Our move around the circle to the top of the calendar again marks one year since completion of the recording and mixing of Scenes. Engineer Stephen Webber and I finished the mix on New Year's Day 2011. It's hard to believe that a year has flown by. A lot has happened during that time. I'm very grateful to all who have bought the album. I've been amazed that people across the globe as far away as Perth Australia, Seoul, South Korea and other far-flung locations have heard about the music and bought out the album. There have also been requests for the sheet music from players who want to learn the pieces. In addition to the hard copies available for purchase through this website and CD Baby, Scenes can be digitally downloaded through iTunes and other digital music services. Sounds of Zion, a record distributor in Utah, has made hard copies of CDs available in bookstores throughout the Western United States. All great stuff.
Late November 2012
In February, I met with megahit songwriter Claude Kelly in his studio in the famed Brill Building in New York. Photographer Jimmy Katz snapped a picture of Claude with me in the background as Claude listened (at my behest) to a track by the great Alison Krauss from her Paper Airplane album.
In the summer I did a cover story on multi-Grammy-winning recording engineer Benny Faccone. Another legend, Benny has worked with tons of greats through the years. He helped Quincy Jones and an all-star cast record the 1980s classic “We Are the World” and remains in high demand. After our photo shoot in Benny’s L.A. studio, photographer Ron Batzdorff took a shot of us by Benny’s wall of gold and platinum records. You can read these and other stories at www.berkleetoday.epubxp.com.
Most recently, I traveled to South Korea for a story on movers and shakers in all quarters of the music industry there from K-pop idols to film composers to songwriters to music educators. The picture shows me with new friends Young Chan Jang (left) and Danny Lee at the Gyeongbok Royal Palace in Seoul. I met so many people there who are both tremendous musicians and wonderful human beings. Gotta go back! That story will be at the above website in February, so be sure to return to the site.
Finally, German classical guitarist extraordinaire Eva Beneke’s new Christmas album In Dulci Jubilo has just come out. I wrote five arrangements for the album (and the liner notes) and was thrilled with her playing on my pieces including three duets with Grammy-winning guitarist Scott Tennant. In early December, I’ll post audio samples of some of the songs and the album will be offered for sale here. If you like Christmas music, you’ll want to hear this album.
Thanks for visiting my site, and best wishes to all for the rest of 2012. - Mark
I was thrilled to hear that German guitar virtuoso Eva Beneke has finished recording new a Christmas album titled In Dulci Jubilo. I’m excited because it includes five pieces I arranged. She's joined by Grammy-winning guitarist Scott Tennant (of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet), on three pieces I arranged—including G.F. Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.” Eva plays with a chamber group on a few numbers, including a revised version of Gustav Holt’s “In the Bleak Midwinter” that appeared on the CD Winterlight that I recorded with Robert Torres back in 1996. Another cool aspect to this album is that throughout Eva plays a rare 1952 Hermann Hauser guitar—an amazing instrument. As the Christmas season approaches, I’ll post some samples from the album and will offer copies for sale here.
I’m also happy to share the new flipbook version of Berklee Today magazine at berkleetoday.epubxp.com. As previous visitors to this site may know, I am editor of that magazine and recently had the privilege of interviewing red-hot songwriter Claude Kelly for the cover story. He’s written so many hit songs for such artists as Whitney Houston, Bruno Mars, Martina McBride, and many more.
Another recent interview I conducted was with composer and classical guitarist Andrew York (formerly of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet). He’s an extraordinary artist, and his story will appear in Acoustic Guitar magazine later in the fall.
Thanks to all for visiting. Enjoy the summer months. - Mark
Eva Beneke and Scott Tennant
Early December 2012
Historic Guitar and Top Musicians Heard on New Christmas CD
Guitar Salon International (GSI) is proud to announce the release of the new CD In Dulci Jubilo, by German-born classical guitarist Eva Beneke. On the disc Beneke brings together a winning combination of timeless Christmas music, top-notch performers, and the sound of a historic Herman Hauser guitar.
