Mark Portmann

Prolific keyboardist, producer, and arranger Mark Portmann began playing the piano at the age of five. Within three years, he was performing in front of delighted audiences and earning awards with his talent. Switching from classical music over to pop and jazz, Portmann gained enough attention to receive a scholarship to New York's impressive Eastman School of Music. There, he centered his efforts on composing and orchestration. In his teens, Portmann left New York for the University of Miami. He earned his degree there, studying under gifted teachers like Vince Maggio. Even before Portmann had completed school, he was already making a living with his music, mostly as a session musician. He performed and recorded with a number of artists in Miami, even touring with José Luis Rodriguez. In 1988, Portmann moved again, this time to Los Angeles. He soon became a member of a group known as the Rippingtons. While he was with them as keyboardist, the band made three top-selling albums and toured worldwide. Portmann left the Rippingtons after four terrific years. He got things lined up and put together a record label of his own, Hands On, Inc. In 1994, he recorded the album Roadmusic under his label. The album made it onto charts like the R&R and the Top 94 of 1994. For a second album, Portmann recorded Driving Beverly Hills, re-released in 1997 under the Zebra Records label. "Indigo Sunsets," "Cruise Control," and "Point of No Return" are some of the tracks on the album. That same year he completed the album No Truer Words, also for Zebra. During his remarkable career, Portmann has worked with many famous artists, such as Barbra Streisand, Annie Lennox, James Ingram, Luther Vandross, Julio Iglesias, Boyz II Men, Debbie Gibson, Michael Bolton, Dolly Parton, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Christina Aguilera, and too many others to name. He also does musical film scores and recordings, his work appearing in Purple Sage, Made in America, The Mirror Has Two Faces, Pooh's Grand Adventure, Miracle on 34th St., and television shows like the 1996 Grammy Awards, Diagnosis Murder, Cagney & Lacey, Murder She Wrote, and others. ~ Charlotte Dillon

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