Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Elf, Mark, guitarist, composer, educator; b. Queens, NY, 13 December 1949. He lived in Queens and Long Island, NY until he was 10. From the ages of 10-17, he lived in California, Marin and Sonoma Counties. He moved back to NY at 17 and stayed. He studied from 1969-1971 Berklee College of Music, and studied privately with Barry Galbraith and Chuck Wayne. He then freelanced around NY from 1971 to present.
He performed 5/87 at Lugano Jazz Festival with The Billy Mitchell All Stars; 5/88, European tour with The Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars featuring Kenny Barron, Ben Riley and Larry Ridley; 6/95 We Love Jazz Cruise with Clark Terry, Ray Brown, Ed Thigpen and Curtis Fuller; 4/96 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival with The Heath Brothers-Percy, Tootie and Jimmy Heath; 7/98 Sarasota Jazz Club. He has also performed with Wynton Marsalis, Lionel Hampton, Benny Golson, Walter Bishop Jr., Joe Newman, Al Grey, Barry Harris, Branford Marsalis, Slide Hampton, Jimmy Cobb, Donald Byrd, Al Foster, Cab Calloway, Joe Williams, Jon Hendricks, Etta Jones, Ruth Brown, and Liza Minelli. He has recorded as a sideperson with Lou Donaldson, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Jimmy McGriff, Groove Holmes, Junior Cook, Bill Hardman, Wynton Marsalis, Benny Golson, Jon Hendricks, Al Grey, Dakota Staton, Lonnie Smith and and Charles Earland.
His educational activities began in 1974/75 with an International Art of Jazz Concert Series in the Nassau County Schools, NY.; he taught 1978/88 through International Art of Jazz S.U.N.Y., Stonybrook, NY. He also taught 1989-96 New School NYC.; 1990/94-Five Towns College, Dix Hills, NY.; 1990/94-Nassau Boces Cultural Arts Center; 1995-Genoa, Italy Summer Jazz Camp with Clark Terry & Ray Brown;1995 Clark Terry Jazz Camp, Teykio International U. LeMars, Iowa; 1995/96-C.W. Post L.I.U. Greenvale, NY.; 1997-Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College, NY. Three of his CDs, A Minor Scramble,Trickynometry, and New York Cats were #1 records on the Gavin Jazz Chart, indicating that they were heavily played on radio stations in the USA.
Mark Elf Trio, Vol. I (1986 and 1987); Eternal Triange (with Hank Jones and Jimmy Heath) (1988); Mark Elf Trio (1993); A Minor Scramble (1996); Trickynomentry (1997); New York Cats (1998)
Richard Groove Holmes and Jimmy McGriff: Giants Of The Organ In Concert (1973); Charles Earland: Dynamite Bros (1974), Leaving This Planet (1974); Lou Donaldson (not released to this date) (1975); Dakota Staton: Uniquely Dakota (1983); Jon Hendricks: Boppin' At The Blue Note (1995); The Heath Bros.: As We Were Saying (1997)
Bibliography (books by the artist):
Mark Elf's Solo Transcriptions, Book #1 and #2
Mark Elf Song Book, #1,2,3
Mark Elf's Jazz Interpretations (5 solos on the same changes) in each book: Book 1 - Stella By Starlight; Book 2 -Just Friends; Book 3 - All The Things You Are
Interpretations of a Standard, series of 6 books (similar to the above)