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Brooklyn-based Mark Mollica sees the guitar as one of music's widest ranging voices and brings that spirit to roles in jazz, rock, acoustic music, songwriting, arranging, composition, and production.  A Connecticut native, he learned primarily on the job with older musicians until a scholarship took him to the renowned guitar program at the USC Thornton School of Music to study with two of his musical idols, multiple Grammy-winning composer/arranger Vince Mendoza and jazz guitar giant Joe Diorio.  There, he earned a masters degree with top honors and the department award for outstanding graduate of 2005.  As composer and leader, his originals band and Star Maker Machinery project have received numerous concert grants and have featured long-standing relationships with some of jazz’s best emerging talent including John Ellis, Jesse Stacken, Ike Sturm, Chris Dingman, and Ted Poor, to name the handful on his upcoming release Lift, showcasing much of this original work. As a studio musician, he has a range across most mainstream guitar styles from electric soloist to orchestral music.

His sideman and creative roles reflect this diversity with collaborations in the singer-songwriter, jazz, and rock circuits, having co-written extensively with Kate Francis Hope, arranging and releasing a single with the Welsh chart topper Donna Lewis, touring abroad and producing music for film with Dylan Connor, appearing in recital with guitar great Gene Bertoncini, and otherwise remaining active in different scenes.  As a soloist, he has a repertoire across archtop, fingerstyle, and classical genres, though is primarily focused on jazz and standards, with a growing list of pieces for live loops.  A committed teacher, he has been on the guitar faculty at Manhattan’s Bloomingdale School of Music since 2006 and Manhattan's Town School since 2015, has taught classes and lessons at USC, and was a clinician for the Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles.  He also holds a degree in non-fiction writing, has published his work, hiked over 1,200 miles of the Appalachian Trail one spring, and enjoys nothing more than exploring the Brooklyn Botanical Garden with his wife and his curious toddler.

 

Photographer: Krishnan Vasudevan