The Mark Wood
Photo by Mark
|Mark Wood, award winning composer, international
recording artist, and electric violinist, is widely acknowledged as the premier
electric rock violinist of his generation. Mark studied under maestro Leonard
Bernstein at Tanglewood and attended the Juilliard School of Music on full
scholarship, which he left to pursue his vision of bringing rock violin into
the mainstream. His first release, "Voodoo Violince," is widely hailed as the
quintessential rock violin record. He is an original member of Trans-Siberian
Orchestra, receiving two platinum and three gold records from his work with
them, and has toured and performed with Billy Joel, Celine Dion, Dee
Sniders Van Helsings Curse, Lenny Kravitz, Steve Vai, Roger Daltry
of the Who and Jewel. Mark has been a featured guest on The Tonight Show with
Jay Leno, and has had articles written about him in the New York Times, USA
Today, and Time Magazine, among others. Arnold Steinhardt of the Guarnari
String Quartet said in his new book Violin Dreams that
Mark Wood is
the future of violins.
In the capacity of composer, Mark won an Emmy award for music he
composed for the Tour De France bike race on CBS-TV and has received three
additional Emmy nominations for a variety of film and television projects, most
notably for the music for the 1999 Winter Olympics opening show. As an
inventor, Mark established Wood Violins, a company whose mission is to make
Mark's incredible instruments available to the general public.
In early 2008, Mark was elected
to serve on the board of the prestigious American String Teachers Association
(ASTA) and will bring his knowledge and expertise in the field of progressive
string education to a much wider audience in the US. As educators across the
country are quickly catching on to the importance of incorporating
American styles teaching methods into their curriculum, Marks
Electrify Your Strings! series of music education programs have become
enormously successful and in demand. In 2007 alone, EYS reached over 20,000
With the release of Mark's first method book, aptly entitled
"Electrify Your Strings" (published by Cherry Lane and distributed by Hal
Leonard), Mark's methods are now accessible to the general public.
currently starring in a national TV ad campaign for
Pepsi. The music track
is a Kanye West produced hip hop version of "The Devil Went Down to Georgia"
(featuring the rapper Nas).
Mark was a featured performer with rock icon Billy Joel for the
historic "Last Play at Shea" concerts at Shea Stadium in New York in July 2008.
Photo by Wayne
|Laura Kaye is Vice President
and co-owner of Mark Wood Music Productions, Wood Violins, and the Electrify
Your Strings! (EYS) series of music education programs and is Mark's
wife. Along with their son Elijah (who frequently joins them onstage to play
drums), Laura and Mark tour extensively with the EYS program throughout each
year. Laura's role with EYS involves working with choir students during the
course of these all-inclusive workshops, preparing them for the performance and
auditioning soloists to be featured during the event.
As a vocalist, Laura the
rock and roll chanteuse whose take-no-prisoners voice invokes the likes of
Steven Tyler and Aretha Franklin, but with a lyricism and musicality all her
own is currently promoting her latest CD Shake Off the
Gravity. Produced by award-winning composer and international recording
artist Mark Wood (who co-wrote several of the tracks and plays his 7-string
fretted Viper electric violin throughout), the CD features eight innovative,
original songs that range from driving rock & roll to the intensely
personal, and includes covers from Aerosmith, Humble Pie and Led Zeppelin.
course of a career that began when she was a teenager, Laura has toured
extensively as lead vocalist and songwriter for The Laura Kaye Band
(which was featured on WAPP-FMs New Yorks Best Bands
Album - the same series that helped discover Bon Jovi and Twisted
Sister). She was a featured soloist for the 20-piece rock-and-roll choir
New Voices of Freedom, has worked with James Brown and Aretha
Franklin, and has contributed to soundtracks and videos for U2, Lenny Kravitz,
Sean Lennon, and the aforementioned Mark Wood. She sang on the Emmy-nominated
composition Dare to Dream, which was featured by CBS Television
during the opening ceremonies of the 1998 Winter Olympics broadcast, and her
voice can be heard on many jingles on TV and radio. Her previous CD,
Sanctuary, a collaboration with Mark Wood, was released in 2001.
Laura is currently working on material for her next CD release.
Photo by Wayne
|Jeff Plate was born and
raised in Horseheads, NY (upstate Finger Lakes Region). He attended and
graduated Horseheads High School in 1980. Jeff began playing drums in 1974.
television special on the band Chicago when he was a child, Jeff became very
interested in music. Chicago 7 was his first music purchase ever, and soon
after that came a snare drum. His true passion at the time was baseball, and
was an aspiring young talent with a 'country boy fastball'.
After a hip injury which
sidelined any athletic activity for 2-3 years, and seeing KISS on television,
Jeff determined that music was now the way to go!
He took private lessons from
1976-78, and also participated in the school band; played in local cover bands
from 1979-1981; moved to Florida for a year, played in cover/original bands,
and returned to NY. Jeff moved to the Boston area in 1984, where he played in
several cover bands, original bands, and did some recording.
