The Mark White Octet
The Mark White Octet is a jazz group dedicated to swinging, precision ensemble performances of charts written by stellar jazz arrangers that feature the exceptional instrumental/improvisational skills of all the members. The group is based on the original Dave Pell Octet that featured many of the West Coast’s finest jazz instrumentalists from the 50’s and 60’s including Dave Pell, Art Pepper, Andre Previn, Marty Paich, Bill Holman, Jack Sheldon, Mel Lewis, Tommy Tedesco, and many more. The arrangements written by Marty Paich, Bill Holman, Shorty Rogers, and others are exquisite, detailed, and sound as fresh and modern as they did on the original recordings. In addition, our octet performances and recording, Can’t We Be Friends?, feature new arrangements and compositions by Richard Lowell, a longtime Berklee faculty member, monster jazz musician, educator and arranger. Dick Lowell’s new charts blend perfectly with the existing Pell library, touch base with the past, yet, move forward musically, breaking new ground in the jazz tradition.
The musicians in this ensemble are among the finest in the New England area-or anywhere for that matter! Each is a dedicated jazz artist bringing superlative instrumental, interpretive, and ensemble skills to the group as well as a wealth of performance experience in the theatre, classical, and commercial music genres. All group members are professional jazz educators and several hold positions currently at leading music institutions.
We feel a great responsibility to expose a new generation to and bring to light some amazing jazz music that needs to and deserves to be rediscovered. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoy playing it!
The Mark White Octet: Mark White (guitar), Scott Deogburn (piano) +, Arnie Krakowsky (tenor sax) +, Ken Reid (bariton sax) +, Rick Hammett (trumpet, flugelhorn), Jon Garniss (trombone), Mark Poniatowski (bass) +, and Kenny Hadley (drums). Special guest: Ben Whiting, Jeff Stout and Barry Smith.
The Members of the Octet
Mark White is a performing jazz guitarist and educator, who has worked in various professional capacities with artists such as George Russell's Living Time Orchestra, Gil Evans, John McNeil, Paul Broadnax, Herb Pomeroy, Larry Monroe, Victor Mendoza, Ken Peplowski, the Ken Hadley Big Band, John Allmark Jazz Orchestra, the Boston Pops, the Bebop Guitars, Boston Musica Viva, and Last Trip. He has performed with dozens of major touring theatre shows and theater personalities in the New England area, done extensive studio/production work for widely diverse recorded projects, and participated in over fifty road trip/clinics/performances for the Berklee College of Music, since the early 1990s. He has made or participated in recordings for Blue Note, King, MMC records, Heineken Jazz Festival Rercordings, Berklee Press/Hal Leonard and Grescotmar Ltd. productions.
Performances as a featured jazz artist at major concert venues include Lincoln Center, Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian, Wolftrap, and many major venues in the northeast and music festivals across the United States, Canada, and in fifteen other countries across the globe, including at the Umbria Jazz Festival, Settembre Musicale, Tokyo Music Joy, Mare de Augusto, and the Heineken Jazz Festival in Puerto Rico.
Mark is a jazz educator with over thirty years experience in the field. Currently a senior professor of guitar at the Berklee College of Music, he has published four books: Bach Chorales for Guitar Quartet, for Mark S. Henry Music, Advanced Reading Etudes for Grescotmar Ltd. publications, and most recently, The Practical Jazz Guitarist and Jazz Guitar Fingerboard Navigation from Bach to Bebop for Berklee Press/Hal Leonard publishing.
Arnie Krakowsky grew up in a very rich musical scene in Providence, RI. By the time he was 14 he was working with all the big bands in town. These bands were filled with RI and Boston musicians. When he was 16 he was working 3 to 4 gigs a week. Italian Wedding bands, Big Bands, Dixieland and small ensembles. He was always playing with the older guys. Arnie learned the old fashioned way on the bandstand, “on the job training”. There were no “real books” at the time Arnie had to learn all the tunes on the bandstand or from vinyl recordings. Arnie graduated from HS and attended Berkley College of Music. There he studied with Joe Viola, John La Porta and Herb Pomeroy. He continued building his experience in the infamous combat zone in Boston working 6 nights a week while attending classes during the day.
In 1972 Arnie moved to NY where he joined local 802 and furthered his studies under the tutelage of Eddie Daniels. Arnie honed his craft in NY playing club dates, shows, and events. In 1990 Arnie came back to New England where he now lives and works as a freelance musician and teacher. Arnie has played with many legendary artists such as: Ray Charles, Mel Torme, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Frank Sinatra Jr, The Artie Shaw Band under the direction of Dick Johnson, Phil Wood, Ken Peplowski,Sal Nestico, Lionel Hampton, Dave Mckenna, Gray Sargent, Greg Hopkins, Hal Crook and many more.
Arnie has two recordings out as leader, “Where the Tenor Meets the Bone” Seaside Records and “Is it Minor Yours”, Bleek Records, featuring George Masso on Trombone. Last year he published a book to help further his students, Diatonic and Rhythm and Articulation Studies for the Saxophone Vol. 1.
