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EXTENSIVE BIOGRAPHY

Benny Carter... "Mark is one of my favorite players who has it all!"

Woody Herman ... "Mark Vinci is the last of the Four Brothers."

Mark Vinci was born January 26, 1960 on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Xenia, Ohio.  After two years his family  moved to Canton where he began playing piano at the at the age of 5, and saxophone at the age of 7.  At age 11,  Mark's father, an accomplished musician in his own right, took him to hear Sonny Stitt at a jazz club in Cleveland. Sonny invited Mark to play for him in his dressing room. Impressed by his talent and musical maturity, Stitt invited Mark to stay with him for the duration of the gig to listen and observe. Awestruck and enthusiastic, the young saxophonist eagerly learned about saxophone, jazz, and the life of the great Sonny Stitt.

At 16, he attended the Stan Kenton Summer Clinic in Maryland.  It was there that Kenton told Mark that when he was old enough, he would play in his band. One year later, Kenton gave Mark the Top Soloist Award at the Ohio State Jazz Festival and the Ashland Jazz Festival.  Unfortunately, Kenton died before Mark was old enough to join the band.

One year later, while a student at Bowling Green State University, pianist Marian McPartland heard Mark play in a clinic and invited him to play with her at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City.  Therefore, during his spring break, Mark took a train to NYC for his New York debut.  Upon Ms. McParland's advice, Mark attended North Texas State University the following year on a full scholarship.  At age 18, Mark placed in the second NTSU Jazz Band.

Due to financial difficulties during his first year at NTSU, Mark returned home to play gigs in the Akron-Canton area.  At this point, the Glenn Miller Orchestra asked him to join the orchestra.  He saw this as an opportunity to get road experience.  After 2 1/2 years with Miller, Mark moved to Cleveland to be with his new wife, Jan, where he played with Roland Kirk's former organist, Eddie Baccus.

After only a few months in Cleveland, Woody Herman asked Mark to join the Thundering Herd.  During this time the band worked with Joe Williams, Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Clark Terry and George Shearing.  They played festivals throughout the world, and recorded with Clark Terry, Teresa Brewer and Rosemary Clooney.

In 1983 Mark decided to leave Woody and settle in New York City  where he  began working for such artists as Gerry Mulligan, Mel Lewis, Tony Bennett, Liza Minnelli and Frank Sinatra.  On the SS Norway Jazz Cruise, he played with Benny Carter, Tommy Flanigan, Jerry Dodgion and Alan Dawson.  He also sat in with Zoot Sims at the Village Vanguard.  On "Jazzbeaux"  Collins' WNEW show in New York, Mark played with Ronnie Cuber, Georgie Auld and Al Grey.

While in New York Mark has continued to perform and tour with many great artists, including Joe Lovano and Rosemary Clooney.  He was the lead alto with the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra for 5 years. Presently, he is lead alto with John Fedchock's  New York Big Band whose Reservoir recording received 4 1/2 stars in Downbeat Magazine . In that review Herb Boyd states, "Mark  Vinci offers an emotionally rich confession on 'My Foolish Heart'."

Mark's Iris Records releases-- entitled GRAND SLAM and As I Think About You --  are establishing Mark as a leader and composer. His solo tours in the US and Europe have featured Mark at such places as The Nest in Washington, DC, the Club Brasserie in LA, and BIRDLAND in NYC where Mark's quartet played to a sold-out audience. As featured  soloist at the Sherwood Auditorium in La Jolla, CA  Mark premiered his big band compositions based on his tunes from As I Think About You and also played in a small group with Joe LaBarbara, Mike Wofford and Bob Magnusson. Mark continues to perform throughout the US as a soloist with big bands and in small groups with artists such as Rob McConnell and Bobby Shew. This television network season Mark performs with Rosemary Clooney and her small group on  Al Franken's television show, LateLine.

As I Think About You features Vinci's original compositions.  Mark's quartet is comprised of musicians that he has worked with for more than 15 years in various groups.  Pianist and composer, Gerard D'Angelo, a student of Bill Evans and Lennie Tristano, played with Zoot Sims and Red Rodney's Quintet.  Lynn Seaton, who studied with bassist Rufus Reid, has performed with the Monty Alexander Trio, Woody Herman and Diane Shuur.  A graduate of Eastman,  Dave Ratajczak played drums for Gerry Mulligan's Quartet, Woody Herman and Eddie Daniels.
Mark Vinci  continues to proclaim his passion for jazz, saxophone and composition through his rich and varied musical life.

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