World multi-percussionist Mark Stone is a leading expert in global percussion performance and education. He has performed with the foremost musicians of Uganda, Ghana, Trinidad, South Africa, India, and the United States. An accomplished composer and improviser, he has writes regularly for his many projects and commissions. Mark’s highly original musical style results from his unique synthesis and innovation rooted in a deep knowledge of multiple world traditions.
Inspired by his extensive travels, performances, and studies in Africa and India, Mark started a group, the Mark Stone Trio. The trio brings together celebrated world percussion traditions of Africa and India with the lyricism of the violin to create a vibrant new global soundscape. The trio performs new music that draws on Mark's wide-ranging compositional influences, stretching from American jazz to traditional African music and classical Indian music to European concert music. In the group Mark plays gyil and many types of mbiras including the new American made array mbira. He is also in Southpaw Isle a steel band he started in the early 2000's.
In 2018 he put together another group Stone Sound Collective to showcase World Music.
As co-founder and partner of Jumbie Records Mark has sponsored annual music festivals in both Ghana and Uganda. He has also produced two African Xylophone Festivals in New York City, two Steel Drum Festivals in Detroit, and four Carnatic Music Festivals at Oakland University.
Mark holds a Master's degree in Percussion Performance from the World Music Performance Center of West Virginia University and a Bachelor's degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Michigan School of Music. His research in Ugandan music has been published in African Music, the Journal of the International Library of African Music in South Africa.
Mark is an Associate Professor at Oakland University where he coordinates the World Music and Percussion Programs, while teaching courses in ethnomusicology and international studies. He also directs Oakland University’s African Ensemble, World Percussion Ensemble, and Steel Band and is a member of the OU Faculty Jazz Quartet. Mark recently received the Provost’s Academic Excellence Recognition Award: established to recognize strong and sustained productivity, high performance, and continued efforts toward scholarship.