Mark Lamson is a renowned Drummer, Percussionist, Music Producer and Clinician.

BACKGROUND Mark diligently developed himself as a percussion artist by studying a broad range of musical styles and instruments, specializing in Bata. Mark began studying drumset at the age of ten. At fifteen he was performing in a Southern California rock band at major events.

Mark went on to earn a deep knowledge of Afro-Cuban and Brazilian styles through several decades of committed study with percussion masters including Cuban cultural icons Regino Jimenez and Los Munequitos’ “Cha Cha.” and in Brazil Jorge Alabe and Miguel Lisboa.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS As an in-demand performer and recording artist, Mark’s unique approach fuses his background on drumset with expertise in Cuban, Brazilian and African music styles.

  • Mark applies a speciality in Bata drumming as leader of traditional Bata drum ensembles.

  • Along with Michael Spiro, Mark envisioned, recorded, and produced Bata Ketu, a Musical Interplay of Cuba and Brazil, a unique recording project that received funding from the Rockefeller Institute, many awards, and is registered with the Smithsonian as an historic achievement for reuniting the “sibling” musical traditions of Cuba and Brazil. 

  • Toured Mexico performing, recording and teaching with all-star Cuban folklore troupe, Ilu Irawo.

  • Leader and co-founder of Sol e Mar, a dynamic Brazilian and Cuban performance collective launched in 1985. Produced and performed large-scale Brazilian and drum and dance shows that raised millions of dollars for children’s programs.

  • Performed and recorded with a wide variety of bands, including Sergio Mendes, James Burton (guitarist and musical director for Elvis Presley) L.A. Philharmonic, national country artist Jonathan Lee. Toured Europe and Mexico with international blues artist Earl Thomas.

TEACHING As a passionate educator, Mark has developed music programs from elementary schools to graduate programs.

  • Twenty-year faculty member at San Diego State University and California Brazil Camp. Former faculty at CSU Long Beach and San Marcos, Santa Clara University. 

  • Currently teaches at Palomar College where he co-directs the drum and dance ensemble.

  • Frequent university guest lecturer/clinician. In 2013, Mark was commissioned by the U.S. State Department as an Artist-in-Resident in Monterrey, Mexico.

  • Artistic Director for seven years at Soul Beat, a California arts nonprofit. Awarded a California Arts Council Artist-in-Residence grant for three years in a row. 

  • Performs and teaches for San Diego nonprofits Arts 4 Learning and Center for World Music. Co-Founder and President of nonprofit World Passion Project where he offers a weekly drumming class.