakey on "Free For All" to such an extent that he even threw in a Baptist shout."