By special arrangement with David Collett of GSI, Beneke recorded In Dulci Jubilo on what is believed to be the very last guitar built by famed German luthier Herman Hauser Sr. (1882-1952). Hauser is considered Germany’s most important luthier and is numbered among the world’s greatest guitar makers.
The tracks on the album include solo and ensemble arrangements of melodies spanning six centuries and including German traditional songs, carols beloved by American audiences, and such classics as Händel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” and selections from J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio.
The sound of the Hauser guitar is especially spotlighted on the recording’s five solo numbers. Elsewhere, Beneke is joined by Grammy-winning guitarist Scott Tennant of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet for six duets and by top Los Angeles chamber musicians for three ensemble settings.
Beneke is a virtuoso guitarist who recently earned her doctorate in guitar performance the University of Southern California in Los Angeles after studies at Franz Liszt Hochschule in Weimar, Germany. She has won prizes at international guitar festivals in The Netherlands, Italy and the U.S, and has performed on internationally broadcast radio and television programs.
Her career highlights include appearances with the German Symphony Orchestra; invitations for festival appearances in Peru, Germany, Lithuania, the U.S. and Canada; and a televised performance with famed singer Carrie Underwood.
In September 2012, Beneke joined the faculty of McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, Minnesota.
In Dulci Jubilo Track list:
1. Joy Medley (“Joy to the World,” G.F. Händel; “Away in a Manger,” first melody by WIlliam J. Kirkpatrick, second melody anon. 1884; “Angels We Have Heard on High,” French traditional, ca. 1862) duo arr. Mark Small
2. Es ist ein Ros entsprungen (M. Praetorius), solo arr. Eva Beneke
3. In dulci Jubilo (traditional) duo arr. Eva Beneke
4. Alle Jahre Wieder (Friedrich Silcher), arr. Eva Beneke
5. Silent Night (Franz Gruber) duo arr. Mark Small
6. Sicilliano (J.S. Bach), solo arr. Eva Beneke
7. Ave Maria (Franz Schubert), ensemble arr. Eva Beneke
8. Wie soll ich Dich empfangen (J.S. Bach), duo arr. Eva Beneke
9. Ich steh an Deiner Krippen hier (J.S. Bach), duo arr. Eva Beneke
10. Maria durch ein Dornwald ging (German traditional), ensemble arr. Eva Beneke
11. O Tannenbaum (German traditional), solo arr. Mark Small
12. Halleluja Chorus (G. F. Händel) duo arr. Mark Small
13. In the Bleak Midwinter (Gustav Holst), ensemble arr. Mark Small
Late December 2012
Toward the close of 2012, Acoustic Guitar magazine published my profile on guitarist and composer Andrew York. He came to prominence as a member of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet in the 1990s. That group performed in many countries around world and won a Grammy in 2005 for their Guitar Heroes CD. I'm pleased to say that one guitar quartet arrangement I wrote for the group (based on "Letter From Home" composed by Pat Metheny) was included on the Grammy-winning disc. The group's leader Bill Kanengiser asked me to write it and at that point, I had yet to meet Andy York. York has been a favorite of mine for years as both a composer and performer, so it was like completing the circle to conduct an interview with him and learn about his past and present musical journey. You can read the article here.
Here in New England, we really look forward to the snow melting and the inevitable arrival of spring. The winter months kept us indoors a bit more than usual, and that meant there were plenty of hours for musical pursuits. There was lots of guitar practice and time to write a set of three solo-guitar settings of songs by Sting (more on those another time). I also undertook a project that pays tribute to one of my earliest musical heroes. I started playing the guitar as a teenager, and one of the most influential musicians for me was singer/songwriter and guitarist extraordinare Paul Simon. Ironically, his biggest hit ever, “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” is built around a piano track—no guitar throughout!
