Oh for the love of music!
Mark was born into a very musical family in Lake Loon, just outside of Dartmouth. Following in his father's footsteps, who sang well into his 80's, singing and playing guitar in church and gospel groups. Along with 9 brothers and sisters, Mark grew up singing in choirs, gospel groups and family sing a longs. From there he moved on to performing music in Toronto and was featured in a film for the Department of Education called “Know Your Rights”, with a recording group called Triple Life who also had the privilege of opening for the world famous group “the Nylons”.
Mark in his younger days also played in a few bands in Toronto, including Sharman Hayman, Simply Pleasure, Two Shades, Cash Money Brothers and in Halifax- East Coast Posse, Brother to Brother, and Reflections.
On returning to Nova Scotia Mark joined the ECMA Award winning Nova Scotia Mass Choir as a Tenor and a Soloist. He then joined the Band Shoulder to Shoulder as a fill-in drummer, sang one song and the rest was history. Mark then formed the Mark Riley Band, going through various members, the group eventually changed their name to the Mark Riley Project, which still remains one of the busiest bands in the Nova Scotia area. P.M. Blues is another one of Mark’s bands which was soon after established, and primarily plays Blues and Old school funk.
Mark Riley, with many working music groups, then formed The Mark Riley Quartet. The Mark Riley Quartet (originally named the “High Tide Shuffle Jazz Crew”.....but the name was obviously too long..haha) was and is the jazz band that is fully musical and operational.
Mark is also a former frontman of the 15 piece Bluesmobile Band from the Annapolis Valley. He chose to part ways with the band to pursue his solo career.
Mark is trained as an electrician and ran his own business for several years. They used to call him Mr Tech the singing electrician because he was known around the city and in the church. After making the move to Wolfville while his wife attended university studying Ministry, Mark made the decision to concentrate on music on a full time basis. He took a job at Long & Mcquade which allowed him to feed his musical passion and meet others in the music community in Canada and the U.S.
Mark has lived, loved, and epitomized music, all of his life, and is also known as the man with the bands!