Originally hailing from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Mark Kelso has made Toronto, Canada his home for quite some time. Not only is he a skilled musician who plays drums and an assortment of percussion, but he is also a talented Singer, Producer and Composer as well. He brings a rare excitement, a wealth of experience and a high degree of professionalism to every project he works with.
Mark’s ability to play a wide variety of musical styles has helped him become one of Canada’s most sought after drummers. An all around player, Mark has worked with diverse artists such as Gino Vannelli, Pete Townsend, Michael Bublé, Holly Cole, Peter Murphy ( Bauhaus ) John Scofield, Amy Sky, Randy Brecker, Michael Brecker, Donny Osmond, Dave Grusin, Shirley Eikhard, Hilario Duran, Paquito D’Rivera, Michel Cusson, The Montuno Police, Brian Hughes, Jane Bunnett, Soul Stew, Carol Welsman, Gordie Sampson, Mary Jane Lamond, Joe Sealy, John-Allen Cameron, Marc Jordan, Bruce Guthro, Jane Siberry and Shania Twain.
Aside from playing many TV and radio jingles and movie soundtracks Mark has also been featured in “Drums, ETC” “Canadian Musician” and “Modern Drummer” magazines. Mark has also been a featured clinician at the Montreal Drumfest and Cape Breton Drum Festival.
Mark endorses and is a featured clinician for YAMAHA Drums, PAISTE Cymbals, REMO heads and HEADHUNTERS drumsticks.
His CD entitled “Lost Kingdoms” is an exciting blend of African, Brazilian, Celtic and Pop influences. Featuring 12 original compositions of instrumental and vocal tunes, there is also some fine playing by some of Canada’s finest musicians. Mark says – “I didn’t want to do a typical drummer CD. I wanted to make sure that above all the music was melodic and that it felt good. I put a lot of thought into the concept of the whole thing and that’s why it took me such a long time to do it properly. I can honestly say that it’s something that I’m really very proud of”.
Currently, Mark is Head of the Percussion Department at Humber College’s School of Music in Toronto.