Mark Stefani, son of noted West Coast jazz trombonist Roy Stefani, has devoted most of his life to music. He began playing the guitar in 1969, and was inspired by his father along with Bay Area jazz guitarist Eddie Duran. He received his early jazz education while studying with guitarist Dave Smith, and later began his classical training under the guidance of George Sakellariou at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Stefani is a highly eclectic guitarist, though best noted for his skill in the rhythm & blues and jazz idioms. Throughout his career, his influences have included legendary guitarists George Benson, Wes Montgomery, and Kenny Burrell, jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, saxophonists Tom Scott, Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, plus numerous other jazz and blues virtuosos. On the acoustic guitar, Mark has amassed a repertoire of well over 700 instrumental classical, popular, jazz, and latin standards. In 1986 he began composing music in a broad variety of styles to match his diverse background. To date, he's written hundreds of original compositions.
Mark Stefani is an incredibly talented musician!
- Lawrence Williams
...a great deal of knowledge in seemingly any style... He is an excellent instructor.
- Jeffrey Mayer
Extremely patient instructor. Knowledgeable player. Very capable of imparting his know-how to the student. Four stars!
- John Logiudici
Mark has the uncanny ability of making even the most difficult lessons understandable.
- Jason Stewart
Mark has taught music full-time for over 34 years, and his talent as a guitar coach has been felt by top professionals the world over. In June of 1987, his music career was spotlighted in Guitar Player Magazine ("...versatile style on both electric and acoustic guitars" -- "a master's touch"). In 1996, Mark and top saxophonist Dennis Marcellino released a jazz duo recording entitled "An Evening To Remember" (Sugo Music), which charted well and sold over 40,000 copies that year. It was later re-released as "Tenderly" (Lighthouse Music).
In 1997, Stefani combined his early love of writing and art with his extensive music background by designing the highly popular Vision Music educational website, now over 900 pages deep and serving the needs of almost 4000 different players each day. Just one year after inception, it had already received top magazine reviews and accolades from numerous professional musicians and instructors.
Mark is an awesome guitarist, bassist, and instructor. His lessons and guidance took me from novice to professional.
- Frank Bohan
He's an outstanding instructor - and a great guy! Siskel & Ebert - Two thumbs up!
- Anthony Alosi
Besides the valuable lessons and inspiring articles, one of the most popular site features is the innovative "Jam Central Station" page, where improvising musicians have access to a "virtual" band around the clock, complete with high-quality rhythm charts shown on screen while the tracks play. Currently there are over 165 blues, jazz, latin, and rock selections available.
Shortly after the JCS launch, Stefani began inviting world-class guitarists and educators, such as George Benson, Hank Garland, Jimmy Bruno, Robert Conti, Joe Giglio, Liona Boyd, Chris Standring, Steve Laury, David Tanenbaum, Joe Diorio, Henry Johnson, Wolf Marshall, Muriel Anderson, and others, to share their knowledge at Vision Music's "Teacher Feature" page.
Mark Stefani has all the right skills - rhythm, a good ear, creativity, a deep but practical knowledge of theory, and a passion for teaching!
- Michael Robinson
Great depth of experience from rock to jazz.
- Doug Martin
There is no better guitar instructor that I know of than Mark Stefani, the most influential guitarist of my music career!
- Stevan Pasero
Nowadays, besides expanding the website, Mark keeps busy performing, composing, arranging, and teaching in the Portland (OR) area. He also writes regularly for both Just Jazz Guitar and Jazz Improv Magazines.
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