Mark Schatz - A Brief History

With his summer 2021 release of GRIT & POLISH Mark Schatz once again proves he’s true a ‘renaissance man’ of the acoustic music world.  A two-time winner of the IBMA Bass Player of the Year Award, Mark is best known for his contributions on some of the most iconic recordings in bluegrass by artists such as Tony Rice, Bela Fleck, John Hartford, Claire Lynch, Tim O’Brien, Sara Jarosz, and Nickel Creek. But Mark is also a master of the clawhammer banjo and is featured playing his own compositions on two solo projects on Rounder Records, BRAND NEW OLD TYME WAY and STEPPIN’ IN THE BOILER HOUSE. Mark is always ready to cut loose with some Southern Appalachian clogging and hambone, and his stagecraft was honed through a long association with the acclaimed Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, for whom he still serves as Musical Director. 

Always in  demand as the consummate sideman, Mark will be touring with Bela Fleck and a stellar array of acoustic musicians including Bryan Sutton, Sierra Hull, Michael Cleveland, and Justin Moses in the summer and fall of 2021. 

After the great personal loss of his partner in 2019, Mark sought to connect more intimately with his audience. As a result he created Mark Schatz – The Solo Concert. He pulls out all of the stops on banjo, bass and guitar, presenting songs, stories, and tunes, tapping on a board, dancing, and reciting poetry, offering a vaudevillian feast for the eyes and ears. In addition he called on his friend and ace multi-instrumentalist and singer, Bryan McDowell, to tour together as a duo. Live in Mark’s studio they recorded  GRIT & POLISH, an acoustic tour de force that moves effortlessly from original fiddle tunes and songs to Louis Jordan Boogie Woogie and Bob Dylan.


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Discography - Mark Schatz

Grit & Polish- Mark Schatz & Bryan McDowell

Robin & Linda Williams – A Better Day A’ Coming

Jeff Scroggins and Colorado – Ramblin’ Feels Good, Over the Line 

The Patuxent Banjo Project

Claire Lynch: Whatcha Gonna Do, Dear Sister, Holiday, North By South

Della Mae: Della Mae

Sarah Jarosz: Follow Me Down, Song Up in Her Head, Undercurrent

Sara Watkins: Sara Watkins

Nickel Creek: Why Should The Fire Die, Dotted Line

John Hartford: Good Old Boys

Mark Schatz: Brand New Old Tyme Way, Steppin’ in the Boiler House

Mollie O’Brien: Tell It True

Tim and Mollie O’Brien: Away Out On The Mountain

Tim O’Brien: Oh Boy, O’Boy, Odd Man In, Rock in My Shoe, Red On Blond

Jerry Douglas: Fluxedo, Slide Rule, The Great Dobro Sessions

Mark O’Connor: The New Nashville Cats, Liberty

Maura O’Connell: Just in Time

Tony Rice: Me And My Guitar, Native American, Tony Rice Plays and Sings Bluegrass, The Bluegrass Album Band – Volume V

Blaine Sprouse: Brilliancy

Bela Fleck: Crossing The Tracks, Natural Bridge, Double Time, Drive, The Bluegrass Sessions

Spectrum: Opening Roll, It’s Too Hot For Words, Live in Japan

Tasty Licks: Anchored to the Shore