For an upcoming article in Berklee today, Paul gave the OK for me to create a complete score of that song, and for Berklee today to publish it. This will be a first! The score and article will offer an in-depth look at the anatomy of an all-time classic American song. I’ve been transcribing note-for-note the masterful piano part created and played by Larry Knechtel. In listening so carefully to the recording, I am amazed at how powerful and expressive this song is given that for two of its three verses, it’s only piano and voice (ok, a few chords played on the vibes come in on the second verse). With just a handful of instruments (in addition to a small string section at the end), it grabbed the attention of listeners around the world—including 200+ superstars and indie artists who continue to record new versions of it.
The original recording is a study in restraint, slowly building the production until the final verse—which gets huge. Every note counts. So be sure to check back here when the June issue of Berklee today is out. I will post links to the article and the score here. In the meantime, bring on spring!
Late Spring 2013
For his work with the indie-pop band Fun., Jeff earned his latest (third) Grammy Award last February. With Jeff’s musical touch, their album Some Nights went multiplatinum powered by the hits “We Are Young” and “Some Nights.” Jeff gave a great interview. Everyone wants a piece of his time these days, and I felt very fortunate to get to spend a couple of hours with him at his Venice, CA, apartment.
Among my other contributions to the new issue is the transcription and analysis of the full score to Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” It was a labor of love to notate all the musical parts that made that song a classic. Committing the fabulous piano part to paper was great, but being able to see how perfectly the rest of the parts of the song fit together gave me even more appreciation for that tune. Small wonder well over 200 top artists (from Elvis to Aretha Franklin to David Archuleta and Josh Groban) have covered it.
I also wrote a profile of Nicky Sanders, the virtuoso fiddle player for the Grammy-winning bluegrass group Steep Canyon Rangers. That band also doubles as Steve Martin’s backup band on lots of concerts. I caught them in Red Bank, NJ, and it was one of the best concert experiences I’ve had in years. Top notch musicianship and unbelievably funny stage patter by Martin. Any of you who like music and laughing should have catching their show on your bucket list.
As for my own music and playing, a few months ago I completed solo guitar settings of three songs by Sting. I’ve shared the sheet music I made for them with a few other guitarists and have gotten really enthusiastic responses. I hope soon to be able to point visitors to this page to YouTube videos of these tunes that I am working on.
Thats all for now. Bring on summer!
Mark with producer Jeff Bhasker
A few months ago I completed solo guitar settings of three songs by Sting and have shared the sheet music I made for them with a few other guitarists with enthusiastic response. I titled the group Three Sumner Songs, a word play on Sting’s birth name (Gordon Sumner) and the title of his album Ten Summoner’s Tales. For this tribute, I chose tunes from three decades of Sting’s career: “Message in a Bottle,” “Fragile,” and “Fields of Gold.”
The idea for Three Sumner Songs came from observing the large number of classical guitarists that are including songs by Lennon and McCartney in their concerts. Just last month at the Boston Guitar Festival, I heard Eliot Fisk and Joachin Clerch play a few guitar duet versions of Beatles songs in settings by Cuban composer Leo Brouwer. In my view, the watershed 1994 album Manuel Barrueco Plays Lennon and McCartney, with a full program of Beatles songs in settings for guitar and orchestra, solo guitar, and guitar duo, successfully connected classical guitar and guitar-centric popular music.
While many (including me) feel the Beatles’ music transcends time, the fact remains that it was written 45 or more years ago. A lot has gone on in the music world since then. I feel that the songs of Sting have had a major cultural impact around the world in the decades since the sixties. To me, his songs deserved the same kind of treatment given to Beatles tunes.
