I began my professional musical career at age 14 enhanced by the influence of a musical family. Growing up in northeastern PA I started playing gigs with various wedding/club date bands in local country clubs and resorts. Like others interested in music, I wanted to learn as much as possible about the art, especially jazz. I privately studied jazz and classical piano, and I studied music theory and ear training at a local college. Finally, I began drum lessons with drumming legend Joe Morello. All of this helped to pave the way for college.
I attended The University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, and gained an enormous amount of schooling in classical /ethnic percussion, drum set, piano, and arranging/composing. While at Miami I had the great fortune to study with one of the best music faculties in collegiate music education. During my time performing with the University’s top concert jazz ensemble, I had the chance to play with some of the greatest musical jazz mentors/performers, such as Joe Henderson, Red Rodney, Michael Brecker and Paquito D’Rivera. I also toured with numerous school ensembles throughout Florida, Brazil and Italy. These experiences allowed me to grow as a performer and composer/arranger.
After graduating with a BM in music performance I created a four piece jazz ensemble named “Active Ingredients”. Constructed mostly of UM jazz alumni, “AI” performed with or opposite of Randy Brecker, The Yellowjackets and Vital Information to name a few. Also around this time I was offered the chance to tour and record with jazz legend Maynard Ferguson. I spent three years playing drums throughout the world with this great ten-piece ‘Big Bop Nouveau Band’. I even had the opportunity to compose and arrange for the group. With this gig being more of a high- profile opportunity, I was lucky to garnish attention from drum- endorsing companies and have mention/features in magazines,newspapers and trade publications as Modern Drummer, Talking Drums, Jazz Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Village Voice, The L.A. Times, All About Jazz and LA Scene magazine. My experiences on the road taught me greatly about life inside the “music business”.
When I finished my time on the road, I came back east in high gear. I was motivated to start a musical arts renaissance in my home region of PA. I created a non profit organization called The PA Jazz Alliance that would dedicate itself to presenting the best jazz and world beat music and would provide high- level music education to those who deserve access to it. Since its inception the PAJA has presented some of the greatest names in jazz and has offered master-classes and week long music workshops for students of all ages and levels. This format opened a wonderful educational door for me as an adjunct professor at Penn State University and past adjunct professorships at Lehigh University and East Orange Comm. College.
During my many years in this music business I have been absolutely blessed to have worked as drummer or pianist with such notables as pop sensation Jon Secada, mexican pop great Juan Gabriel, R&B Legend Melba Moore, John Legend, Clay Aiken, Connie Francis, Constantine Marulous and Little Anthony & The Imperials. Also comedians Joan Rivers, Bob Newhart, the legendary Don Rickles as well as stage/ film greats Jason Miller and Nicol Williamson.
In the incredible world of jazz I have performed with; Kurt Elling, Tierney Sutton, JD Walter, Randy Brecker, Joe Lovano, Ilona Knopfler, Rob McConnell, Anthony Jackson, Wallace Roney, Bill Goodwin, Steve Gilmore, Bob Mintzer, Joe Locke, Pete Christlieb, Chris Vadala, Ted Rosenthal, Nate Birkey, Sean Jones, Terel Stafford, Roseanna Vitro, Clarence Spady, Mike Stern, Lincoln Goines, Steve Turre, Jim Pugh, Mike Davis, Tim Ries, Vinny Valentino, Cafe, Bob Velez, Steve LaSpina, Cameron Brown, Ron McClure, John Benitez, Tim Warfield Jr.,Orin Evans, Mark Soskin, Steve Weingart, Steve Slagle, Steve Smith, Dave Stryker, Francois Moutin, Vic Juris, Alan Farnham, Dean Johnson, Sean Connely, Chip Jackson, Jay Leonhart, Jay Ashby, Marty Ashby, Alain Mallet, John Swanna, Joel Fram, Taylor Haskins, Gary Smulyan, Chris Carlik, Jesse Green, Paul Langosch, Frank Green,Henry Hey, Scott Reeves, Gunnar Mossblad, Mike Tomaro, Charlie Pillow, Dave Rickenburg,Tom Guarna, Paul Thompson,Gene Purla, Valery Pamarov Dwayne Dolphin, Glen Alexander,Bill Washer,Paul Rostock, Tony Marino, Tom Hamilton, Mike Zilber, Eric Mintel, Gary Rissmiller Dave Antanow, Donna Antanow, Ron Oswanski, Dave Samuels, Rob Middleton, Orin Evans, Kim Nazarian, ClairDee, Mike Smith, Gary Keller, Gary Campbell, Doug Bickel, Chuck Burgeron, Dennis Marks, Greg Gizbert, Nelson Hill, Dennis Deblasio, Larry McKenna, Jim Ridle, Phil Markowitz, Mike Pope, Rob Thomas, Christian Jacobs, Trey Henry, John Hart, Andy Middleton, Matt Bonelli, Steve Rudolph, Steve Varner, Kieth Carlock,Chris Parker ,Eric Doney, Charles Fambrough, Danny Cahn, Steve Varner, Steve Rudolph, Donny McCaslin, Bob Milikin,Chris Bacus, Dave Stahl, Conrad Herwig, Mike Fahn, Bob Lark, Gary Keller, Joe Locke, John Benitez,Marvin Stamm ,George Rabi, Sal Giorgianni, Chris Farr, Tony Miceli, Aaron Graves, Jean Michel Pilc.
Also jazz legends; Clark Terry, Phil Woods, Al Grey,Johnny Coles, Bob Dorough, Mark Murphy,Urbie Green,Joe Temperly, Bill Crow,Eddie Bert, Ross Tompkins ,Mulgrew Miller, John Hicks, Henry Johnson, Arturo Sandivol, Dave Samuels and Will Lee.
For the past eight years I have been touring and recording with the great jazz saxophonist Dave Liebman. Discographu includes; “Conversation”Sunny Side Label, “Blues All Ways” Omni Tone Label, “Beyond The Line” Omni Tone Label, “Back On The Corner” Shrapnel/Tone Center Label.
Marko Marcinko endorses Zildjian Cymbals, Yamaha Drums, Aquarian Drum Heads and Vater Stcks.