“Mark is an eloquent and energetic player and composer in the bebop tradition. His years with Leroy Vinnegar certainly are evident and have left their mark with a strong rhythmic approach to the trio sound”
– Gordon Lee – pianist, composer and recording artist
The Mark Simon Trio is a platform for Mark and his trio-mates to explore multiple styles of music including jazz standards, bebop classics, post-bop, Brazilian music, Mark Simon originals, soul, folk, pop and rock. No matter what style the trio plays, the goal is always the same: to play music from the heart and project it to the listening audience so they can share in the joy of the music-making experience. From sophisticated to humorous, bold and brassy to understated and elegant, this trio explores the spectrum of musical expression. Mark ties all the different styles together by approaching each style from the view-point of an improvising jazz pianist.
Inspired by his years as a member of the Leroy Vinnegar Trio, Mark decided he wanted to put together and lead a well-organized trio and started holding sessions with his friend of 43 years, drummer Larry Bard’s basement. Different bassists joined them each session. Once in a while calling back a player for a second session and on rare occasions, a third session. The evening that bassist Chris Higgins showed up, Mark felt a chemistry in the Mark/Larry/Chris rhythm section. So the next session, Chris was invited back. At that point Mark decided to call on a different bassist only on rare occasions. Mark, Larry and Chris now form the combination performing most Mark Simon Trio gigs.
Although Mark steers the trio from the piano bench, he is well known for loosening his grip on the reigns, allowing the bass and drums to come to the forefront and share in the on-the-spot decision-making. This is a large part of why there are so many top-notch bassists and drummers in the Northwest who would be happy to perform in Mark’s trio.
This group doesn’t just play songs, it clearly communicates feelings. Listeners identify with the emotion of the moment, whether it is joy, reflection, folly, seriousness, wonderment or blueness.
This music may at times be complex and embedded with deep substance that provides appeal for the serious jazz listener. But it’s also easy to listen to, attracting fans that might otherwise not care for jazz.
For bookings, please contact Mark Simon
(503) 239-6207 | email