Mark Zaleski - alto/soprano saxophone
James Fernando - piano
Maeve Royce - bass
Dominic Smith - drums
Internationally touring musician, Mark Zaleski, has distinguished himself as a uniquely dynamic soloist, multi-instrumentalist, and band leader. He has performed with a diverse group of notable artists including Dave Brubeck, Christian McBride, Ian Anderson, Connie Francis, Mahmoud Ahmed, Rakalam Bob Moses, the Either/Orchestra, Jason Palmer, and Matt Savage. At the young age of 33, he has established faculty positions at Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory of Music, and Longy School of Music at Bard College.
Growing up in the small town of Boylston, MA, Zaleski was influenced by the musical tastes of his friends, family, and teachers. His parents were fans of rock and pop music from the 1960’s and 1970’s like The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Temptations and Stevie Wonder. His friends were fans of punk and metal bands of the 1990’s like Nirvana, Metallica, and Pearl Jam. His brother, Glenn Zaleski, and his music teachers listened to jazz artists such as Dave Brubeck, Ray Brown, Oscar Peterson, Cannonball Adderley, and John Coltrane.
His unique approach to jazz led him to become the first alto saxophonist selected to the prestigious Dave Brubeck Institute Fellowship Program in Stockton, CA in 2003. Zaleski spent those two years performing with his virtuosic peers and learning from established pros such as Bobby Watson, Ndugu Chancler, Conrad Herwig, Eric Harland, Greg Tardy, Rufus Reid, Robin Eubanks, and Mic Gillette. Upon completion of the Brubeck Institute, Mark continued his studies at The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA. It was at the New England Conservatory that he was able to study with some of the most influential teachers of his life, Charlie Banacos and Jerry Bergonzi.
While at The New England Conservatory, Zaleski began to delve deeply into composition. His compositional style derives itself from the music he grew up listening to while still drawing from his training as a jazz musician. While the band has no vocalist, Zaleski takes on the lead voice channeling a combination of his saxophone heroes and inspirational vocalists like Stevie Wonder, Robert Plant, Michael Jackson, and Donny Hathaway. This sound proved to be a unique voice in music, and started touring at clubs, colleges, and festivals around the country. Notable appearances have been at Small’s in New York City, Scullers in Boston, Egan’s in Seattle, Arts Garage in Delray Beach, FL, and Vitello in Los Angeles.
In 2017, Zaleski released his second record, “Days, Months, Years”, a record where Zaleski performs on alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, and double bass; one of the first of its kind in the jazz genre.
"Mark Zaleski has created a body of work where we can now hear his evolution as a composer. ‘Days, Months, Years’ is aptly titled, for it describes a vast and textured musical landscape of what seems like a musical journey over a period of time. Within his compositions are linear explorations that bring us on a pathway of varied musical surfaces that keep us absorbed throughout the project.” WICN Radio, Worcester, MA.
Additionally, Zaleski is active in many musical projects including the Omar Thomas Large Ensemble, The Brighton Beat, the Either/Orchestra, Nyota Road, a duo project with Glenn Zaleski, Chris Hersch and the Moonraiders, The Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra, Mehmet Sanlikol and WhatsNext, and plays bass in a popular Boston-area soul band he founded called Planet Radio.