Drexel University: Adjunct Professor of Percussion
President of the National Association of Rudimental Drummers - N.A.R.D.
... please visit http://nard.us.com
Official voting member of the GRAMMYs (The Recording Academy)
Artist's BiographyMark Beecher first started playing drums around the age of 10. He began taking lessons a few years later, from 4 time VFW National Snare Drum Champion, the late William H. Reamer, father-figure and mentor (& proprietor of Drummers Service), who grew to be a major influence on his drumming career. By the age of 16, he was playing snare drum with the Pennsylvania State Champion Brookhaven Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps. Marks talent as a performer continued to develop with his snare drumming in the Keystone Regiment (which later evolved into the Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps) and the Independence Fife and Drum Corps. He had the honor, with this group, of entertaining a number of dignitaries such as Queen Elizabeth, President Valery Giscard dEstaing of France and King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. He is a medal winner of individual snare drum competitions with the Connecticut State Fifers & Drummers Association and was an honorary member of the VKB - the oldest drum and fife clique in Basel, Switzerland. Mark has also been active as a snare drummer for the Philadelphia Fife & Drum (director, Ed Boyle), Valley Forge Fife and Drum, Liberty Fife & Drum Corps, and the Olde Citie Fife & Drum Corps. He was part of a tour of England for US Airways with the Philadelphia Fife & Drum, and performed for the arrival of President Clinton, in the ceremonies for the ground breaking of the National Constitution Center, as well as the awarding of the Philadelphia Liberty Medal to President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and the recent opening ceremonies for the 2010 Tiger Woods AT&T Nationals Golf Tournament. Mark can be seen performing regularly around Independence Hall and the Philadelphia vicinity with a number of these corps.
While still in high school, Mark recorded his first vinyl record album on the drum kit, and upon graduating, started performing professionally in a number of small combos. Also during this time, he played and toured with the Widener College Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of John Venore (a former trumpet player for the Woody Herman Herd). Since then, he has performed in a wide variety of musical situations, some of which have toured nationally, and can now include an on-stage performance with one of the biggest-selling recording artists in the world, multi GRAMMY Award-Winning artist, Shania Twain, as well as multi GRAMMY Award-Winning artists, The Chieftains and drummer, Peter Erskine. Among others, Mark has recorded and/or performed with such artists as: Mary Arden Collins (Mark can be heard on Marys CDs, Alone With The B-Sides, as well as, A Delaware Christmas/Delaware Friends of Folk, and has just been featured w/Mary on the song, Tied, for the hit CBS Series Criminal Minds), Joe Rathbone (on his release, Sweet Relief), the Latin band, Synthesis (with whom he recorded 2 CDs and has been a member of since 1989), Kathy Shooster (on her 2 CDs - Face To Face & As You Lead), guitarist Tim Farrell (on his release, Skydancer), Sharon Katz & The Peace Train (from South Africa), J.L. Torres, Gospel artist Sherry McMillan, The Loons, Dennis Selfridge, Danny Zolli, The Baal Shem Tov Band, the Funk-Rock band BMC, singer/guitarist Greg Austin, Steve Fitzgerald & the Zebras and McHugh & Co.. Mark was part of an amazing tour of La Paz & El Alto, Bolivia, with the Latin Jazz band, Ellas y Amigos, for the FestiJazz 2004 - sponsored, in part, by the U.S. Embassy in Bolivia.
In addition to being a part of the new band, Savior Soul, as well as his own, Mark Beecher Experience, Jazz band, Mark has appeared with comedian Cozy Morley, Cardiac All Stars, Planete Folle (Cajun/Zydeco Band), Straight No Chaser, Standard Deviation, Suzzette Ortiz & Her Latin Jazz Ensemble, Rick Hall & His Swingin K-9 Jazz Band, Banda Capitolio featuring Elio Villafranca, Belladonna, Jules DeSimone Band, Jack Kessler & Atzilut, Klingon Klezmer, The Kleztones, Stevie LaRocca, Benny and the Vildachayas, Cindy Duffie, Larry Kelly Caribbean Steel Drum Band, Sally Mitlas Orchestra, Jill Salkin Ensemble, Silver Screen, City Lights, Juan Avila, Dave Ellis Orchestra, Al Raymond Big Band, Delaware County Community College Big Band, and the First Baptist Gospel Choir of Wilmington, Delaware.
Mark has shared the stage with a number of national & international recording artists, which has included David Lee Roth, The Doobie Brothers, Dave Mason, The Temptations, Bo Diddley, Lucinda Williams, Fastball, Modern English, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Patty Griffin, Francis Dunnery, Moxy Fruvous, Arlo Guthrie, Patty Larkin, Trout Fishing in America, James McMurty, The Klezmatics, and Leni Stern. Mark has also performed in the company of such prestigious Jazz Fusion artists as Gato Barbieri, Lee Ritenour, Russ Freeman & the Rippingtons, and Eric Marienthal.
