Today we’d like to introduce you to Mark Harris II.
Hi Mark, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My name is Mark Harris II and I’m a multi-instrumentalist, music director, and composer. I’ve always had a love for music and began playing the drums in church as a kid. In middle school I started playing the organ and piano. I discovered my passion for entertaining and live performances while playing in local restaurants and events at school. To enhance my knowledge of music theory and pour into my craft, I attended and graduated from Lincoln University with a bachelor’s degree in sacred music. Since starting my music career, I have released two albums Imagine (2015) and Interstellar (2018); along with two singles Traveler (2020) and Pocket change (2021). Imagine was #24 on the iTunes jazz charts and Interstellar was #30 on the iTunes jazz charts. Traveler reached #10 on the iTunes jazz charts and #1 on Smooth Jazz Global. Pocket Change was #20 on the iTunes jazz charts, #3 on Smooth Jazz Global, and the 2021 #1 song of the year on 88.7 The Sound. I am very fortunate to have played in Hong Kong, Canada, Alaska with elite artists as well as traveled to Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Hawaii, and American Samoa where I served as the music director for the BB King Allstars. This year I wrote and am featured on Saxophonist Najee’s new album Savoir Faire with a song entitled Luna.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It hasn’t been as smooth as I would like it to be. Some of the obstacles I’ve faced in my genre is that smooth jazz is a genre that does not change much. It’s harder for the younger artist to get some of those opportunities if their sound doesn’t “fit” the criteria or formula set for decades.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a skilled musician who performs live, records, produces, and specializes in arranging and composing music. I serve as a band leader as well as music director for concerts and productions..
What does success mean to you?
I’m most proud that every project I’ve released has charted or garnered recognition around the world. I’m also proud to have two #1 singles in two years and writing credit on a billboard top 20 album. I define success as doing what you love to do while being able to support your family and most importantly, leaving a legacy. It’s rewarding to have the artistic freedom to imagine, create, and share your gifts with the world.
- Website: Markharrisjazz.com
- Instagram: @markharrisii
- Facebook: @ Mark Harris II Official
- Youtube: Mark Harris II
Ed Rhone (jorhan images) Aaron futrell ( graphic designer)