Chicago-born, award-winning pianist/composer Mark Simon is a 36-year veteran of the Portland jazz scene. For almost five years he was a regular member the band led by world-renowned jazz bassist Leroy Vinnegar. Mark has a wealth of experience playing in groups of all sizes, from duo to big band. The bulk of Mark’s experience as group leader is in the classic piano trio format: piano, bass and drums.
Since 2013, Mark has led his own quintet as a showcase to feature his original music. Mark Simon Quintet, or MSQ, is the culmination of Mark’s lifelong pursuit as a pianist, improvising jazz musician and composer. If you want cerebral jazz with no heart, this is not for you. Simon’s music touches the heart and soul, yet has enough meat on the bones to stimulate the mind as well.
Mark’s quintet is featured in his third CD, “Inkling,” released in Fall 2014. Joining Mark on the recording is his regular roster of musicians: Devin Phillips on tenor sax, Paul Mazzio on trumpet/flugelhorn, drummer Larry Bard, bassist Chris Higgins.
“Mark Simon’s Quintet has fantastic chemistry!
From Bird to Blakey to Simon’s originals to the Beatles,
every tune they play feels effortless and natural.”
(Thomas Barber – Trumpeter/Composer)
“I had the VERY pleasant experience of listening to and watching
the Mark Simon Quintet. They performed some covers and
several originals by Mark and also a tune by Mark’s brother Fred.
I would recommend this group to any of my friends”
(Carlos Elobisbo – Music Aficionado)
“You guys swing!”
(Ed Bennett – Bassist/Composer/Band Leader/President of Saphu Records)
“…Mark Simon has been a force on the West Coast jazz scene for years.
His improvising is informed and compelling, and his
compositions are memorable. Highly recommended.”
(Peter Boe – Jazz and Blues Pianist/Two-Time Grammy Award Winner as Member of Robert Cray Band)
“We see the Mark Simon Quintet whenever we have the chance. Mark sets the tone, and mood with a great variety of classic jazz and contemporary originals, that set up, and turn loose, the remarkable interplay of Sax master, Devin Phillips, and trumpeter Paul Mazzio. The confluence is a rare musical treat.”
(Robin and Byron Ady, Owners Gazelle Natural Fibre Clothing & Full Circle Resale)
“They sound great!”
(Anandi – Jazz Vocalist/Composer)
“Mark is an accomplished musician who is greatly dedicated to jazz playing and writing.”
(Leroy Vinnegar – The Walker /World Reknowned Jazz Bassist/Over 600 recordings)
For bookings, please contact Mark Simon (503) 239-6207 | email