Greetings all. With the end of the year approaching, it looks like we've all nearly completed one more trip around the sun. While fall is special in many parts of the world, as a New Englander, the beautiful sights and scents of the autumn around here never cease to amaze me year after year. This particular season is made even sweeter for Bostonians with the Red Sox winning the World Series. They came from last place in 2012 season to win the pennant this year and are a symbol of resurgence in Boston after the tragedy we endured last April. The Sox had just begun the season and were actually in the midst of a game at Fenway park only a mile away from ground zero when the bombs went off. Thank you Red Sox for bringing such a spirit exuberance back to the city!
I am planning another trip to the studio before the end of the year to record some new pieces I've written. In the coming months I hope to have something to share from those sessions with visitors to this site. I'm also working on the February issue of Berklee today with a cover story on Latin pop music powerhouse Tommy Torres. For those who don't know his work, he's a multi-Latin Grammy winning record producer and hit songwriter and was recently pictured in a major ad campaign for Banana Republic.
The issue will also feature a story on the theme music to the film Forrest Gump. Music geeks will be happy to hear that composer Alan Silvestri has given us permission to print the orchestral score. Alan will also look back with us on the 20th anniversary of the movie's release and the effect of his beloved theme. Visit berkleetoday.epubxp.com to see past and future issues.
Lastly, I was invited to write an article for the November issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine on milestones in the evolution of the design of the classical guitar. That's all until next time. Stay well.
The skies cleared following New England’s post-New Year’s day storm, and I took a stroll through hushed woods near my home. Strains of “The Wintry Day Descending to Its Close,” a little known hymn tune by Edward P. Kimball (1882-1937), kept playing in mind as I walked in the fading light. I had recorded a setting of that tune with fellow guitarist Robert Torres and violinist Sarah Roth in the winter months of 2000. After coming in from the cold, I pulled out the Joy in Every Sound CD that we made nearly 14 years ago.
Like many musicians, I rarely listen to own recordings once they’re finished. I hadn’t heard “Wintry Day” in years. But it dovetailed with the mood of the afternoon and the pictures I snapped out there, so I thought I’d share both with you. The Joy CD is now out of print, although the label has reissued some tracks through iTunes. But music lives on in the minds of those it has affected, woven randomly into tapestries of images, experiences, and feelings nearly forgotten. Here’s hoping that 2014 will be memorable for you, with vibrant musical strands woven throughout.
Lastly, I was invited to write an article for the November issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine on milestones in the evolution of the design of the classical guitar. That's all until next time. Stay well.
Among the Dragons
I had the pleasure recently, to conduct an interview with the members of the Grammy-winning alternative rock band Imagine Dragons before their show in Norfolk, VA. They will be the cover story for the June issue of Berklee today. These guys are impressive musicians with great songs and are very savvy about music business issues. In conversation with them, I learned how hard they’ve worked to get where they are, doing it all on their own terms and maintaining artistic control over their music and their careers. It’s a refreshing and upbeat story that I look forward to sharing in the pages of Berklee today. (I’ll post the link to the online version once the issue hits the street on June 1.)
As for my own music, I’ve posted the studio recordings of my solo guitar settings of three songs by Sting at Sound Cloud. I wrote about them in my August 2013 posting and now you can hear them here now. I plan for these to be part of a new album I will complete in coming months. I hope you will enjoy this preview. Thanks for visiting my site, and here’s hoping spring arrives soon.
From left: Ben McKee, Wayne Sermon, (me),
Daniel Platzman, and Dan Reynolds
June Berklee Today magazine
with Mark’s story on Imagine Dragons
Jack McCarthy 1890-1918
Leslie Peck 1960-2014
At the end of June, I traveled to France and Belgium for work. I was in Paris on June 28, during the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand that led to WWI. While there, I visited Oise-Aisne American Cemetery 50 miles east of Paris where my great-uncle Jack McCarthy was buried after being killed in the Second Battle of the Marne. Pictured before leaving Fort Devens for France in March of 1918, he left a young bride to serve our country and never returned. Walking through the battlefield where he and 1,410 others fell and standing by his grave felt like I was on hallowed ground. To read the Berklee today stories from this trip, Click here.
