“Mark is a brilliant accompanist and player. It’s important to me, a singer, that the accompaniment is on my side and Mark makes that happen. He’s fun and easy to work with – a singer’s pianist. Take heed singers, Mark Simon is a winner.”
– Nancy King, jazz vocalist sublime
Mark Simon is recognized on the Portland jazz scene as one of the top vocal accompanists, and many of the region’s leading vocal professionals seek out him for his services. He has backed up dozens of the area’s most talented vocalists including Ralph Black, MaryAnn Mayfield, Marilyn Keller, Rebecca Kilgore, Karla Harris, Shirley Nanette and Nancy King.
Mark has also appeared in concert with vocalist Julie Kelly and has had vocalists such as Harry Connick Jr. and Nicolas Bearde “sit in” on his gigs.
Vocalist services offered include:
- Accompaniment on gigs, recording sessions, and rehearsals.
- Collaboration on arrangements.
- Printed charts in your key.
- Transcription services.
- Experienced input; providing the vocalist with the tools and knowledge needed to better communicate with musicians.
“Mark Simon retains a special place in my musical life. He was the first pianist I met when I lived in Portland, and for a year or so we worked regularly as a duo in a small restaurant, a gig that gave me wonderful opportunity to build my book and my skills, growth that helped lead to regular work in the area’s top spots during my years in the area. Mark taught me a lot about the art of the fearless jazz conversation with his innovative accompanying, and encouraged me to participate. He challenged me to stretch in my interpretation, time and technique and get more comfortable with coloring outside the box, musically. Over the years, we collaborated on some arrangements of standards and pop tunes that are among the best in my book and that are still favorites with me and my listeners. Mark plays to the story of a song, backing and abetting the singer he’s working with. It’s a great net to cast under yourself as a vocalist — supportive and swinging.”
– Karla Harris, prominent vocalist
“If I could sing well and enjoy the sound of my own voice, I would. I choose to leave singing to the vocalist. My job is to help them sound as good as they can. With my experience as a teacher of music, vocal accompanist, producer and arranger, I have acquired a vision of what makes the vocals and the music work well together. Couple that with my flexible communication skills and my ingrained sense of empathy, I feel I am uniquely qualified to assist the vocalist.”
Email or call (503) 239-6207 to schedule an appointment or to consult with Mark.