Mark Sherman

Mark Sherman's Biography

Mark Sherman's background, Juilliard education, working, performance, and recording experience have all contributed to a unique vision which incorporates elements of jazz, classical, and rhythm and blues. Mark is an accomplished soloist (vibraphone and piano), ensemble player, composer and accompanist. "I am striving for happiness and love through the continuous organization and exploration of sound and harmony."

Sherman graduated from the High School of Music and Art and went on to Juilliard where he had 5 solid years of percussion training with tympani master Saul Goodman. He played in symphonic situations led by Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta and Sir George Soiti. While at Juilliard he met a kindred soul who was at home in both the classical and jazz worlds – Wynton Marsalis. They jammed together regularly and years later it was with the help of Wynton's endorsement that Mark recorded in 1986, A New Balance which showcases Mark's skills as a composer, vibist and synthesiser specialist. The first few years after Juilliard, Mark performed with the New York Philharmonic, the Joffrey Ballet Orchestra, the American Symphony, the New York New Music Ensemble, the Brooklyn Philharmonic and many other orchestras and ensemble. David Chesky wrote a concerto for vibes and orchestra especially for Sherman. Mark was also the featured soloist in Darious Milhaud's Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra at Lincoln Center.

Among Sherman performing experiences are stints with singers Jackie and Roy and working with Peggy Lee for six years. From Peggy Lee he learned how to "turn a musical phrase" amd "subtle time." Sherman's bandmates while working with Lee included Grady Tate, Mike Renzi and Jay Leonhart. This led to gigs with Mel Torme, Liza Minelli, Ruth Brown and Maureen McGovern. He also started gaining recognization as a fine studio musician and recorded with guitarists Joe Beck and Rodney Jones and he also produced Jones' CD, The Unbroken Heart for Minor Music. Sherman began touring with R&B pioneer Ruth Brown just as she was being reappreciated as a jazz singer. But of course, for anyone familiar with Ruth Brown knows her singing combines many genres of music, so while working with Ruth, Mark renewed his interest in the Blues and R&B. He can be heard playing both vibes and piano on Brown's Song Of My Life on Fantasy Records.

Recently, Mark launched his own label, Miles High Productions. He's released 3 CDs; Spiral Staircase, High Rollin' and Daylight Calling. Besides being a regular member of Larry Coryell's band for the past 5 years, in 1996 Mark produced Larry Coryell's CD, I'll Be Over You for CTI and the following year produced Sketches of Coryell for Shanachie as well as contributed tunes for both records. In the last few years, Mark has taught at Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music. He has recently started offering online lessons and offering select students private study. He is a synthesizer clinician for the Roland Corporation, and is a Yamaha performing artist. To learn more visit Mark's teaching site: Teaching Improv Music.

Mark Sherman's Gear
Mark Sherman

Gear List

Yamaha Vibraphones