At the age of sixteen, after an accelerated high school graduation, Mark Powers moved to Minneapolis, where he focused on drumset performance at Music Tech. His extensive percussion studies include work with Dave Stanoch, Gordy Knudtson, Marv Dahlgren, Paul Wertico, Payton MacDonald, Dane Richeson, Ed Thigpen, Rakalam Bob Moses, Graham Lear, Emmanuel and Rubben Agbeli, Daniel Alfonso, Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro, Jorge Alabe, Mamady Keita, Jerry Leake, Takaaki Masuko, Rafael Maya Alvarez, Hector ‘Tito’ Matos and Subash Chandran.
Since leaving Music Tech with a diploma in Professional Percussion Performance, Mark has divided his time between teaching and performing.
As an instructor, he currently maintains a roster of 45 private drumset and percussion students at Weathers Music in Salem, Oregon, as well as teaching group hand drumming classes at Chemeketa Community College and Riverfront Wellness Center. Mark is often Artist-in-Residence at area elementary, middle and high schools- conducting ‘TrashBamBOOM!’ (formerly ‘Junk Jam’) workshops, teaching West African drumming styles and directing percussion ensembles. In addition, he facilitates ‘Rhythms At Work,’ a corporate teambuilding workshop, and presents percussion-based Correctional Education programs in adult and juvenile facilities.
One of Mark’s newest projects is a series of personal development workshops, co-facilitated with life coach and intuitive Hollee Haas. The duo’s retreats are held in some of the most scenic areas of Oregon, including the Pacific beaches of Lincoln City and the beautiful Silver Falls State Park.
Stretching internationally, Mark has performed and studied percussion in Puerto Rico, Cuba, China, Thailand, Canada, Ghana and Uganda.
Mark’s continually growing list of performing and recording credits covers the full gamut of styles, including appearances with Corey Sterling (Kenny Wayne Shepherd), Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick), Devon Evans (Bob Marley and the Wailers), The Afrodisiacs, The Spazmatics, Rockstar Live, Tim Ries (saxophonist for The Rolling Stones), the late Frankie Yankovic, Sam Winch, Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons, The Willamette Valley Saxophone Quartet, Jack Grassel, Bob Maynard, Bob Ventre, Bob Levy and John Daniel, among many others. He has worked musically with Hollywood Images, Jamie’s Rock & Roll Legends, the Ronald McDonald House, Oshkosh B’Gosh, Narrator Tracks, the Aveda/Horst Institute, the Minnesota Twins and the Delta Queen Steamboat Company.
Along with current and former bandmates, Mark has performed opening sets in support of Head East, The Radiators, Lee Rocker, Buckwheat Zydeco, Junior Brown, Brave Combo, Pat Benatar, Pat MacDonald, Craig Morgan, Afroman, Confederate Railroad and Clay Walker, and has received the following awards:
- Ritimista world percussion play-along CD recommended by
Downbeat Magazine (November 2009)
- Ritimista world percussion play-along CD listed as a
Drumhead Magazine Recommended Release (2009)
- Ritimista world percussion play-along CD named
DrummersZone.com Release of the Month (July 2009)
- Music engraving for Dave Stanoch’s Mastering the Tables of Time, Vol. I
(winner of Modern Drummer Magazine’s 2009 Reader’s Poll for Best Method Book)
- 8th Annual ‘Independent Music Awards’ Peoples Choice Award – Best New Age Song
- 2007 Best Local Performer/Band (‘Best of Mac’/McMinnville, OR)
- ‘Oshkosh Northwestern’ Artist of the Week (January 4, 2006)
- 2000 Wisconsin Band of the Year Award
- Winner of 1999 Central Wisconsin Battle of the Bands
- 1998 Wisconsin Horizon Award
- 1998 Wisconsin Horizon Award
- 1995 Minnesota Band of the Year Award
- 1995 Minnesota Academy of Music Award
- Two consecutive annual inclusions in the ‘Stars of the Big Bands’ music publication
Mark has written for Percussive Notes, World Percussion & Rhythm and Fever Pitch magazines, Mel Bay’s ‘Percussion Sessions’ webzine, Salem Monthly, Drummer’s Digest, World Rhythm Webzine, The Healthy Independent Newspaper and has published seven percussion compositions- all available from R.G.M., LLC online at www.reallygoodmusic.com
In November 2007, Mark and saxophonist Randy Kem participated in the concurrent world premier of ‘The Magnificent Tale’ (for alto sax and derabucca), by Egyptian composer Halim El-Dabh.
He is also a former co-holder of the Guinness World Record for Longest Drum Roll by a Group (2003-2005): a title shared with colleagues Patrick Flanigan, Peter Buxman and Namiah Tribolini. The continuous 12-hour ‘buzz’ roll was performed on a single snare drum on Thursday, September 11, 2003.