My sister Leslie, pictured flying above Webster Lake in 1969 as a carefree eight-year-old, lost her battle with cancer on November 23. She loved swimming throughout her life. A devoted wife and mother of three, she fought this disease off and on for 19 years. Les maintained a positive attitude until the very end, and is a huge inspiration. May I be that brave when facing serious trials.
In September, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of Berklee today magazine. During a gathering of musical greats at Capitol Records in L.A., I got a minute to chat with Steve Lukather: the quintessential L.A. studio guitarist of the 80s. In addition to contributions to countless platinum recordings, he was part of the supergroup Toto. The the chance to talk to him about his playing was awesome!
Ana Vidovic visited Boston on October 17
In October, classical guitar virtuoso Ana Vidovic came to Boston for a masterclass and concert. She shared much wisdom in the class and her flawless performance demonstrated that she practices what she preaches. My story on her visit will appear in the January 2015 issue of Classical Guitar magazine.
Finally, my next album is almost finished, look for an early 2015 release. My arrangements of three Sting songs (Listen Here on Sound Cloud) are bringing many requests for the sheet music. But I can’t legally distribute it until a make an agreement with Sting’s publisher. I’ll keep you posted.
The June issue of Berklee today has come out with my cover story interview on Imagine Dragons. It was my privilege to spend an hour speaking with them and then catching their performance later that night in Norfolk, VA. Since our interview, the band has been making a new album. They recently took time out from that to play on the Billboard Music Awards broadcast and walked away with five awards that night. This is a group to watch. Click here to read this and other stories.
For the the issue, I will go to France and Belgium to speak with veterans of the European music industry and a Berklee grad who is a fantastic musician and was just elected a senator in the European Union Parliment. More on that at a later date.
As for my own music, I am practicing hard in preparation for recording sessions for my next album. In addition to my arrangements of three Sting songs (mentioned in a previous post), I will track new pieces I’ve written and a couple of works form the Spanish classical repertoire. I’ll provide updates and samples as the project progresses. That’s it for now. Bring on the summer!
Like other New Englanders who slogged through a record winter, I’m feeling the optimism that comes with the promise of spring. But some of the snowy days of February were quite productive for me. During one blizzard, I completed an interview with Christopher Parkening for the newly revamped Classical Guitar magazine. Hailed as “America’s first important classical guitarist” when his career took off in the 1970s, Parkening inspired many to take up classical guitar.
I was among the large number of baby boomers who had to play classical guitar after hearing his beautiful Parkening Plays Bach album. That article will come out in the Summer issue of Classical Guitar. Also in February, CG’s first American issue with the review I wrote of Ana Vidovic’s fall 2014 Boston concert came out. As well, the new Berklee today came out around the same time. Read it here.
It’s the best feeling to learn that your music connected emotionally with listeners. I’ve been receiving e-mails from people wanting to perform the song “When It’s Time” that I cowrote and recorded with my daughter Meegan. It appears on the 2006 Fast Falls the Eventide album featuring Meegan’s voice backed by two guitars, strings, and pennywhistle and Celtic percussion. Click here to listen.
I’ve produced a piano-vocal sheet music edition so others can sing it too. You can purchase it here.
The winter snows caused a halt in the recording of my album, but I’m at the halfway point and will resume soon. Check back for progress reports. As always, thanks for visiting my site. As George Harrison wrote, “Here Comes the Sun, and I say, it’s all right.”
As another year heads toward a close, I'm looking back at how much has happened. On a personal note, by year's end, my family will have welcomed our first two grandsons. The arrival of new lives makes you ponder the nature of life, what's really important, where you've been, and where the road you're traveling is leading.
The musical road I’m on has been most enjoyable. After decades of playing, I'm finding new ways to refine my guitar abilities and enjoying more than ever writing down new musical ideas that come from wherever they do. Consequently, the album I've been working on over the past year keeps morphing with the addition of pieces of my own or from the repertoire. I will finish up the last tracks in coming months.
