Chairman, Executive Producer, Singer/Songwriter, Guitarist, Keyboards, Vocals
Markie Z (Mark Andrew Zwartynski) is a graduate of St. Joseph’s College of Indiana, www.sjoes.com and the Disney Institute www.disneyinstitute.com . He is a guitarist who began studying piano in the Trenton (New Jersey) Conservatory of Music at the age of 7. The Beatles arrived and Markie Z just had to pick up the guitar. He cites Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jerry Miller, Danny Gatton, Django Rheinhardt and Andres Segovia as his guitarist influencers.
Markie Z is a published author, editor, film, television and music producer/director, songwriter, screenwriter, playwright, recording artist, sport marketer/analyst, publicist, political scientist and business developer. He is also a world class creative sandwich maker. Markie Z has been showcased and interviewed on NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, Fox Sports, and ESPN. PBN, NBA TV and many other media outlets.
Markie Z was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey and raised in Trenton and Edison, New Jersey. He was born in the same hospital (Perth Amboy General Hospital) as John Bongiovi and his guitar player Richie Sambora. Bongiovi attended the same high school for two years as Markie Z (St. Joseph’s High School, Metuchen NJ) before moving on to Sayreville, NJ.
Markie Z formed his first band at the age of 12 named The Invaders. Growing up outside of Manhattan and the Jersey Shore, many influences surrounded Markie Z. He played on bills with Bruce Springsteen, Prince and the Paupers, The Goodrats, Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge, The Parliaments, The Doughboys, The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company and many more. When Markie Z turned 12 he formed an acoustic vocal, guitar and harmonica duo with his high school friend Pete Stec called Buster Brown and the Kid playing everything from restaurants, CYO’s to clubs in Greenwich Village like The Back Fence and The Café Wha?
Markie Z formed the successful “Original” Southern Cross Band with his college mates Frank “Hunter” Tunk and Mark Sullivan. They toured throughout the United States playing shows with Ted Nugent, Leslie West, Rick Derringer, Siegel Schwall, Foghat, Jim Peterik/Survivor, The Chi Rhythm Ensemble, Tufano and Giammerese of The Buckinghams fame, Cheap Trick, Yancey Derringer, Pezband, Off Broadway and The Boyzz from Illinoizz to name some bands from the past.. The “Original” Southern Cross Band was the very last group to play the famous “Rush Up” on Rush Street in Chicago just a couple doors up from the famed “Mr. Kelly’s” where Markie Z would wander over on off nights to watch the likes of Buddy Rich, Lou Rawls and many other top notch acts. Southern Cross recorded in Chicago and called that town their home base where they experienced much success.
The “Original” Southern Cross Band was talked into changing their name to “Thriller” (yes, long before Michael Jackson’s epic album) by the management they shared with the band Cheap Trick, Adamany and Toler. Thriller had a good relationship with Adamany and Toler and played all over Chicagoland, the Midwest and beyond. Cheap Trick caught fire and Thriller found it being a second priority and returned to the name they originally loved, The Southern Cross Band.
After the breakup of the “Original” Southern Crossthe members moved on following their personal pursuits. Markie Z played as a solo artist with backing bands named Markie Z and Friends and Markie Z and Sky Jammer. He joined the band Onyx with Bob Matthew and drew attention of Mercury Records and Cleveland International Records, but the material was released on an independent label. Markie Z then moved on to Lexington, KY to perform as a solo artist and also forming the group “The Ram.”
In the winter of 1982, Markie Z and drummer Dan Bir recorded the obscure Markie Z and Dan Bir sessions in Dan’s ultra-high-end recording studio named DBRS. The material caught the attention of Mercury Records who aggressively pursued Markie Z and an agreement in principle was forged but never came to fruition due to other opportunities for Markie Z.
Markie Z formed The Markie Z Band after searching for the best musicians with national recognition, recording and touring experience in conjunction with his film project “Just Noise.” Markie Z decided to find the best musicians in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and so emerged The Markie Z Band. They are a collection of top notch incredibly talented musicians, songwriters, arrangers, producers, et al.
Markie Z is the Chairman of ’44 Uprising Productions and Records, home of the Markie Z Band, Carl Storie Band, Gordon Pope Band, Rodney Bowens’ Genre Busters, Tempest Barnes, Mikaela Kahn and The Christian Brooks Band.
Markie Z is a direct descendant of the Prusai Nation dating back to the first group of people in the history of civilization according to archaeologists, historians and genealogists to migrate in the century of 6 BC from the Black Sea to Europe. They were the first to settle, most importantly the first to form territorial boundaries, laws and governance in what is now current Poland and Lithuania below the Baltic Sea. He is the United States Ambassador of The Association of Prusai in Poland.
Markie Z (Mark Andrew Zwartynski)