Forever driven by a passion for music, Mark Tyson was in essence born into it. His older brothers, father, and grandfather all played music. In his home many different instruments and styles of music were played developing in him an early ear for World Music sounds. Mark began formal musical training at age 9 with the flute and alto saxophone, which he continued until he was 13 years old when he picked up the guitar.
While most people were disco and funking it up in the 70's and 80's, Mark was discovering his true calling for melodious style. Reggae. Conscious music. "Throwing the comb away" after hearing a song by the Twinkle Brothers "Since I Throw the Comb Away", Tyson began growing his dreadlocks in 1981. "The first reggae song that I heard that really grabbed me was 'Natural Mystic' by Bob Marley. From the opening few bars I was completely hooked, I started buying all the reggae albums I could find and reading and learning about my roots and culture.." says Tyson. After years of playing Jimi Hendrix licks, R&B/funk, and 70's Jazz/Rock fusion music Mark began to mix all of these influences into his own original musical style.
Born and raised in California, Mark grew up in a multi-ethnic neighborhood in Los Angeles. Being mixed with African American, Lebanese, and Danish, Mark experienced many different aspects of his rich heritage. His songwriting and guitar playing reflect these deeply felt roots. Mark loves to play all kinds of music, he currently plays guitar and bass in many Los Angeles based groups and can be heard on over 30 CD’s with about 20 different artists, styles ranging from Caribbean, African, Middle Eastern, Latin, Jazz, Blues, Hip-Hop/Funk, and Rock n’ Roll. A recent review for one of these CD’s “Merry Peasant” by reggae legend Ras Michael describes Mark’s guitar playing as:
"Virtuoso guitarist Mark Tyson shifts effortlessly from sharp riffing to searing leads, from flourishes to flashes of genius..." - ArtistDirect.com
Mark has released 3 CD’s with his own band the BNX (Blue Nile X-Press) on 3 Worlds Music, a label he runs with his brother Nyofu, the first “Freedom Cry” then “the Blue Nile X-Press” and his latest “Universal Citizen”. Each one received excellent reviews, including a feature article in Billboard magazine.
"..unique musical stew of Reggae, World Music, and Jazz..."
- Billboard Magazine.