As for my journalistic work, I cross-crossed the country oceans several times. Among the highlights was attending the Parkening International Guitar Competition in Malibu, CA, to write an article for the Fall 2015 issue of Soundboard magazine. A profile I wrote on Meng Su, the woman who took first prize, will come out in Classical Guitar magazine in January 2016.
For Berklee Today stories, I went to L.A., Abbey Road Studios in London; Bogota and Ibague, Colombia; and to the Bay Area for a fascinating conversation with best-selling author and neuroscientist/musician Daniel Levitin. Happily, a Q&A with Doug Morris, CEO of Sony Music International, took place via phone from my Boston office. To check out these stories, visit berkleetoday.epubxp.com.
I thank all for visiting my site and hope 2015 ends on a high note for you.
Mark with Ramin Djawadi
Mark with Angel Romero
Late Winter 2016
Here in New England, we are getting through this season quite well in comparison to last winter. Thus far, we've only had two big snow storms. And today, the last day of February, was warm, one could almost feel in the air that spring will be coming, even if we might end up getting another storm or two.
In addition to easy weather, February has been a good month for me, I had two cover stories published. The first was an interview with the legendary Angel Romero for the Spring 2016 issue of Classical Guitar magazine. The second cover story was for Berklee today that featured Ramin Djawadi, the composer for all six seasons of Game of Thrones. I met with Angel at his home in the San Diego area and we had an in-depth conversation. He was very warm and shared a lot of colorful stories. I had a great time. In a follow up e-mail, he expressed hopes that we will get to work on another interview in the future.
The second cover story was for Berklee today that featured Ramin Djawadi, the composer for all six seasons of Game of Thrones. Read it here.
Ramin has had a great run composing for some big TV series as well as movies such as Iron Man, Pacific Rim, and Clash of Titans, among others. It goes without saying that he has a very strong work ethic. We met for two hours, enough time for a photo shoot and interview at his Santa Monica, CA, studio, and parted at 5 p.m. That was just a break in Ramin's work day. As we left, he said he would be going back to his writing for several more hours.
Doing all the interviews I do with top musicians has taught me just how hard they all work to accomplish what they have. I’ll sign off for now, gotta go practice!
After a lingering winter and cool spring in New England, we are finally into sunnier days. With the warmth of June, the summer issue of Berklee today rolled off the presses. The cover story features Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. It’s hard to accurately describe with words almost anyone’s music to those who haven’t heard it. I’ll make an attempt by stating that Welch and Rawlings fall into the broad category of Americana artists. They write songs that sound like traditional American folk music with beautiful interweaving two-part harmonies underpinned by Gillian’s flat-top Gibson strumming and colorful ornamentation above from Rawlings’s 1939 Epiphone arch-top acoustic.
Their lyrics can take you back in time or speak in the present tense. Read their interview here. Among the other articles in the issue are a lesson by Kai Narezo on the rumba as a gateway to flamenco guitar, a discussion of current copyright issues by David Purcell, and a really engaging essay by David Newhoff on the real value of recorded music.
As soon as that issue dropped, I was off to start on a new cover story on Alex Lacamoire, the brilliant music director for the smash Broadway music Hamilton. I had read a lot about the show being the first to prominently feature hip-hop music on Broadway. Also revolutionary is its multi-ethnic cast portraying our country’s founding fathers, their wives, and family members. Alex did a masterful job writing the orchestrations and vocal arrangements. He has become the right-hand man to the show’s author, composer, and leading man, Lin-Manuel Miranda, considered one of the brightest young minds in musical theater today. The show is a knockout and lives up to every word of praise it has received. I look forward to sharing Alex’s interview in the fall issue of Berklee today.
