Classical and Flamenco guitarist Mark Taylor is an international recording artist, performer and teacher. His combined experience in classical and flamenco music makes him a strong and dynamic interpreter of the classical repertoire with an approach to flamenco that is rhythmically vibrant, passionate and true to the essence of the many styles he performs.
Taylor began his study of classical guitar in 1980 at the Santa Rosa Junior College earning a music degree and was awarded the first Julia Harp Scholarship for music performance at Sonoma State University. He received private instruction with Kirby Wilkerson, and Phillip Roshegar, and master classes with Vladimir Mikulka, and Deborah Marrioti. He has performed in many renaissance and baroque chamber ensembles yet it was his love of Spanish music that inspired him to travel to Spain. Mark was already a professional classical guitarist when he first began traveling to Spain in 1987. He returned to Spain frequently over a period of 15 years learning the art of solo guitar as well as accompaniment of song and dance styles. Taylor studied flamenco guitar in Granada, Sevilla and Jerez de la Frontera and Madrid with such great artists and teachers as Mario Escudero, Carlos Heredia (Seville), “El Carbonero” (Jerez), Roman Martin, and at the famous Amor de Dios dance studio (Madrid). He returned to the United States to form the Aire Flamenco Dance Company and The Mark Taylor Flamenco Quartet. He has performed as a soloist in Spain and the United States and appears regularly as featured artist with the Sol Flamenco Dance Company and The San Francisco Bay area’s Potaje ensemble, directed by Chus Alonso. He has also collaborated with Francisco Gaona’s stage productions of Romanceros Gitanos, Cante Jondo and Cantares by Federico García Lorca.
Radio and television credits include interviews by Jose Maria Velasquez on Spanish National Radio in Madrid, Spain, Radio Onda Ribera in Navarra, Spain and Michael Krazny’s Forum on KQED Public Radio in San Francisco. Mark’s music is featured on television on the Discovery Channel program Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, in the “Spain” and “Morocco” episodes.
Concert venues: include the Cowell Theater (San Francisco), La Peña Cultural Center (Berkeley), The Crest Theater (Sacramento), the Kuumbwa Jazz Center (Santa Cruz), the Jarvis Conservatory (Napa), the Sinatra Theater (Lake Tahoe), the Hults Center (Eugene, OR) and the Portland Theater (Portland, OR).
Festivals: include the Santa Barbara Flamenco Festival with La Tania Flamenco Dance Company, the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival with La Fibi Flamenco Dance Company, the Portland Flamenco Festival with Solo Flamenco, the Gloria Ferrer Catalan Festival with Sol Flamenco, the Healdsburg Guitar Festival with Aire Flamenco, the Petaluma Summer Music Festival, the Las Vegas Guitar Society, the Stony Point Concert Series and the Pistol River Concert Series.