ELECTRONIC PRESS KIT
This press kit is primarily designed to answer potential queries of concert promoters, club booking agents, special event planners, and PR firms. All other queries are welcome.
introduction to mark kramer's music
This video . . .
(of "AS IS" - a piece composed by Mark Kramer) . . . one of 11 filmed on 2 DEC 2016) . . . documents the finale of a concert in which the Mark Kramer Trio [MKT] (featuring the acclaimed Eddie Gomez and Billy Drummond) headlined for a sold-out audience of about 500. Tickets were ~$25 per person.
It leads here so as to underscore the overall sound and look of Mark's music, and generally its high appeal. Two important aspects of Mark's work and its reception are not evident from this clip: 1) the entire audience is comprised of all ages as well as a surprising mixture of dedicated jazz aficionados with those new to the form, and 2) his intentionally hidden, long developed, advanced style and execution (- a feature which would incongruously place him as a Senior within a select pool of much younger classically oriented poly-metric/poly-tonal two-fisted jazz pianists, some already identified as "cutting edge.")
The first portion of this particular secular concert featured selections from the trio's celebrated "Jazz Fiddler on the Roof" CD. After intermission, jazz standards (plus interspersed originals) were performed in a no-holds-barred jazz fashion. Audience response was similarly enthusiastic, if not more, for this - the pure jazz portion of the concert.
The video is memorable as this concert had only been performed under duress. Had it not been pre-contracted it would not have been performed at all: i.e., from 2013 until recently Mark had taken a voluntary break from his performance schedule to care medically for his wife (who died several weeks following this concert) after her long struggle with cancer. Mark is just now happily returning full force to his previous career in music.
Despite the "Trio" being Kramer's preferred instrumentation, performances do retain power in piano-bass duo and in solo piano configurations. Mark's trios or duos when composed of longstanding local members, or those collaborators depicted here are particularly reliable and artistic.
improvised performance based on a standard
There are contractors who may be more interested in jazz interpretations of standard tunes.
Thus, this spontaneous performance is Included here to highlight one of Mark's approaches to interpreting a very old standard. This had been the wedding song Mark and his wife Meryl Lee selected 47 years prior to this performance.
Please expand the video to full screen for best viewing experience.
“Let's get real here. After all, he's just a piano player. ”
— Marky (Kramer)
tHE SKINNY BIO
As an enduring Philadelphia jazz piano icon, leader of the Mark Kramer Trio and co-leader of Mark Kramer-Eddie Gomez Groups and Productions, Mark is reviewed as a stunning, technically gifted, and emotionally stirring artist. He is credited with producing and engineering well over 35 trio CDs, several for major labels, and for recording and touring with acclaimed collaborators such as Eddie Gomez, Charles Fambrough, and Jimmy Bruno. For the majority of his career, Mark had been rightly typecast as one of a handful of jazz pianists worldwide who authentically built upon pianist Bill Evans' prized contributions to jazz piano and small ensembles. Yet, recently Mark has decided to reveal his own brand of melodic invention, heart, and its combination (on steroids) with free jazz polyrhythms, collective group spirit, and his unique harmonic system. For the past several years, Kramer voluntarily lightened his performance and production schedule to care for his gravely ill wife (deceased 2/18/2017). Mark is just now returning to work - releasing and promoting his recordings including "Art of Music" with Eddie Gomez, authoring future productions, and planning to return to a full performance schedule in 2018.
MEDIUM LENGTH BIO
Raised just a block from John Coltrane's home, Mark Kramer continues to enjoy a productive and colorful career as an improvising pianist-arranger-composer, producer/engineer, and occasional educator.
The style is POST-POST MODERN on steroids: Impossibly melodic + passionate + harmonically complex + technically-adroit - - - paying homage to Evans, Hancock, Glass, and Riley. Sweats a lot. Through marginalizing his own works, he did win contracts with Telarc/Concord and other major labels, i.e., by reimagining 8 Broadway shows, an entire Mozart Symphony, a Harry Potter soundtrack, the Rolling Stones, esoteric works by Eric Satie - all in the elegant Jazz derivative of mainly a Bill Evans. Only after decades can we now hear part of his primarily unsung core jazz engine at work in originals such as Sunday Afternoon, Kharis in Orange, As Is, Muse@3-4-5, a Beginning, Mount Analog, Retro-Orter and lots of others.
Kramer’s waves of inventiveness are carried upon an ‘anything goes’ free jazz approach, but one that shuns focus on any of its included free structures, dissonances, classical or unconventional pianistic techniques, or unusual time signatures. Rather his envelope is impossibly mostly melodic – only sparsely strays “outside” – and floats freely upon a complex system of harmony crafted over many decades.
Bragging rights: Twice nationally recognized as a top undiscovered jazz pianist, described as innovative, elegant, and emotionally riveting by the Great Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition judges (including Teddy Wilson) Kramer went on to record over 40 CDs (including those globally distributed by major record companies (Telarc/Concord, Lightyear, Warner EA) with his own trio, as well as many with close collaborator – acclaimed Bill Evans’ bassist Eddie Gomez.
Mark's credits include concertizing and recording with some of the most celebrated of jazz musicians like George Coleman, Lee Konitz, Al Cohn, Tal Farlow, Jimmy Cobb, Joe Chambers, Charles Fambrough, Junior Cook, Archie Shepp, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Stanley Clark, Bud Shank, Bobby Watson, Johnny Coles, and scores more.
Though unhappily lacking formal training in music, Mark has been invited to lecture and perform at the New School of Music (NYC), Berklee School of Music in Boston, and other academically respected institutions.