If you like the music of Elvis Costello, Leonard Cohen, The Flaming Lips, Seal, Keane, Coldplay, John Mayer, Lionel Richie, Elliott Yamin, Enya, Michael Buble, and Dean Martin, chances are you will like the music of Mark Weber. When he's not "bringing classics back," covering standards from the 1920s-1960s with his band, Uptown, he's promoting his debut emotronic pop album, "Days Like These," produced by Joe Secchiaroli, the lead singer of The Reign of Kindo, an internationally known pop-rock-jazz band.
As a BMI-registered singer-songwriter, Mark's original music generally covers the themes of loss, hope and love.
Mark got his start singing in front of large audiences as part of Regent University's multi-cultural Gospel choir. At Regent, he earned a Master's degree, with his academic dissertation covering the details of "making a pop CD." Besides Gospel, he sang opera ("Carmina Burana") at the University at Buffalo, and back-up for pop star Kenny Loggins. But it was his dad, Joe, a drums and vibraphone player, who came up with the idea that Mark would front their pop-jazz trio, playing gigs around the Buffalo area.
"Ever since I was a little kid, I've always appreciated different styles of music. One day I heard my dad practicing some music with his friend, and I sang along for fun in passing," says Mark. "I think it was 'Fly Me To The Moon.' Turned out that I wasn't half bad, and my dad's other band, The Educators, had a gig, but their lead singer couldn't make it, so I filled in. The rest is history, as we decided to form a new group, Uptown, which has been very, very active with about 50 gigs a year, entertaining mostly the senior crowd with classic love songs they grew up with and can still enjoy even if they're in their 80s or 90s."
While singing pop-jazz, Mark had a folder full of his own original songs he had written since 1998 or so using his vintage baby grand piano, and decided to work with producers Nate Salter and Danny Pizarro, Jr. After many long hours, some greats music tracks were produced, but when he went to record the vocals at another studio, Mark and the studio owner never truly connected and vocals didn't get recorded.
"Being your own artist along with manager and publicist and songwriter and musician and all that entails is hard," says Mark. "I wanted to get things accomplished but the timing and connections just weren't working out for several years. But then, through my friend and fellow recording artist Johnny Juarez, I met producer Joe Secchiaroli, and everything changed."
Joe Secchiaroli was and is the key to Mark Weber becoming the recording artist he intended to be.
"Joe is like the brother I never had but always wanted," says Mark. "We get along so well together, and that translates into music that transcends the ordinary."
Mark has worked with a number of singers and musicians on his three albums in development, bringing them into Joe's studio to record their parts.
"I had beatboxer Omar Vargas in, along with Dave and Felicia Meyer of the Celtic duo Kindred, guitar great Jeremy Thompson, and vocalist Darrell Castleberry from Biloxi, Mississippi," says Mark. "It's important for me to have live instruments on my recordings, so I'm elated to have Julia Norris playing violin and jazz great Dave Rydelnik from Albany playing his trumpet and singing on a couple of my tracks."
If it's one thing Mark Weber is, it's eclectic. In his own CD collection, you'll find music from Smokey Robinson, U2, Rob Thomas, Tina Turner, Bob Marley, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Harry Connick, Jr., Enya, Willie Nelson, NewWorldSon, Marc Scibilia, Greg Sczebel, BeBe Winans, Amanda Marshall, and many more. In the past, his "other" career involved interviewing famous singers and bands, and he was nicknamed "the singing journalist," often asking artists to sing with him, for fun. With over 1,000 articles published in magazines covering a wide spectrum, from The National Enquirer to Gospel Today, Mark has interviewed many great artists, including Mary J. Blige, Charlie Daniels, John Tesh, Joan Osborne, and Dionne Warwick.
"After all the hours I've spent listening to and enjoying music from other artists, I am incredibly excited about the music I'm making and I can't wait to share it with you," says Mark.