|Halfling Guitar Player|
Canadian-born Mark Guest was raised on Toronto Island at a time when the Toronto jazz scene was very hot. The Island has been a hothouse for artists of all sorts for several decades, and it was in this environment that he began his explorations on the guitar. While largely self-taught, Mr. Guest has studied with noted musical luminaries such as Toronto guitarists Lenny Breau, Lorne Lofsky, and New Orleans guitarists Phil DeGruy, and Hank Mackie.
Prior to Hurricane Katrina, Mr. Guest was actively gigging in the Mississippi Gulf Coast and New Orleans region. After Katrina, his music career began taking center stage in his life. "Before the storm, I had a day job in public finance, enough jazz gigs every week to keep me happy, a nice home near the beach, I lived in an interesting arts-oriented community, and had New Orleans nearby. When Katrina wiped us out, all that changed", says Mr. Guest. His home, most of his guitar collection, and much of his community were destroyed by the hurricane.
Mr. Guest has been a popular addition at jazz festivals and in venues from the Gulf Coast to the Eastern Shore of New Jersey. Now residing in Asheville, North Carolina, he happily travels to various performance venues promoting his 2008 CD (Why We're) Happy Together. "We decided that Katrina gave us an opportunity to change our lives for the better, and that's what I'm doing. Playing this music for appreciative audiences is such a fulfilling element of my life that, in some ways, I'm grateful for the alterations that Katrina brought" claims Mr. Guest.
He can be found playing solo, in duo settings in the Mark Guest Jazz Duologues (along with various accompanists, including bass, piano, tuba, sax, voice, and flute) and group settings ranging from trios to sextets. While remaining firmly rooted in the jazz tradition, Mr. Guest brings unique approaches to non-standard repertoire.
For more information on Mr. Guest check out www.myspace.com/markguest.
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