The Mark James Fortin Band hits Civic Plaza with a line-up of captivating original and well known songs that reveals their uncompromising desire to offer music with heart. This vibrant band is a North Shore favourite having performed in the NVRC Summer Concert series in Deep Cove and Lynn Valley, and at the Harmony Arts Festival.
Mark James Fortin
Described by Bruce White as Canadas best unsigned artist, Mark James Fortin is also one of Canadas best-kept secrets. This powerful songwriter, vocalist and guitarist turned his back on Torontos live music scene just as he was poised to break with his debut CD and has been quietly perfecting his craft on the West Coast ever since.
Born in France, raised in Canada and Germany, he spent his formative years playing hockey, drinking beer with old men and soaking in classic jazz supplied by his trumpet-playing father. A return to Toronto in his late teens and the sounds of intelligent roots-based music from artists such as John Hiatt, Elvis Costello, and Tom Waits inspired him to trade his hockey stick for a guitar. The collision of hockey, jazz, rock, and women brought forth his first batch of tough but tender songs, which combined the sophistication of jazz with a straightforward emphasis on groove, feel, and honesty. A natural talent on the acoustic guitar, his accomplished playing, distinctive vocal style and direct, yet evocative songwriting placed him squarely in the media spotlight, attracting Toronto heavyweights the Briet brothers Kevin and Gary to his band. With strong performance reviews and industry buzz he was soon playing shows with artists such as Greg Keelor, Jim Cuddy, and Soul Asylum.
After winning Torontos Radio Q107 Homegrown Contest, he recorded his debut CD “Two Days in Rexdale” and was offered management, label deals and a lot of the seedier trappings of the industry. Disillusioned and burned out, he moved to the West Coast where he began rediscovering what it was that made him an artist in the first place.
Mark’ first west-coast musical collaboration was with Yvonne McSkimming, co-writing music for the Fringe Festival Hit Crossing Boundaries. After rave reviews the two went into the studio with Bill Buckingham to arrange and co-produce Yvonne’ debut CD “A Place of Standing” which spent 6 months at the top of the MP3.com charts and across Canada. The artists collaboration also resulted in the co-creation of one Vancouvers most beloved and well-attended monthly songwriters showcases in the citys history. The ongoing benefit event Just Singing Round hosted by Fortin and McSkimming has raised over 160,000 dollars for numerous Vancouver charities over the past five years and is regularly sold out. Since its inception Fortin has toured to Scotland for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where the JSR showcase garnered rave reviews.
Today, Mark James Fortin continues to write, record and perform new material. Concentrating on music for its own sake, he has delighted scores of listeners of all tastes and backgrounds with his accessible, yet authentic songs. Fortins wide appeal is based on skill, talent, and something much more important an uncompromising desire to offer music with heart. Onstage, on the page or in the studio Mark James Fortin delivers.
For more information about this event please contact us at 604-987-7529