The Mark Alan Wade Trio gets their unique twist on traditional acoustic music from growing up playing bluegrass at home and classical music in orchestra halls. These three college music professors possess all of the finesse and virtuosity that you would expect from symphony musicians, but with the raw tradition of bluegrass and improvisation that only comes from playing bluegrass since childhood. A seemingly unlikely trio of trumpet, violin and guitar professors, they come together to speak the universal language of traditional music with the natural “twang” of their common musical heritage. They proudly teach at Denison University in Ohio- one of only three universities where students can major or minor in Bluegrass Music.
To say that Mark Alan Wade is an eclectic performer understates the acoustic explosion of music his concerts ignite. His visit to a dulcimer player's home in Kentucky lit the spark that started it all. Over a decade later, Mark is a headlining performer in concerts and music festivals around the country.
Mark's audiences are drawn into a broad spectrum of emotions that his music evokes. Mark captures the joy of American traditional music from fiddle tunes to Texas Swing to Jazz. Just after he has fired off a fiddle tune with a frenzied display of technical marvel, his mastery of the subtleties and finesse of Celtic Airs and Chopin Nocturnes will put a tear in your eye. It's not surprising that his 1998 National Contest-winning repertoire included a Celtic ballad, a contemporary piece by Rich Mullins, a Baroque harpsichord solo and, of course, Danny Boy.
Mark's unique edge comes from growing up in a "bluegrass" family with classical training in trumpet, piano and guitar. Technique, musicality and expression pervade his entire arsenal of instruments and music. From his beginning piano lessons at age five to receiving his B.M. in trumpet and piano at Ohio Wesleyan University, Mark continued to push his musical limits by earning his Masters and Doctorate Degrees in trumpet performance at The Ohio State University. The result of this musical immersion is that Mark is equally at home at a front porch jam session or playing a dulcimer concerto with a symphony orchestra.
Mark's classical training has earned him the ear of such notables as President George Bush Sr., Ross Perot and the U.S. Secretary of Defense, William S. Cohen. In his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, Mark has a full studio of students of all levels, from beginners to published professionals. His students continually place in national and regional contests. Mark has personally released 6 CDs and has published 3 successful dulcimer books.
Currently, Mark is an Assistant Professor of Music at Denison University where he teaches trumpet, hammered dulcimer, music theory and directs the wind ensemble. Mark and his wife Cristina live in New Albany. You can “Friend” him on Facebook.
Andrew Carlson has performed as a soloist and as a chamber musician throughout the United States. Of his 1998 Merkin Hall performance the New York Times wrote "Mr. Carlson is a demon fiddler and his performance here was serious and concentrated." He has earned both a MM and BMUS from the University of Georgia and a DMA in Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Iowa. While earning his DMA, he was the recipient of the Iowa Performance Fellowship and the Pelzer Competition Fellowship. Dedicated to the performance of new music, Mr. Carlson was a regular performer with the Iowa Center for New Music and the University of Georgia Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. He is featured on the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble's ACA Digital CDThe Voice and the Virtuoso (includes Pierrot Lunaire). As a soloist he has performed with orchestras including The Columbus Symphony Orchestra, The Huntington West Virginia Symphony, The Welsh Hills Symphony, The Land of Legend Philharmonic, and The University of Iowa Symphony. Andrew has studied with Leopold La Fosse and Thomas Joiner.
An active teacher, Andrew has served as a faculty member at Morehead State University and the Preucil School of Music. He has served as a faculty member at Suzuki institutes including Ithaca, NY, The University of Memphis, Capital University (Columbus, OH), and South Carolina (Furman University). Currently an Associate Professor at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, he teaches violin, conducts the chamber orchestra and directs the bluegrass ensemble.
In addition to his experience as a classical violinist, Andy began learning traditional fiddle music from his grandfather at age 5. He has won numerous fiddle contests and has twice been named the Georgia State Champion Fiddler and was named the 2000 Ohio Grand Champion fiddler. His book entitled A Guide to American Fiddling has recently been released by Mel Bay Publishers. As a studio musician and string arranger he has recorded for Warner Bros., Atlantic, Elektra, Geffen, Polydor, and Capricorn and with artists including R.E.M., Nanci Griffith, Billy Bragg, and the Cowboy Junkies.
Guitarist Casey Cook has been a musician all of his life. His parents were professional bluegrass musicians, touring the country when Casey was just three years old. At the age of four Casey recorded his first album with their band, Special Cooking. He was then inducted into the Florida Country Music hall of fame as the youngest touring bluegrass musician to perform and record professionally. In 1999 Casey moved to Atlanta, GA as a founding member of The Dappled Grays. After releasing their first studio project In the Gait, The Dappled Grays were given the coveted title of Atlanta's Best Bluegrass Band by Creative Loafing Magazine. Casey was soon featured in the nationally distributed publication, Flatpicking Guitar Magazine, and had his original work published before he was 21. The Dappled Grays next project was the critically acclaimed “ Doin My Job” released in 2006. Since then the group has had major airplay on radio stations around the world. Casey’s original song “The Night Life” was a top five hit on the Sirius/XM radio program “Bluegrass Junction”. The band was honored by the International Bluegrass Music Association in 2008, performing an official showcase.
Casey joined the Andy Carlson Band in 2002, recording on two studio projects, one of which was voted in the top 50 bluegrass releases of 2005. Casey has shared the stage and taught along side some of the greatest artists in the business including Ricky Scaggs, The Del McCoury Band, David Grier, Mountain Heart, and Claire Lynch. His songs have been featured by MTV, appearing on sound tracks for several television programs.
Casey joined the Music Faculty at Denison University in Granville, Ohio as the bluegrass guitar instructor in 2007. He also serves as the co-director of the Denison Bluegrass Program. Since joining Denison, Casey has enjoyed working closely with Fiddler/Violinist Andy Carlson. The two travel regularly together in a duo configuration throughout the country. He has taught and performed at The University of Texas at Austin String project, SXSW music festival, the Preucil School of music, and most recently a ten-day tour of China. (Performing in Shanghai, Xian, and Beijing) Highlights of this tour include Performing at The Beijing Opera House and The Great Wall of China.