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Mark Marquis - Biography

   Mark Marquis

   Mark Marquis was born into a musical family in Leominster, MA on June 30, 1954. His father, Bernard Marquis, was an avid trumpeter, both during his decorated term of service with the army during World War II and afterwards in his free time away from managing a grocery store. Having taken much from the world of music himself, the patient veteran encouraged his four sons in their own pursuits of the trumpet, piano, guitar, bass, and drums. The third-born of the boys, Mark's first experiences of getting his hands on an instrument came by way of sneaking away his older brother’s guitar and figuring out melodies by ear.
   It was with this background that the nine-year-old Mark sat in front of the family's television set on February 9, 1964 to watch The Beatles play in the U.S. for the very first time on the Ed Sullivan Show. That performance confirmed to him that music was the area to which he wanted to dedicate his life. It bolstered both his persistent practicing and pursuit of new knowledge.
   In the following years, Marquis went on to dedicate himself to the guitar and piano, playing in many different styles and eventually also composing vast original works for both instruments. In the public, he's made a name for himself in rock, jazz, and by his unique blending of the two. Though largely self-taught on the guitar, crediting much of his skill set to ear-training and learning on the go, he is indebted to two parties for his mastery of jazz piano, in particular. His uncle, Frank Tisdale, the area’s most prominent piano teacher during the 50’s and 60’s, provided a young Marquis with his first training in classical repertoire. Later, he learned a great deal about improv from his time under the tutelage of the late Charlie Banacos.
   Marquis has been a full-time professional musician since the mid-1970's, playing thousands of concerts and club gigs all throughout the New England area. His main performing ensemble, The Mark Marquis Group, has subsisted for several decades and to date has released six CD’s of original works. The longtime group features many respected musicians in their own right, including Bob Simonelli, Jerry Sabatini, and Don Kirby.
   One of the hallmarks of Marquis' career has been his 'Most Peaceful Night of the Year' Christmas Concert which for twenty-seven years has raised funds for the Fitchburg Salvation Army.
   Today, Mark Marquis continues to teach music lessons from his home in Leominster, as he has since the 1980's. He still plays gigs regularly, both solo concerts and with his group and other ensembles. And his love and curiosity for his longtime passion has not wavered in the least: several years ago, he took up learning a third instrument – the sitar.