Driving Beverly Hills
A best-kept secret in the business. Having quickly gained a considerable reputation as a talented producer, arranger, and musician for some of the biggest stars in music, Mark Portmann steps comfortably into the spotlight as a solo artist with his debut solo album, DRIVING BEVERLY HILLS. The album gives the Grammy-nominated arranger and accomplished keyboardist and opportunity to deliver his own rich, lyrical, pop flavored jazz melodies to a growing audience of fans. In many ways, the album brings Portmann back to where he started: at the piano. Musicians include: Michael Paulo (sax), Jeff Kashiwa (sax), Freddy Washington, Jr (bass), Jerry Watts (bass), Ron Komie (gtr), Paul Jackson, Jr (gtr), Steve Reid (percussion), Steve Ferrone (drums), Tony Morales (drums), Greg Bissonette (drums), Herman Matthews (drums), Alan Hinds (gtr), Steve Bailey (bass), John Defaria (gtr), Philip Ingram (vocals), Machun (vocals), Mark Portmann (piano, keyboards, programming, arranging, producer, composer), Ed Smart, Matt Fronke, Wendell Kelly Eric Jorgenson Harry Kim (horns), mixed by Humberto Gatica Portmann moved to Los Angeles in 1989. After a month, he joined the well-known pop/jazz group, the Rippingtons, as their keyboardist. Portmann recorded & traveled with the group for four years, performing before audiences of up to 100,000, and helping the group earn numerous awards. During this time, he also released (2) solo albums 'Driving Beverly Hills' and 'No Truer Words' which both received critical acclaim and Top5 status in national airplay. Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, Barbra Streisand, Luis Miguel, Boyz II Men, Josh Groban, Jaci Velasquez. What do these artists have in common besides moving millions of listeners (and selling millions of records) with their music? It's the person who helped create the magic within their music- Los Angeles-based producer/songwriter/musician Mark Portmann. Mark has recently composed and worked on the production for the new Josh Groban 'Closer' album. His songs have been hitting Billboard's No. 1 spot for nearly a decade including several ASCAP El Premio awards, DOVE Award Song of the Year nomination and Grammy nominated songs including 'Imagine Me Without You' for Jaci Velasquez. He has also collaborated and worked with renowned producers including David Foster, Phil Ramone, Quincy Jones, Teddy Riley and Latin producer Rudy Perez. Among songwriters, Mark has collaborated with the best in the business including Carole King, Alejandro Sanz, Stephanie Bentley, Chuck Canon, Keith Follese,John Bettis, Carole Bayer Sager, Brenda Russell and Rudy Perez. Born in the midwest, Mark began playing the piano and studying at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music at age five. Influenced by the classical, jazz and pop/rock music he was surrounded by as a teen, Portmann's passion and abilities led him to New York City. At 14, this is where he studied music, orchestration, and composing before heading to the University of Miami to continue his education. Miami is where Mark started his career in the Latin Music field touring and recording with many Latin artists at the age of 17. Shortly after moving to Los Angeles in 1990, Portmann's talents were recognized by legendary producer David Foster. Portmann's years as Foster's protégé allowed him to further cultivate his skills, garnering him his first of several Grammy nominations and awards for arranging and performing on Barbara Streisand's platinum record,Back to Broadway. He has worked on over 130 albums, several movies and TV shows while in his 12yrs in Los Angeles. 'Since this keyboardist left his high profile gig with the Rippingtons in the mid 90s, he's paid some bills doing parts and arrangements for superstar producer David Foster, and Portmann's own instincts as studio ringleader make No Truer Words a busy, diverse affair. One gets the sense that Portmann's truest heart lies in finely orchestrated romantic pieces like Destinations and Canyons, but he has a blast jacking up the urban swing on the party jam Slink and overseeing a handful of solid soul vocals. Portmann's finely honed jazz heart beats at the core of even the most heavily produced pop track. And his roots are never far behind either - former Rippmates Tony Morales, Steve Reid and Jeff Kashiwa show up to help their old pal explore his wide ranging but never scattered artistry.' ~ Jonathan Widran, JAZZIZ Magazine & All Music Guide.