After 10 years of hard work and
limited success, he returned to NY and in 1994, he joined the progressive
rock/metal band Savatage, with whom he recorded and toured extensively across
the US, Europe, Japan and South America. In 1995, Jeff recorded his first major
studio release with Savatage, 'Dead Winter Dead'. This CD contained the hit
song 'Christmas Eve Sarejevo 12/24'. This song launched the Trans-Siberian
Orchestra (TSO), which has become a multi-platinum-selling act, and one of the
top grossing live acts in the country. TSO has just completed it's 10th year of
touring, and there is no end in sight. With two touring groups, TSO plays 140
shows a year from November to January selling out arenas across the US and
Canada. His involvement with TSO has led to many other projects that Jeff is
involved in now.
Mark Wood approached Jeff several years ago about his Electrify
Your Strings! program. After several years of touring with Mark in TSO, and
becoming a good friend along the way, it seemed like a very good opportunity.
"The MWE [Mark Wood Experience] has become one of my favorite, if not my
favorite, projects that I am involved in now. The performances and interaction
with the kids is nothing short of rewarding, not to mention entertaining. It is
promising to see how much young musical talent there is out there and this
program brings this out in these kids. Mark is a pioneer, and it is great being
involved with someone who is making a difference in the lives of these kids. He
is the only person that I know of, with his stature and experience, that is
doing a program like this."
Aside from Mark Wood and The MWE, Jeff has recorded and
performed with Chris Caffery, John West and Metal Church. His latest project,
'Machines Of Grace', is set for release in early July.
Photo by Wayne
|Jon Bivona is considered by many in the industry to be
one of the premier guitarists in New York City. His talents and presence in the
industry are diverse and exceptional. His work can be heard on the radio,
television, CDs and during live performances.
His playing has been featured on
numerous television programs and networks such as NBC, CBS, ABC, USA, ESPN,
ESPN International, Animal Planet and Outdoor Life Network. Jon has done all
the guitar tracks for the Tour de France for the last three years, including
the Emmy Award winning 2002 theme. Jons work has also been featured on
ESPN Sportscenter, the PGA Tour on USA Network, the US Open Tennis in 2003 and
2004 and the theme song for the Phil Simms All-Iron Man Show.
Jon currently performs with a
multitude of bands and artists with ranging genres and influences. These bands
are Trans-Siberian Orchestra, The Mark Wood Band, The Sign, Lyza Wilson and the
Jon has been teaching guitar in the New York area for over 12
years to hundreds of students, teaching all styles and levels. Some of Jon's
students have gone on to become successful recording artists as well as
graduates from some of the top music schools in the country. World-renowned
guitarist Al Pitrelli from Megadeth and Trans-Siberian Orchestra trained him.
|Sean Meagher, born and raised in New York, was introduced
to classical piano at an early age. After seeing Yes perform in
concert, Seans eyes were opened to the role of keyboards in a rock
setting. In 1998 Sean went to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music where
he studied electronic composition and sound design with Dr. Richard Boulanger,
and piano and organ with Greg Wardson and Dave Limina. While in Boston he
performed and recorded with guitar virtuoso German Schauss, and Van Zant
guitarist Matt Hauer.
In 2000 Sean joined New York progressive metal band
October Thorns where he played with Trans-Siberian Orchestra
bassist Dave Z. Sean was reunited with Dave in 2004 while appearing with
electric violinist Mark Wood, whom he continues to perform with. Moving back to
New York after college Sean performed with Incidental Bliss until
2006, in which time they recorded the EP The View Inside My Mind.
Recently Sean recorded on his brothers 2006 debut solo CD No Flies
On Frank, released by Locust Media, which received 4 stars from
Time Out New York magazine.
Photo by Travis
|Paul Ranieri, born in New York City and raised in a
musical and artistic environment, started studying music and playing bass at
age 11. Influenced early on by the music from cartoons, science fiction and
monster movies; and then later by all the greatest rock, funk, and jazz bass
players, Paul is now involved in many diverse musical projects and has
developed a melodically ferocious and powerful playing style all his own. With
a degree in Jazz Performance from New Yorks New School University and
Mannes College of Music, Pauls talents encompass a high level of
technical expertise and professionalism. Paul is currently the bassist for
producer, inventor, Emmy Award-winning composer, and highly acclaimed
international recording artist Mark Wood, and has been touring the United
States with Marks "Electrify Your Strings" series of music education
programs; working alongside Mark to participate in the creation of rock
orchestras with student musicians at schools and universities across the
and music educator since 1990, having taught at San Diegos only
professional bass shop and music school; Bass Alone and at Sam Ash Music
University and also has a successful private teaching practice.
Paul is also
leader of the band Dangered Ace who's debut CD "GoTenGo" is being released this
The Mark Wood Experience
has performed with the following
- TBA Your Symphony
-Its amazing what he can do with a violin and a bow!
Jay Leno - Itzhak
Perlman pulling his hair out, ladies and gentlemen!
CBS News - You gotta
see this guy to believe it!
Entertainment Tonight -
CBS Sunday Morning -
Moving violin into the future
Time Magazine - Funk
metal violin at its very best
Yngwie Malmsteen -
This music is totally different from anything else Ive heard!
Totally different . . . something no one else has done. MARK WOODs done
that! Its great!
USA Networks - We use
his music all the time and LOVE IT!
The Professor - WFBG -
Altoona, PA - "Not only are his CDs curious listening, they are astounding
listening, as Wood breaks acres of new ground . . . I need not say more -
listen and discover Mark Wood for yourself . . . [It] is THAT