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October, 2011 Issue

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Mark Kroos

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Mark Kroos plays 2 guitar necks at the same time. Generally double neck guitars are set up so that one guitar body has two necks, one a standard six string and one a twelve string. His is set up as two sixes. "I play each with one hand at the same time. There are only about four guys in the country doing that." He is one of the only people in the world touring his trade, his style characterized by open harmonies, polyphonic textures, incredible tapping technique. But it is not a purely instrumental show. In fact, Mark was an accomplished singer and songwriter even before his discovery of this very unique technique. "It's a bit funny because I personally don't like instrumental guitar music that much. I don't try to market my show as such because no one really listens to it. My music is a lot more exciting. When I play a concert, I am moving around and there is a lot of crowd interaction."

His live performances burst with energy and magnetism not typical of solo guitar music. Drawing influence from folk, Celtic, indie, and even punk rock artists as well as other great acoustic guitarist such as Michael Hedges, Tommy Emmanuel and Leo Kottke, Mark Kroos has developed an edge so much his own that Guitar Player Magazine recognized him as the winner of their 2011 International Guitar Superstar Competition (Rather than telling new people, "I'm really good at guitar, you should book me," I can say "Guitar Player Magazine says I'm their pick for BEST at guitar." The campus market has been a pleasant surprise for Mark. "The college market is one of my demographics, I like it so much because people in college are always looking for new things. Students have this ideology about experiencing something different and that is a perfect niche market for me as a unique music act. The idea of being well-received and inspiring people is exciting for me, as well as the gratification of being able to pass on my knowledge and techniques in certain settings.

Mark offers training and workshops, often booked through the fine arts departments, but your lecture and speakers committees may be interested in Mark as someone who gives an apt presentation on doing what one loves for a living. "I love the standard conference circuit, because I get to book my regular live dates, but there is also what I call the fine arts circuit, which gives me an opportunity to give clinics for the students. I love inspiring the students and I relate to them very well because we are close in age. Mark's debut solo album, And Grace Will Lead Me Home was released in January, 2010 to rave reviews. The album features Mark on both double and single neck guitars with no overdubbing and employs his own innovative studio technique of separating the two signals from the double neck for stereo purposes. Tracks from the album have been licensed for multiple productions on CNN.

BOOK IT! For more information on Mark Kroos, contact Brooke at Coleman Productions at (866) 328-3762