Bassist/Arranger/Composer Mark Poniatowski holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Berklee College of Music and a Master of Music from New England Conservatory. His extensive performing experience includes Bruce Katz Band, Kenny Hadley Big Band, Soul Kitchen, April Hall, Joe Bargar, Sarah Brindell, Toni Lynn Washington, Floyd Dixon, Junior Watson, Janiva Magness and Kid Ramos. His performances throughout the US and Europe include the Boston Globe Jazz Festival, Orange County Blues Festival, California, The River Festival, Wichita, Kansas, The Natt Jazz Festival in Burgin, Norway, Walt Disney World and at the Konzerthaus in Vienna, Austria. His recordings include Mississippi Moan with the Bruce Katz Band, Something Like That, Fun Out of Life and Room For Two with April Hall. It’s About the Blues with Rick Russell, Radio Fusion Radio with the College Boyz, More Than Live with Janiva Magness, Adi Yeshaya True Romance for Target department stores, and my own self titled CD, The Mark Poniatowski Situation. Mark is currently an Associate Professor in the Contemporary Writing and Production department at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
One of the world's greatest drummers, Kenny Hadley has been involved in the Boston music scene since a very young age. He has recorded numerous albums with his big band, The Kenny Hadley Big Band.
Rick Hammett has been a professional musician for the past 47 years and has performed in a wide variety of musical settings: 1st trumpet for Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Shirley Bassey (Carnegie Hall), The Boston Pops (Tony Bennett, Manhattan Transfer - nationally televised), Mel Torme (Carnegie Hall). He has recorded jingles for Ford, The Boston Redsox, WBZ “Chronicle”, Stop and Shop, and others. CD recordings for RCA (“Chess” Broadway cast recording), Polygram (Jennifer Kimball), Warner Bros. (soundtrack for the movie “Dick Tracy”), Electra (the Story) and others. Rick has toured playing 1st tpt with the national productions of “Cats, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Weber with Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman, Bob Fosse’s Dancin’, Les Miserables’ and 42nd Street among others.
Presently he is musical contractor for the Boston Opera House, the Huntington Theatre, Worcester’s Hanover Theatre and the Ogunquit Playhouse. He also performs, arranges and records with the Kenny Hadley Big Band.
Appearances with Angelique Kidjo, Diane Reeves, Branford Marsalis, Christian McBride,Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin and the Temptations
Performances with Michel Camilo, Jon Faddis, Gloria Estefan, Juan Luis Guerra, Steve Gadd, Abe Laboriel Sr., Clark Terry, Ernie Watts, Phil Wilson, Phil Woods, New York Voices, The Winstons, Black Ivory, Eddie Holman, McFadden and Whitehead, Tavares, The Delfonics, Isaac Hayes, Al Kooper, Paula Cole, Kenwood Dennard, George Russell, George Garzone, and others.
Broadway musical experience with Dream Girls, 42nd Street, Hello Dolly, Cats, Starlight Express, Legs Diamond, Carrie, Me and My Girl, A Chorus Line, A Fiddler on the Roof and 3 Mo' Tenors
Recording credits with Kenny Hadley Big Band, Greg Hopkins Big Band, Myanna, Bob Pilkington, Mark White, Last Trip, Gail Wynters and the Urban Renewal Band
Extensive jingles and recordings for television, B.A., Berklee College of Music.
Jon has been working in the Boston music scene professionally since the age of 14, working with local and national acts such as Tony Bennet, The Artie Shaw Orchestra, Ringling Brothers Circus, Rosemary Clooney, The Four Tops, The Temptations, The O'Jays, Lou Rawls, Liza Minelli, The Kenny Hadley Big Band, Soul Kitchen, and countless others throughout the years.
Jon was brought up in musical family where he was exposed to many different types of music throughout his upbringing, from Count Basie to Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles to Back, and Frank Sinatra to Frank Zappa. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, he has been involved with numerous recordings throughout his career as a sideman and theater musician working in New England’s prestigous Wang Center, The Schubert, and The Colonial Theaters.
Ken has over 30 years of performing locally and touring with internationally touring bands such as the “Artie Shaw” and “Tommy Dorsey Orchestras.” While with the “Artie Shaw Orchestra”: PBS television special “Big Band Ballroom Bash” and two presidential inaugurations. With the “Kenny Hadley Big Band”: CDs “Beautiful Friendship” and "Common Thread". With the “Dick Johnson Swing Shift”: CD “Broadway Openings”. Theater and show work include: Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, North Shore Theater, Cohasset Music Circus, and Cape Cod Melody Tent. Performed with well-known artists: The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Billy Eckstine, and Tony Bennett, and many more. Performances with the “Boston Pops” at Symphony Hall, Tanglewood, and the Esplanade Performances with internationally touring “Electric Youth,” a performing arts group from Franklin, MA. Performances with Grammy award nominated "Roomful of Blues". Most recently the majority of my performing has been done as a member of the popular club band "The Infractions," or leading my own “Ken Reid Quintet”. Ken has Degrees in Performance (Jazz Studies) and Music Education from University of Massachusetts .