As for my own musical pursuits, I am writing new material and recording it for the album I’ve been working on as time has permitted since last year. I’m excited about the results but I’m in no big hurry to finish it up. After I record more new pieces (including one featuring chromatic harmonica), I’ll have more than an album’s worth of music. That will allow me to pick only the very best tracks for the album. In the near future I will post a new track.
That’s it for now, thanks to all for visiting my site. I send best wishes for a great summer.
Mark with Alex Lacamoire
We’ve gotten past the Ides of March and my fellow New Englanders are hoping for warm weather soon. The fall and winter were busy for me as a writer. The fall issue of Classical Guitar magazine featured my cover story on Scott Tennant and his groundbreaking album of all Segovia composition that will be released soon.
It was great to talk to Scott about the Maestro’s little known composer side and to attend one of Scott’s recording sessions in Los Angeles. I met up with Scott again at the University of Denver, CO, last October when he and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet premiered a half-hour-long piece composed for them by Pat Metheny. It was an amazing night and I reviewed the premiere for both Classical Guitar and DownBeat magazine. This is an epic piece and a studio recording of it will be released in the future.
Toward the end of 2016, I was assigned to do an interview for DownBeat with ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro when he was in Boston. As everyone knows, he is a phenomenal talent and a very warm person. Jake deserves every success that he’s had in my estimation.
After these freelance projects, I completed another issue of Berklee today featuring drummer, songwriter, and producer Keith Harris of the Black Eyed Peas. He’s had a busy career and is currently Fergie’s musical director among other things. Keith even made a cameo appearance in the hit movie LaLa Land. There are also great stories in that issue about building an audience as told by Livingston Taylor and a career retrospective on Mike Cassidy, who works at Google bringing the Internet to parts of the world currently without it via some brilliant technology.
As for my own music, I am completing a piece for harmonica and guitar that I hope to record it soon. The album project I have been working on keeps expanding and I have not planned a release date. It’s a luxury to have a lot of material and I’ll pick the very best selections for the final version.
I thank you all for visiting my site. Check back for a future update as there are more things in the pipeline.
After the Denver premiere of Pat Metheny’s “Road to the Sun,” members of LAGQ paused for a selfie with me before heading to their next gig. From the left: Mark Small, Scott Tennant, Bill Kanengiser, Matthew Greif, and John Dearman
Mark with Jake Shimabukuro at the Wilbur Theatre before his Boston concert.
Click cover image for Mark’s article on Scott Tennant.
Click cover image for article on Keith Harris.
Click cover image for Mark’s article on the Los Angles Guitar Quartet Debut of Pat Metheny commissioned work.
Click image for Mark’s article on Jake Shimabukuro in DownBeat
continued from home page . . .
During the course of gathering stories for the October Berklee today, I made my first trip to Israel in July to write a story about the Rimon School of Music in the Tel Aviv area. Yehuda Eder, the president of Rimon, and his staff couldn’t have been kinder to me. The experience I’ve had traveling and meeting great people from different lands, walks of life, and cultures, drives home to me the point that we are all one human family.
The upcoming 2018 Winter issue of Classical Guitar magazine will feature the sheet music for my piece “January.” It’s the first of four impressions for solo guitar from the suite Scenes from a New England Calendar. The piece in its entirety appeared on my 2011 album Scenes, and I’ve gotten nice feedback on this music from fellow guitarists, some of whom have performed it. For those who might not get to see the article in Classical Guitar, you can at least check out the music and hear “January” here. I have self-published the sheet music for the whole suite, please inquire if you’d like to order a copy. If you want the Scenes CD, there is a limited offer for $7, including domestic postage. International customers will be charged $5 for shipping.
As the year winds down, I reflect on some of the great guitarists who passed away in 2017 whose music touched me through the years. They include jazz artists John Abercombie, Allan Holdsworth, Larry Coryell, and Chuck Loeb; and pop stars Glen Campbell, Walter Becker, and Chuck Berry. I’m thankful for their music and inspiration. Their life’s work offered moments of wonder and joy to many. Ah, the power of music . . .