Visiting Artist in Residence
Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
In a career that spans two decades and encompasses a broad array of musical ventures, saxophonist Mark Turner has emerged as a towering presence in the jazz community. With a distinctive, personal tone, singular improvisational skills and an innovative, challenging compositional approach, he's earned a far-reaching reputation as one of jazz's most original and influential musical forces.
A New York Times profile of Mark titled "The Best Jazz Player You've Never Heard" called him "possibly jazz's premier player," noting his reputation amongst his peers and his influential stature in the jazz world.
In 2013, Mark entered an exciting new creative phase, with his varied talents showcased on a variety of notable new recording projects. He released his sixth album as a leader - his first under his own name in a dozen years. He's also featured on releases by pianist Stefano Bollani, guitarist Gilad Hekselman, pianist Baptiste Trotignon and the Billy Hart Quartet, of which Mark's been a member for nearly a decade and with whom he recorded two previous albums. He's also continuing his work as a member of Fly, a collaborative trio with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard.
Those projects add to an already expansive body of work that encompasses Mark's own widely acclaimed albums and an assortment of collaborations, along with his prolific work as an in-demand sideman. Mark's diverse discography includes collaborations with many of jazz's leading lights, including Kurt Rosenwinkel, Lee Konitz, James Moody, Dave Holland, Joshua Redman, Delfeayo Marsalis, Brad Mehldau, Reid Anderson, Omer Avital, Diego Barber, David Binney, Brian Blade, Seamus Blake, Chris Cheek, George Colligan, Gary Foster, Jon Gordon, Aaron Goldberg, Ethan Iverson, Jonny King, Ryan Kisor, Guillermo Klein, Matthias Lupri, OAM Trio, Mikkel Ploug, Enrico Rava, Jochen Rueckert, Jaleel Shaw, Edward Simon and the SF Jazz Collective.
After graduating from Boston's prestigious Berklee College of Music in 1990, Mark moved to New York, where his rapidly developing talents were quickly recognized. Between 1995 and 2001, he recorded five albums of his own - Yam Yam, Mark Turner, In This World, Ballad Session and Dharma Days—while keeping busy as a sought-after collaborator and sideman.
With an impressive musical history already under his belt and more on the way, Mark Turner is clearly on the verge of a creative renaissance. As The New York Times noted, "His best work is clearly still ahead of him."