Mark Tonelli is a guitarist, composer, and educator. He is the leader of The Mark Tonelli Group, with whom he has recorded three CD’s, and he is also guitarist for the West Point Band’s Jazz Knights. His performing credits include a wide array of artists like Clay Aiken, Rita Moreno, Benny Golson, The New York Philharmonic, The Boston Pops, and The Platters. He has performed at venues such as Avery Fisher Hall, The Kennedy Center, 55 Bar, Blues Alley, The Jazz Showcase, and The Midwest Clinic, and he has been seen on Fox News and in the Emmy-nominated PBS musical special Marina at West Point: Unity through Diversity.
Mark’s original music has been featured on National Public Radio’s (NPR) All Things Considered, and he has won several awards from the Billboard International Song Competition. His compositions and arrangements are frequently performed by the West Point Band and have been recorded on two Jazz Knights CD’s.
An educator for 25 years, Mark has given clinics and master classes at the National Jazz Workshop, The New York State Band Directors Association Conference, Rutgers University, The William Paterson University Summer Jazz Workshop, The Fort Worth Jazz Festival, and many others. His articles have been published in Guitar Player, Downbeat, JazzEd, The Jazz Education Journal, Just Jazz Guitar, Jazz Improv, and The Instrumentalist. He currently teaches music at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, NY. At West Point, Mark directs the Music Academic Initiative, an interdisciplinary group which teaches cadets academic principles through music. He is also an advisor to the Cadet Jazz Forum Club. Mark has performed or presented at many national conferences including the Jazz Education Network, College Music Society, and Midwest Clinic. He holds a bachelor of music in jazz performance from William Paterson University, a master of music in jazz studies from the University of North Texas, and a doctorate in education from Columbia University Teachers College.