Mark Christopher Brandt was born on February 2, 1961 in San Diego, California. At age 6, Mark's family relocated to Northern Virginia, where he began to develop his musical talent and ability. His first professional club gig was at a piano bar in McLean, Virginia when he was just 16 years old. By the age of 18 Mark was playing jazz, fusion, and pop music for a living.
In 1979, Mark graduated from high school and attended Catholic University as a classical piano performance/traditional composition major, working nights and weekends as a professional keyboardist with a local jazz and pop group. After three years at CU, he entered the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts where he completed his formal education studying jazz composition and arranging.
From 1977 to the present moment Mark has continued to compose, perform, record, and teach music of every style while collaborating with musicians, visual artists, dancers, and educators from every genre and every aspect of the music industry.
Mark has operated a successful private instruction studio, built solely on word-of-mouth advertising, for over 20 years. He is the recent recipient of a Virginia Governor's School award for exemplary service and dedication to education, and his students continually achieve high honors and scholarships at both the high school and the collegiate level. Many of Mark's former students have successful careers in the music industry as performers, educators, producers, and engineers. Since 2008, Mark has been a sponsor for the annual Chantilly High School Invitational Jazz Festival. The festival, which for over 30 years has taken place at Chantilly High School in Virginia, is the largest of its kind on the East Coast.