Mark is a native of the Emerald Isle, from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is based in Toronto, Canada. A drummer percussionist, he is a composer and bandleader with a spectrum of artistry that spans musical genres. The Irish culture of his heritage is rich in its storytelling traditions, its shared wealth of literary giants whose works weave plotlines and fantasy like none other, and the music that is simply as infectiously magnetic as the people themselves. Mark is effortlessly all of those traits, and in so many ways those same cultural ways can be found in place firmly entrenched in the adopted Canadian fabric.

It is in the groove of the linearity of Kelso’s version of playing in the pocket; harnessing the beat and freeing its energy all at the same time. Literary by nature, the musical storytelling in Kelso’s artistry is as diversely and soulfully personal as Yeats and as close to the land and space that surrounds as Seamus Heaney. Listen and hear the stories, feel the poetry in the beat, the leadership, and the groove.

Kelso is, to borrow from the title of one of his recordings with his band The Jazz Exiles, as immediately elemental as the elements that surround him.