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Friday, May 6, 2016

Headliner Mark Pender to rock Cherokee Jazz and Blues Festival

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The 10th annual Cherokee Jazz and Blues Festival will be taking place on Friday, Jan. 8 through Jan. 10, 2010.

Back by popular demand will be Mark Pender, along with his band, simply titled 'The Mark Pender Band.'

Mark Pender
Pender and the boys will be laying down their jazz, funk and jumping blues on the main stage at the Cherokee Western Iowa Tech Community College Conference Center from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, with opening act the well-decorated Cherokee Washington High School Jazz Band. Pender also will be popping up at some of the downtown Cherokee Pub Crawls after his performace on Saturday.

This will mark the sixth time that Pender has performed at the Cherokee Jazz and Blues Festival.

Pender is best known as the trumpet player for the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. As a member of the Max Weinberg 7, he has performed in all of the programs since the show's premier in 1993. The searing trumpet in the opening theme is a trademark, heralding in the Late Night hour.

Also heard on guitar, harmonica and vocals, Mark is featured in sketches as the passionate vocalist who laments the fate of such subjects as Ben and J-Lo, overweight Americans, Elian Gonzalez, Gigli and the New York City blackout, climbing through the audience wailing out of control until Conan screams Pender, PENDER, PENDER!!!

His career has seen many other musical paths from growing up in the training grounds of the jazz, blues and funk scene of Kansas City, to thriving in the New York/New Jersey music scene.

Starting out in Kansas City, Mark made the Mutual Musicians Foundation his home. The now historical landmark in the 18th and Vine jazz district that brought the world Count Basie, Lester Young and Charlie Parker.

In his teens, he joined the Inner City Orchestra and local funk band favorite, "Mass Transit," playing hundreds of concerts and backups to legendary jazz and R & B greats Ella Fitzgerald, Gladys Knight, Jay McShann, Buddy Tate, Cat Anderson and Billy Mitchell. The Foundation was a great training ground with all-night jam sessions and mentoring from older Kansas City greats. One night at an all-night jam he met soul jazz organist, Charles Earland and was convinced to join his band and tour.

Life with Charles was an unbelievable experience for Mark; touring on the chitlin circuit all over the United States and blazing through night after night of jazz and grooves with one of the true masters of the organ, joined also at times by Melvin Sparks, Eric Gale and in organ showdowns with Jack McDuff and Jimmy McGriff. Charles landed in in the New York City area, which would become Mark's new home.

First settling in New Jersey, a whole new musical love would be found. Asked to record with the horn section of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, began an ongoing relationship with the hard-rocking Jersey scene leading to tours, concerts and records with many of New Jersey's greats: Southside Johnny, Little Steven, Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen. Finding friendship with his fellow horn men, they became known worldwide and worked with many other artists including Diana Ross, Dave Edmunds, Joe Cocker, Keith Richards and Robert Cray.

Now living in New York, Mark has been able to follow his passion for great music. Mark has never stopped working and has racked up more then 10 gold and platinum records. As a freelance artist, he does numerous tours, concerts, clubs, jingles, parties and just about anything that allows him to play, sing and hang out with other musicians.

Now, as a soloist, he's found a voice playing trumpet, singing, writing and producing with his release, "The Mark Pender Band." The Mark Pender Band is a funk, jazz and jump blues band.The band features original compositions with lots of room for jamming improvisations. Based in the New York City area, the band includes Ritchie Labamba Rosenberg on trombone, Tim Cappello on sax, Glenn Alexander on guitar, Paul Frazier on bass, and Mo Roberts on drums.

As a leader, he has played many New York City favorites such as The Cutting Room, The Bottom Line, The Lone Star, Woody's, The Triad and Sessions 73. His band has also been featured opening for James Brown at Convention Hall in Asbury Park, the Jammin' 105 Concert Cruises, Southstreet Seaport Summer Concerts, The Camel Blues Fest and as a headliner at the American Jazz Museum and of course the Cherokee Jazz & Blues Festival.

The new Mark Pender Band release is a funk-jam driven CD. The all original material features "The Loveman" at his best with Love Jams, all with Mark singing and playing trumpet. Included in the package is a DVD with footage from the Mark Pender Band at The Cutting Room. The DVD then follows Mark on a ride to an unbelievable night of jamming. The recording has been well-received with reviews by The New York Observer, JAM Magazine, The Pitch Weekly and the TV stronghold website TV Barn.

Tickets are available at the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce, 225-6414, The Copper Cup, 225-5287, and State Farm Insurance, 225-5747.

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