oySongs - Love Jewish Music


Joe Marks
Joe Marks grew up active in a reform congregation where he was youth group president and Sunday school administrator. Also a URJ camper, Joe took to music early in high school with his father's abandoned banjo ukuleles and a Kingston Trio songbook - after two failed attempts at piano lessons. He soon formed two successful folk trios and played in a rock band featured in citywide "battle of the bands' contests. In college, Joe performed at coffee houses and as a guitar soloist on tour with the chorus and took up jazz - performing with a jazz quartet and the stage band. While pursuing advanced degrees he snuck in some classical guitar performance classes and took up arranging with a sound-on-sound tape recorder.

For more than 30 years Joe has performed regularly as a soloist and accompanist at his congregation, in big bands and combos as well as at numerous summer guitar, big band and jazz workshops. He is a founding member and arranger for the Atlanta Guitar Orchestra. Joe's arranging credits include computer-assisted/generated backing tracks for: a classical guitar repertoire; a secular "Great American Song Book" repertory for performances with his vocalist wife; a repertory of liturgical songs; a classical repertory of flute and guitar duets and Hanukah and secular pieces for guitar quartet. Over the years Joe also arranged and produced numerous sets of backing tracks for satirical Purim spiels.

Album Notes

Most recently, Joe applied his knowledge of the guitar to producing solo guitar and orchestrated collections of guitar arrangements to commemorate and memorialize some of Debbie Friedman's most loved melodies. This project honors Psalm 150 -Praise With Stringed Instruments. There are two albums. First, the solo guitar "Debbie Friedman Classics for Classical Guitar." Second, an album taking the guitar arrangements to the next level as Joe's "Classical Guitar Remix Band Presents Debbie Friedman Classics."

These collections prove that one of the less credited reasons for the lasting impact of so many Debbie Friedman songs are the truly lovely, memorable and moving melodies which stand on their own as beautiful instrumental pieces in secular as well as sacred contexts.

Fully annotated guitar scores are also provided in traditional guitar notation (not tab). And, for those who know these songs, there is the added enjoyment of the "ghost" lyrics. Due to unique characteristics of the guitar, multiple variations of a melody in different keys are presented which offers different technical challenges and sonorities.

Joe holds a Ph.D and his chosen profession was as a humanities professor, education research scientist and policy analyst. Joe's immediate family consists of his beloved nightingale wife who is prominently active in WRJ, a daughter and son-in-law.

See also

View all albums by Joe Marks

oySongs - love Jewish music
Give e-Gift
Home  |   My Account  |   FAQ/Help  |   About oySongs  |   Press  |   Artist's Guide  |   Become an oySongs Artist  |   Terms of Use / Privacy Policy