Mark Kroos plays 2 guitar necks at the same time. Originally from Lansing, MI but currently based in Charlotte, NC he is one of the only people in the world touring his trade. His primarily instrumental style is characterized by open harmonies, polyphonic textures, incredible tapping technique, and is as entertaining to watch as it is to listen to. Live performances burst with energy and magnetism not typical of solo guitar music. Drawing influence from folk, Celtic, indie, and even punk rock artists as well as other great guitarists such as Michael Hedges, Tommy Emmanuel and Phil Keaggy, Mark Kroos has developed his own edge to the acoustic guitar.
In July of 2011 Mark competed in Guitar Player Magazine’s International Guitar Superstar Competition in Nashville for host Larry Carlton and renowned judges Muriel Anderson, Reeves Gabrels and Carl Verheyen, taking 1st place out of 5 invited competitors and thousands of others who had submitted online.
“Mark Kroos plays with a sensitivity to the music and positive energy that is truly refreshing.”
1989 International Fingerstyle Guitar Champion
Mark has since shared the stage with guitarists Mike Stern, Lee Ritenour, Phil Keaggy and Stanley Jordan among others during his past 4 years of extensive touring through the US and Canada. He has also picked up full sponsorships with D’Addario Strings, Planet Waves Cables, Genz Benz Amplifiers, Ovation Guitars, Kopf Percussion and Kyser Capos.
In March, 2013, Mark’s Dueling Banjos video exploded on YouTube presenting many new performance opportunities. Mark continues to tour throughout most of the year, giving concerts primarily in churches, schools, music stores and theaters.
Mark released his debut DVD, Music Videos and Live Studio Performances Fall, 2013 which includes 16 beautiful videos of Mark’s original arrangements. He has also released 2 full-length instrumental guitar albums: Down Along the Lines of Joy (2012) and And Grace Will Lead Me Home (2010) as well as a 4 track vocal EP titled The Sound of Snow (2011).
Mark’s touring began in May, 2010 when he embarked a sparsely-booked road trip, giving up his apartment in Williamsburg to play coffee shops and bars, relying on donations, human kindness and the grace of God. This road trip blossomed into a year-long concert tour filled with performances, clinics, and a multitude of new friends. While still on the road more often than not, Mark has reclaimed a place of residence and occasionally takes breaks for writing, arranging and recording.
Mark Kroos attended Bowling Green State University’s school of music from 2004-2006, majoring in Jazz studies and guitar performance where he studied under Chris Buzzelli and Matthew Ardizzone. He developed a greater understanding of the instrument and improved his technique immensely but also found that his ability was lacking in the jazz idiom and left the music school to tour with his ska/punk band, The Argonauts. When the band stopped playing regularly in 2009, Mark began teaching and picked up the acoustic guitar. A whole lot of writing, practicing and 2 guitar necks later there was the musical madness that is Mark Kroos.