Marke Lester

2013-07-01 00.08.38Marke (silent ‘e’), from Des Plaines, IL. first began playing the viola at age 8, followed by piano at age 12, drums at 16 (although known to bang on various household things since 5), and guitar at 19. He has sung throughout his life, whether in the bathroom, in the car, in church, or later, onstage.

Marke was recruited to his first band six months after receiving his first drum set, and was recording albums that same day.  After graduating from high school, he helped found Spiney Norman, a progressive/psychedelic rock combo.  They later became Mosquitohead, who became well-known in and around Chicago for their long, improvised jams as well as their short, concise pop songs.

In college Marke continued to study percussion with famed jazz drummer Jake Jerger at Oakton Community College, where he earned a music performance scholarship.  In 1994 Marke co-founded the group Thunk from Moquitohead’s ashes, and they too achieved notoriety in and around Chicago, at which time he moved to the bass guitar.  Around this same time Marke began writing his first songs.

Marke’s writing showcases a profound melodic sense over several genres, including rock, folk, metal and blues, with solid hooks and soaring choruses providing the frosting on a poetic yet timely lyrical cake.  All the while, the acoustic guitar, with its ability to whisper as well as roar, has been Marke’s main instrument.

Marke’s influences include Neil Young, Pete Townshend, George Harrison and Jim Croce. Taking vocal lessons with renowned vocal and life coach Wendy Hart, he established a newfound confidence in his singing ability.  Marke recently began playing drums again, playing with Labrador Dali as well as with Phil Circle, The Hawk In October (now Left Turn at Albuquerque), Jack Salamander, Kristin Kelly, Kris Nichols and Marlon St. John, Ruby Harris, and French Finnish.  His only release to date has been the EP “A Sound Seen Distant”, but is currently at work on a new full-length album he hopes to complete by the end of the year.