Photo of our jazz quartet playing music in a garden

The Mark Toomey Quartet

Do You Run A Jazz Club Or Jazz Festival?

If you like the music of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt and all the great bebop players from the 1940's and 1950's then you will want to book my band.

My music is full of the passion and fire that is associated with the bebop idiom. We like to communicate the sheer freedom and joy that only jazz can provide.

I enjoy playing a mixture of standards from the great American songbook, my own compositions and some jazz standards particularly from the bebop era.

You may also like to book me as a solo artist if you already have an established "house" rhythm section.

A Tribute To Charlie Parker

My quartet will play a mixed program of well known and more obscure tunes by the master, in homage to the genius of Charlie Parker. The whole event will be full of great music and knowledgeable banter.

A Tribute To Cannonball Adderley

My quintet (including Trumpet) will play a mixed program from the repertoire of the great Cannonball Adderley Quintet. This music will be full of energy and drive and yet very accessible.

My recordings

I have made a few recordings over the years. If you are interested in these please contact me for more information.

History and experience

Since 1986 I have run my own jazz quartet. My playing and repertoire at this early stage was heavily influenced by the great Charlie Parker. This first quartet was at college and we played at lunch time concerts for the other students. I sent off a recording of one of these concerts and won a scholarship to the prestigious Berklee Jazz College in America. Unfortunately, I was unable to take up this offer due to financial reasons.
I have been involved with various big bands such as the Durham Youth Jazz Orchestra, The Doncaster Youth Jazz Orchestra (tour of California), Youth Jazz Orchestra North, The Ray Chester Big Band, The Creative Jazz Orchestra led by Kenny Wheeler and The Guildhall Jazz Band.

Over the years I've been asked to play at many jazz clubs and venues in the North East and further afield. I played at the Isle Of Man Jazz Festival and the Edinburgh Jazz Festival where I sat in with an all star group including Scott Hamilton. Other well known jazz musicians that I've played with include Ian Carr, Harry Becket, Bob Florence, Tony Coe, Don Rendell, Peter King, John Taylor and Norma Winstone.

Jazz education

Before music college, I attended two residential courses. Firstly, Johnny Dankworth's All Music Course at Wavendon and then the first Jamey Aebersold Jazz Course in this country.

The Dankworth course had tutors such British jazz players such as Don Rendell, Tony Coe, Trevor Tompkins, Bill Le Sage, Spike Heatley, Jeff Cline, and from the U.S.A. vocalist Mark Murphy. I had very memorable and inspirational lessons from Don Rendell, Tony Coe and Jeff Cline and we played at the music venue The Stables.

The Aebersold course had the "big three" jazz educators. Jamey Aebersold, Jerry Coker and David Baker who all gave lectures that inspired me. Among the other teachers were Slide Hampton, Todd Coolman and Hal Galper. All fantastic musicians and very good educators.

At music college there were master classes from such a diverse collection of artists as The Dave Holland Quartet with Steve Coleman (alto sax.), and alto saxophonists Anthony Braxton and Charlie Mariano.

When I attended a one year post graduate jazz course at The Guildhall School Of Music, London, I had lessons and lectures from the two course leaders, Lionel Grigson and Scott Stroman. I also had saxophone lessons from Don Rendell, Jean Toussaint and lectures and workshops from Ian Carr, Alyn Shipton, Max Harrison and Trevor Tompkins.

Front cover of Mark's CD
Back cover of Mark's CD

If you would like live jazz for your evening's entertainment, call 01642 565 851 or 07749 255 038

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