Instrument: Saxophone | AMT Products Used: Wi5 System
“Mark is using the AMT WI5 Pro” – Mark Fransman
He has performed on stages in Europe such as the, Euro De Afrique Festival
(Along with such names as Yusuf N’dour and Papa Wemba), the North Sea Jazz Festival, in The Hague, Holland 2000 and 2002, the Swedish Jazz Celebration inSweden, Stockholme in 2006, the Leipzig Jazz Festival, Germany in 2007 and theEdge of Wrong Festival for improvised music in Øslo, Norway in 2008 and theFinnmark Jazz Festival in Norway in 2010.
Back in South Africa he has frequented the stages of the North Sea Jazz Festival Cape Town/ Cape Town International Jazz Festival, 2000 (with Errol Dyers), 2001 (with Jimmy Dlu Dlu), 2002 (with Tribe), 2003 (with Alvin Dyers), 2004 (as a leader with his own band Strait and Narro), 2006 (with Moreira Chonguisa) and 2007 (with The Muirhead Quartet).
Standard Bank Joy of Jazz festival 2000 to 2005 and Old Mutual Jazz festivals. Playing with such names as Jimmy Dludlu, Zim Nqwana, Musa Manzini, Gloria Bosman, Marcus Wyatt and Errol Dyers to mention a few.
He has performed with the likes of Pharaoh Sanders, Finley Quay, Soweto Kinch, René McLean, Hein van de Geyn, Zim Nqwana, Jimmy Dlu Dlu and Dave Young. And on the same stage with such jazz artists as Wayne Shorter, Charles Lloyd, Cedar Walton, Andrew Hill, Donald Brown, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Danilo Perez and Yusef Lateef.
As a producer Mark has been awarded two SAMA Awards (South African Music Awards). This award is currently South Africa’s premier music award.
In 2004 he won the Best Producer Award for Jimmy Dlu Dlu’s ‘Afrocentric’ and in 2007 he also won the Best Producer Award for Moreira Chonguisa’s ‘The Journey’.
He also has three years of musical theatre experience in musicals ‘Poison’ and ‘Kat and the Kings’ (Both David Kramer/Taliep Petersen productions), and received the FNB Vita Award for most outstanding performer in musical theatre (1995/96) for the latter.
Has also won the UCT Adcock Ingram (Jazz) competition of 2000 for Jazz.
In recognition of Mark’s musicianship and talent, he was awarded as Johnnie Walker’s ‘Musician of the year for 2004’.
One of Mark’s latest achievement is that he has awarded the Standard Bank Young Artist Award. Prior recipients of this award is the likes of Johnny Clegg and Sibongele Khumalo.
Beside performing Mark is also an award winning producer and has producied music for albums released on various record labels for various artists.
Among these are Jimmy Dlu Dlu’s album ‘Affrocentric’, with Universal Records (on which he has plays and produced).
He also produced Moreira Chonguisa’s debut album, The Journey, for More Productions in 2005 which features the saxophonist Najee. He has also co-produced Moreira’s newest album, Citizen of the world, which won the SAMA for best album in 2009.
Mark also produced the album ‘Our language’ of the group Tribe with Ready Rolled Records in 2003. The latter is a group of which Mark is both a composer and pianist.
Mark has also produced his own band, Strait and Narro, the album called, Ahead, for Tritone Music. The album received rave reviews rating 4 and 5 stars in all major publications. Mark is also the Executive producer on the album.
Mark’s latest productions include his own album entitled, Long time coming, on his own label (Tritone Music) recorded in his own studio (Tritone studios) in 2008.
He is currently involved with his own groups, Strait and Narro and Akoustik Knot.
STRAIT & NARRO
Strait and Narro is a seven piece band featured on their debut album, Ahead and Johnnie Walker Jazz Impressions vol. 1.
The band boasts a once in a lifetime opportunity, as they were the only South African band to be selected by the Department of Arts and Culture (of South Africa) to represent South Africa at the Olympic Games of 2004 in Athens, Greece.
Mark’s role in the band is that of composer, leader and arranger. The band boasts a group of new breed younger musicians in the likes of Buddy Wells, alto and tenor saxophones (Tribe), Lee Thomson, trumpet (Golliwog, Springbok Nude Girls), Kevin Gibson, drums, samples (Jimmy Dlu Dlu, Wired to the floor), Gavin Minter (Wired to the floor) Wesley Rusten, bass (Gramadoelas) and Melanie Scholtz, vocals and poetry (Jimmy Dlu Dlu).
The music played by the band has a wide ranging sound pallete and incorporates a fresh urban South African sound fused with elements of Hip-hop, Trip-hop, Soul, Funk and Jazz.
Akoustik Knot is a collective of musicians that explore the boundaries of acoustic music in it’s most primal of settings… without amplification… The music is dealt with (per piece) in a most sensitive and expressive manner from the most quite tones to the most powerful roar according to the demands of vaious the music (pieces).
The group also does interactive improvisations with visual artists (painters, sculptures etc.), where both entities seek to push each other to greater arstistic heights…