Born in Chicago and migrating to Pompano Beach, Florida with his parents at age ten, Mark Griffith had already been playing drums for three years. It just came natural. He had been beating on a cardboard box with a whisk broom emulating the drummers he saw on the TV at age five. For his seventh birthday he got a real snare drum, and his path was set.
Over Mark’s 40+ year professional career, he has performed with an impressive array of well known artists and musicians including Jaco Pastorius, Stan Getz, The Bee Gees, Jimmy Haslip, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Victor Wooten, Will Lee, Dizzy Gillespie, Toots Thielemans, Les McCann, Kevin Mahogany, Don Ellis, Cyrus Chestnut, Hiram Bullock, David Clayton Thomas, Richard Bona, and Gerald Veasley. He has also backed up well known celebrities including Perry Como, Rich Little, Don Rickles, Phyllis Diller, Bob Newhart, and many others.
In 2003, Mark became a member of the re-formed Jaco Pastorius Big Band to record an album on the Heads Up jazz label. In 2004, the album, "Jaco Pastorius Big Band, Word of Mouth Revisited" was released. The album received the prestigious Jazz Week Record of the Year award for 2004. In 2005 the Jaco Pastorius Big Band recorded and released their second album for Heads Up titled "The Word is Out!". The band has toured the world playing major jazz festivals including the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands, and the Montreal Jazz Festival. They have traveled to and performed in Japan three times, and have played numerous festivals and clubs across the U.S.
Other notable recording credits are four albums for guitarist Randy Bernsen (Zawinul Syndicate) on the MCA Zebra label, Scott Law, Chance Hayden, Ritchie Conn, Ray Lyon, as well as projects for radio, TV, theater, and Vegas style shows. Check the Discography page for a complete list!
Mark is also an accomplished studio engineer, and is a graduate of the Audio Engineering Technology program at SAE Institute in Miami Florida. He has recorded and engineered numerous projects by bands and artists in South Florida and Portland, Oregon, and was chief engineer at Hula Studios in Fort Lauderdale in 2008.
Mark now does all of his work out of his studio in his home in Dunedin Florida. He is currently working on his first solo project, and will be releasing new original music in the near future.
"Alongside some of today’s most revered electric bass players, drummer Mark Griffith drives the outstanding group of players with a forceful and passionate swing and jazz-rock attitude. Jaco himself would have jumped all over this stuff."