Some notable music festivals Mark has performed at, include the Philadelphia Folk Festival, WXPN Singer/Songwriter Weekend at Penns Landing, Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, Musikfest, Cool Blues, Brews, & BBQs 2001, Spring Gulch Music Festival, Delaware Friends of Folk Fall Fling, Tall Ships Festival, Delaware Music Festival, Chesapeake City Canal Day Festival, Susquehanna Wine Festival, Harvest Moon Festival, and The Seven Arts Festival. Mark played in the pit orchestra for such musical productions as Godspell and A Klezmer Story, which had its debut at The Sullivan Performing Arts Summer Festival in the Catskill mountains of New York. He has performed at a number of the Atlantic City Casinos including Sands, Resorts, Tropicana, Claridge, Harrahs, and a series of weekly gigs at the Trump Taj Mahal with Mike & the Island Boys, sponsored by Grand Marnier. Mark also had the privilege of performing for the 2000 Republican National Convention.
Mark recently acted as producer, composer, arranger and drummer in a series of jingles for such corporations as Campbells Soup, Stroehmann Bread (through DePersico Creative Group), and the American Heart Association. He has collaborated with his friend, keyboardist/composer Drew Placzek, on a number of these type projects as well as others. Although Marks abilities as a composer/arranger have been put to use in a multitude of other musical situations, he will soon be releasing a CD of his own compositions, entitled, Lemonade Fog.
Mark has performed live, on-air, for such Philadelphia radio programs as the Y-100 Morning Show, Jonny Meister Show (88.5 WXPN), Gene Shay Show (on both WXPN & WHYY 91 FM), El Viaje w/David Ortiz (90.1 WRTI), in addition to Delaware radio stations 94.7 WRDX, 93.7 WSTW, and 91.3 WVUD. He also appeared on TV shows like Good Day Philadelphia (WTXF-TV 29), Saturday Night Dead (KYW-TV 3), Sounds of the Season, Good Times in Delaware (WCAU -Channel 10), Backstage & Chat 24 (Suburban Cable).
In his quest to learn more about drumming & percussion, Mark also studied with such renowned Latin percussion masters as the late Frankie Malabe (at Drummers Collective, NYC), Changuito, aka Jose Luis Quintana (drummer/percussionist for the Cuban band Los Van Van), and Pablo Batista (percussionist for the late Grover Washington Jr.), African drumming master, Oscar Sulley, Eastern Indian drumming master, T.N. Bala, and Frank Zappa drummers, Chad Wackerman and Chester Thompson (also with Genesis & Phil Collins). These studies eventually helped him to gain recognition in the World Beat Music circuit, both as a drum kit artist and an accomplished percussionist. In addition to his studies, Mark has either gigged with, or played alongside such prestigious percussionists as John Santos (Tito Puente, Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Eddie Palmieri), Doc Gibbs (Emeril Live, Grover Washington Jr., Whitney Houston, Erykah Badu), T. Floyd, Freddie Sanchez, as well as the internationally known Cuban band, Habanasax.
Besides playing and recording, Marks reputation grew as a highly-regarded drum instructor. He began teaching privately while only a Junior in high school. Subsequently, he went on to teach the percussion sections of several award winning high school bands, drum corps, the Valley Forge Military Academy Field Music, and presently includes The Washington Memorial Pipe Band (for which he also plays snare drum), and is an Adjunct Professor of Percussion for Drexel University in Philadelphia. Mark has written articles for The Rudimental Percussionist magazine, a snare drum solo for the book, I.A.R.P. Rudimental Solos, and just released a new instructional DVD entitled, The Art of Ancient Rudimental Drumming (presented by DePersico Creative Group). He is in the process of writing a series of articles for Modern Drummer Magazine, and will soon be publishing his own books on drum kit techniques.
Mark also conducts drum clinics, classes and seminars at various schools and music venues. He is a member of The Percussive Arts Society, NDA (National Drum Association), N.A.R.D. (National Association of Rudimental Drummers), I.A.R.P. (International Association of Rudimental Percussionists), and The Company of Fifers & Drummers.
Mark Beecher is currently an endorser for Ludwig Drums/Conn-Selmer, and Evans Drumheads/DAddario and Vic Firth Drumsticks.
A special thanks to master drummer, Peter Erskine, good friend & mentor, who for Mark, has been a great source of inspiration & advice.
Another special thanks to the most innovative drummer I know, Jay Bellerose, who has been a beautiful friend & drumming inspiration to me over the years.
Artist's InfluencesJesus Christ, Buddy Rich, John Bonham, Steve Gadd, Tony Williams,
Dave Weckl, Chad Wackerman, Gary Husband, Dennis Chambers, Vinnie Colaiuta, Jay Bellerose, Peter Erskine