Mark Eisenman is one among a handful of the top ‘in-demand’ jazz pianists in Toronto. Born in New York City but based in Toronto since 1972, Mark started studying the piano with his father. By the age of eighteen he had resolved that he would be pursuing the piano as a career interest. He entered into the music program at York University and after a short time discovered jazz music. With his introduction to this idiom his musical interest peaked.
Under the tutelage of John Gittins and others Mark ultimately took a degree in Fine Arts, and as testimony to his continuing dedication to the learning process, currently conducts jazz workshops at York as a part-time faculty member. His teaching has expanded to include “The Jazz Camp” and classes at Mohawk College in Hamilton in addition to a lot of private teaching in his home studio.
Mark has performed in many different venues with numerous eminent Canadian and U.S. jazz artists including the following: Art Farmer, Barney Kessel, Ed Bickert, Rob McConnell, Sam Noto, and Pat LaBarbera. He has also had numerous radio appearances and is well represented on recordings, the latest of which is Mark’s debut recording as a leader, “The Chant”. He has toured Canada extensively with various groups.
In addition to being a pianist of great clarity and discipline, Mark has been developing his compositional skills. His efforts in this area have resulted in a majority of his tunes to this date enjoying exposure on recordings with a variety of groups.In this capacity, his works have been described as “….showing a flair for wide-ranging form and expression”.
In Mark’s own words, what is most rewarding to him as a performer is the sense that “… everyone is having a good time because that means the music is good.” With an outlook such as this, it should come as no surprise that he frequently works Toronto’s major jazz spots. He is a skilful soloist, a versatile ensemble player and, a thoughtful and sensitive accompanist. Those familiar with his range of abilities as a musician recognize that his efforts inevitably represent a genuine complement to whatever context he finds himself placed in.
This fact has been recognized with Mark receiving The Jazz Report’s 1999 Acoustic Pianist of the Year Award for musical excellence.