Mark grew up in Racine, Wisconsin and attended nearby Carthage College. In 1992 he moved to Minneapolis to study at the University of Minnesota with Tom Ashworth and Ron McCurdy. An ever-present sound on the Twin Cities music scene in the 1990s, he played with and composed for Motion Poets, Slide Huxtable, Happy Apple, and Jeanay Say Qua. Mark also performed with the Latin Sounds Orchestra, Salsa Del Soul, and the Intergalactic Contemporary Ensemble.
Mark was a founding member of the jazz sextet Motion Poets, in which he and the other members each composed an eclectic repertoire of hundreds of pieces during their eight-year tenure (1993-2000). They recorded three albums: “Truth And Consequence”, “Standard Of Living”, and “Lose Your Mind And Come To Your Senses”. Motion Poets also traveled extensively, performing in 37 states and were featured at many jazz festivals, including: San Jose Jazz Festival, Iowa City Jazz Festival, Discover Jazz Festival, and the BYU Jazz Festival.
Mark also counts among his credits performances with Billy Joel, Doc Severinsen, Ernie Watts, Frank Foster, Allen Vizzutti, Byron Stripling, Pete Christleib, Cy Coleman, Jon Hendricks, Gloria Gaynor, Lorna Luft, Lucille Arnaz, Paul Carlon Octet, Pedro Giraudo Jazz Orchestra, David Berger & the Sultans of Swing, Birdland Big Band, Smoke Big Band, Chico O'Farrill Big Band, Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra (with guests Jon Faddis, Miguel Zenon, Cristina Pato & Ray Santos), Emilio Solla y La Inestable de Brooklyn, Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, Xavier Cugat Orchestra, Jason Lindner Big Band, KJ Denhert, Jill Gioia, Funk Filharmonik, Cucu Diamantes, Yerba Buena, Groove Collective, and Magnum Band.