“Hot can be cool, and cool can be hot, and each can be both. But hot or cool, man, jazz is jazz.”- Louis Armstrong
Mark Hess - Piano
Mark is a multi-instrumentalist, playing both piano and trombone. Mark has studied a wide variety of jazz styles and is quick to name many of the legends of jazz as his idols: Fats Waller, Teddy Wilson, Bobby Hackett, Jack Teagarden, Bill Evans, Duke Ellington, Wynton Kelly, Thelonious Monk, Dave McKenna, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Red Garland, Charlie Parker & many more.
Mark began his professional career in 1968 at Shakey’s Pizza Parlor when he was just fifteen years old. Shortly thereafter, while still in his teens, Mark was invited to join The Jim Cullum Jazz Band (known then as The Happy Jazz Band). While with Jim's group, Mark won the prestigious Texas Ragtime Championship in 1975.
Although Mark enjoys playing all styles of jazz, it becomes immediately apparent to Mark's listeners that he favors the older, traditional jazz styles.
Mark left the Cullum band in the mid 1970's and, joining with his brother Kevin on drums, and Len on string bass, they struck out on their own to perform a wide variety of engagements in and around the San Antonio area, eventually venturing into the modern jazz styles of the late 40's and 50's.
With San Antonio's booming tourism trade and the existence of the nationally renown San Antonio Riverwalk, Mark has become much in demand; both as a solo performer and as a valued sideman.
When he's not working with the Hot Rhythm Cats, Mark can frequently be heard performing on the Riverwalk, outside on the Landing patio, along with some of San Antonio's finest musicians.