Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Hewins, Mark (Jesson)
Hewins started playing solo guitar professionally in 1970 at the age of 15. Hailed as 'Heir to Hendrix mantle' by City Limits Magazine in 1985, he was tipped as 'brightest hope' by Wire Magazine in the same year for his playing with his fourteen strong big band 'FF'; which set the scene for later big band initiatives. An 'all round' guitarist, he is best known in Britain and Europe for his jazz playing. He has worked extensively in
America, where he is in demand as a jazz, blues and midi guitarist.
Mark is a prolific composer, with well over three hundred songs. instrumentals and orchestral works to his name. His compositional skills, coupled with his expertise on midi guitar have led to frequent commissions from Casio Tokyo, UK and USA, for whom he has produced sampler library software and written demonstration tunes which are featured on their professional and home keyboards.
He has written music for television commercials and, in collaboration with Johnny Oslo, has written scores for films produced by the London Film School at Shepperton. Also he has written 'Markie's little Fake book' with 100 original Jazz standards as an antidote to familiarity.
In 1998 Mark toured Europe with Mashu, which also featured Hugh Hopper and Shyamal Maitra and performed at the London Jazz festival with Carol Grimes and Shyamal. During the year he travelled to Ireland, Scandinavia and Europe with Lou Reed where he helped Lou with his guitars. When Mark wasn't touring he was working on projects in his Musart Studio, including a major production with poet, artist and photographer the late Lady June, for whom he has written and produced the music to accompany her fantasy autobiography, REBELA. Mark produced and recorded Elton Dean's ED3 recording, "Into the Nierika", released on Cuneiform in 1998, amongst other broadcast and mastering work.
His compositional skills, coupled with his expertise on MIDI Guitar have led to commissions from Casio Tokyo, UK and USA where he has supplied library samples and bespoke tunes for their MIDI instruments and computers. Recently, Psion have commissioned alarm sounds for their 'Series 5MX' handheld PC from Mark, He has written music for TV commercials and scores for film and stage - his latest commission being the composition and production of music for the Discovery Channel 'Architecture theme day' broadcast on 30 March 1999.
Early 2000 has brought him into video soundtrack work for Motorola (the 'next products' high tech range); on-going recording with other Musicians such as Bob Loveday and Theo Travis; see the MUSART noticeboard for details of the studio schedule; and the completion of his first totally electronic Music album.
Much of his touring work is solo, but he also collaborates with other well-known musicians to give duo and band performances around the world. Spring-Summer 1999 saw Mark touring all around the globe with the Gong gang. Currently in 2002/3 Mark has been out on tour with the Bob Geldof Band. Previously he has performed with New Indus, Music Doctors, EDQ, Gong, MotherSun, Soft HEAP, Research, Bob Geldof Band, T-MIT, Dreamtime, Pearl Divers, 4Tet, The Guitar Quartet, Mad Axe Quartet, Polite Force, Caravan; of Dreams, Grace Kennedy, Phil Collins, Julie Felix, Dennis Gonzales, Richard and Dave Sinclair, Phil and Steve Miller, Earl Turbinton, Django Bates, Ken Hyder, John Martyn, Gail Thompson, Danny Thompson, Bill Bruford, LeMarr, Theo Travis, Fred Frith, Joe Lee Wilson, Nick Evans, Marc Charig, Andy Latimer, Andy Ward, Colin Bass, Peter Blegvad, Michel Gentils, Maggie Nicholls, Didier Malherbe, Dudu Pukwana, John Stevens, Errol Kennedy, Robbie T, Tania Evans, Carol Grimes, Spy, Mervyn Africa, Mamadi Kamara, Lol Coxhill, Joe Cang, Anthony Aldridge, Trevor Watts, Paul Bhattacharjee, Louis Moholo, Paul Rogers, Pete Thomas, Bob Loveday and Andrew Cyrille.
Mark has also enjoyed playing with; John Abercrombie, Lou Reed, Neil Finn, Fernando
Saunders, Mike Rathke, Frank Tontoh, Joe Dalton, Tony Aiello, Nitin Sawhney, Jean Baptiste New Orleans Marching Band, Immanuel Infants School Jazz Band and Borbetamagus amongst many, many others.
Much of Mark's touring work is solo, but he also collaborates with other well known musicians to give duo and band performances around the world.
