Years at UNT: 1995-97, 2000
Highlights at UNT: Two O'Clock Lab Band, L-5 Ensemble, Jazz Repertory Ensemble, directing 335 Ensemble
Recent Activities: In August 2005 I began a job as guitarist in the Jazz Knights, part of the United States Military Academy Band at West Point, NY. Since my arrival, I've worked with Randy Brecker, Steve Turre, and Billy Cobham and done a number of clinics for high schools and colleges. I'm also staff arranger for the band, and I've been studying with Jim McNeely. I also got to perform for Hillary Clinton and Sandra Day O'Connor.
Recently, The Mark Tonelli Group played a concert in Montclair, NJ, as part of the Digital Cafe Tour (DCT) series, sponsored in part by Fender, Audix, Evans Drumheads, and D'Addadrio. The DCT is a live concert series that is filmed and edited for broadcast via broadband internet and ipod. UNT alumni Brandon Nelson and Jason Kruk were also on the gig. We played music from my CD's, The Mark Tonelli Group and Chasing The Myth, and a couple of newer pieces. After the concert, I participated in Broaden Your Band, an educational segment aimed at independent artists and hosted by a local radio personality in which I discussed aspects of performing and composing. Part of the concert will be viewable for free at the Digital Cafe Tour website, www.digitalcafetour.com. The entire concert and Broaden Your Band segment can be purchased for download.
Before coming to New York, I was teaching at North Lake College and Collin County College and working with my group around Dallas. We played the Ft. Worth Jazz Festival and the Cottonwood Art Festival and performed at My Martini in Arlington every Saturday. A few of my compositions won awards from Billboard Magazine and were featured on NPR's All Songs Considered, and I stayed busy writing articles for Downbeat, Guitar Player, and Jazz Improv.
I've attached a picture of Brandon Nelson (who joined the Jazz Knights six months after me) and me after a gig at Eisenhower Hall here at West Point; a photo of the group at the Digital Cafe Tour; and a picture of me with Bernard Purdie at IAJE.