Mark Godfrey is one of the most in-demand bass players on the Toronto jazz and creative music scene. Known for his strong sound and rhythmic presence on the instrument, Mark’s accolades include the 2019 Emerging Jazz Artist of the Year Award (Toronto Jazz Festival), the 2021 JUNO Award for Vocal Jazz Album (Sammy Jackson/With You), and the 2014 Grand Prix de Jazz (Pram Trio/Montreal Jazz Festival). As a composer, Mark's music is "sophisticated, yet accessible" (Ted Parkinson, WholeNote Magazine) and his most recent album has been described as "a highly persuasive mix of forward-thinking original music" (Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen). After spending the last few years focusing on work as a side musician, this fall Mark will be revisiting his role as a bandleader while touring across Canada with his group, the Mark Godfrey Quintet.
To date, Mark has released two albums under his own name: Prologue (2018) and Square Peg (2020). Featuring a quartet and quintet respectively, the albums showcase Mark on bass and compositions, Allison Au and Matt Woroshyl on saxophones, Chris Pruden on piano, and Nick Fraser on drums. While the quintet’s national touring plans were stifled by the pandemic in early 2020, they are returning to the road in 2023 to celebrate their most recent release and to promote a new record coming out in 2024.
As a supporting musician, Mark can regularly be found performing alongside fellow Toronto artists Barbra Lica, Sammy Jackson, Matt Dusk, and Teri Parker. Versatility on both electric and double bass has given Mark the opportunity to record and perform with a variety of other Canadian jazz artists over the last decade including Kellylee Evans, Joanna Majoko, Jesse Ryan, Jake Koffman, and the Toronto Jazz Orchestra among others. As a jazz educator, Mark is the double bass instructor at Mayfield Secondary School for the Arts in Brampton and also teaches privately out of his home studio in Toronto.