Mark has performed with Phil Collins, Julie Felix, John Martyn, Danny Thompson, Bill Bruford, Fred Frith, Joe Lee Wilson, Dudu Pukwana, John Stevens, Mervyn Africa and Andrew Cyrille amongst many others. He has strong connections with the 'Canterbury' music scene, having played with Dave and Richard Sinclair for many years- Mark is featured on Dave's latest CD release. Other Canterbury credits include the elusive Steve Miller and from Camel Andy Ward. He is a member of Soft Heap (CD out now) with Elton Dean, Pip Pyle and John Greaves - a living branch of Soft Machine which featured Hugh Hopper, with whom he now writes and performs.
In 1990, he toured in the UK with Andrew Cyrille trio with Paul Rogers, bass. Recent American tours have taken him to the Museum of Art in Dallas where he performed with Dennis Gonzalez; to the Caravan of Dreams concert hall where he gave a solo performance. He led workshops in schools and colleges before going to New Orleans where he played at the Muddy Waters and Maple leaf clubs. In New York he recorded a trio album, the Earth and the Heart, with Dennis Gonzalez and Andrew Cyrille. Also in 1999 toured right across US and Mexico with Gong, a 'progressive' jazz/rock act.
His skills as a midi guitarist led to an association with Lou Reed and Mark's contribution is acknowledged on Lou's album dedicated to Andy Warhol - Songs for Drella, with John Cale.
Mark has twice visited Nashville in 1994 to record with members of the Hal Ketchum and Kathy Mattea bands and give live solo performances. His live performances saw him sharing the same 'bill' as Arlen Roth and Joe Dalton, and visitors to the NAMM show and British Music Fair, London, saw him demonstrating Lakewood guitars.
Aside from jazz, Mark has been involved in producing dance music for Nathan Jones and has worked with the Detroit Spinners and the Three Chances. He has collaborated with Anthony Aiello (saxophonist with the Joe Jackson band) on writing songs for Anthony's first album. He is frequently asked to produce computer sequencing for dance projects. Including the recent remixes of the 80's band 'Imagination' with Errol Kennedy.
Mark's dance band 'Tritonik' was a major draw on the London music scene during 1992 and 1993, when the singer, Tania Evans, found world-wide chart success with `Culture Beat'. Currently he is working with Hugh Hopper to write and produce songs for their band `Far Cry', which will feature the vocal talents of Liza Smith-Klossner. Recent work (2001-2) has included Music for a touring art installation by Amanda Lebus, and a new CD with Carol Grimes.
The Electric Guitar; Big Big Spaces (2000); Hopper/Hewins: Adreamor; Theo Travis/Mark Hewins: Guerilla music
John Stevens Dance Orchestra: A Luta Continua; Elton Dean: Two's and Threes; Dennis Gonzales Group: The Earth and Heart; MASHU: Elephants in your Head?; Research with Django Bates: Social Systems; New Indus: Newer Devotions; Curfew with Dave O'Higgins: Somewhere in the City; Research: Severe Test; Soft Heap: A Veritable Centaur; Slightly Miffed: Puzzled?; Dave Sinclair Band: Moon over Man; Polite Force: Cantebury Knights; Aster Awake: Yaz-Oh; Atlantique with Mervyn Africa: Atlantique; Goddess T with Gilli Smyth: Electric Shiatsu; Elton Dean: Bar Torque
Mark has made many broadcasts over the years, in Britain, Europe and the U.S.A. and it is impossible to list them all. However, his first broadcasts in the U.S.A. were in 1980, when he featured solo in two live shows for Columbia University WKCR FM, New York, and more recently, in Dallas, he was the subject of a two and half hour broadcast dedicated to his music and career. His more recent broadcasts in England include the BBC's Jazz Today, with the Elton Dean Quartet and Research with Django Bates and with his own band, The Music Doctors, featuring Lol Coxhill and Elton Dean. The Music
Doctors have also been broadcast extensively world wide, as is the seminal
Soft HEAP recording for BBC'c Radio 3, 'Music Now'.
Tone Clusters NYC August 2001
Also selected interview
Manuscripts of Mark's Tunes www.musart.co.uk/sheetex.htm
MIDI files for soundcards. www.musart.co.uk/midipg.htm
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