Based: Cape Town
Mark Fransman has performed on stages in Europe such as the Euro De Afrique festival in Italy (along with such names as Yusuf N’dour and Papa Wemba), the North Sea Jazz Festival in The Hague, Holland 2000 and 2002 and the Swedish Jazz Celebration in Sweden, Stockholm in 2006. Back in South Africa he has frequented the stages of the North Sea Jazz Festival in Cape Town 2000 / 2001 / 2002 / 2003 / 2004/ 2006 (as a leader with his own band Strait and Narro), the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz festivals 2000 to 2005 and Old Mutual Jazz festivals. Playing with such names as Jimmy Dludlu, Zim Ngqawana, Musa Manzini, Gloria Bosman, Marcus Wyatt and Errol Dyers to mention a few.
ARTISTS – He has performed with the likes of Winston Mankunku, Rene McLean, Hein van de Geyn, Zim Ngqawana, Gloria Bosman, Selealo Selota, Judith Sephuma, Errol and Alvin Dyers, Jimmy Dludlu and Dave Young. And on the same stage with such jazz artists as Cedar Walton, Andrew Hill, Donald Brown, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Danilo Perez and Yusef Lateef.
AWARDS – He also has three years of musical theatre experience in musicals “Poison” and “Kat and the Kings” (Both David Kramer/Taliep Petersen productions), and received the FNB Vita Award for most outstanding performer in musical theatre (1995/96) for the latter. Has also won the Adcock Ingram (Jazz) competition of 2000 (university level).
RECORDING – He recorded with Errol Dyers on his album “Kou-Kou Wa”, Steve Dyer on “Life Cycle” and Marcus Wyatts album, “Africans in Space” all with Sheer Sound. He recorded along with Jimmy Dludlu on his albums “Winds of Change and Afrocentric” for Universal Music.
CURRENTLY – He is currently involved with his own group, Strait and Narro, a seven piece band featured on their debut album, Ahead and Johnnie Walker Jazz Impressions vol. 1. The band boasts a once in a lifetime opportunity, as they were the only South African band to be selected by the Department of Arts and Culture (of South Africa) to represent South Africa at the Olympic Games of 2004 in Athens, Greece. Mark’s role in the band is that of composer, leader and arranger. The band boasts a group of new breed younger musicians in the likes of Buddy Wells, alto and tenor saxophones (Tribe), Lee Thomson, trumpet (Golliwog, Springbok Nude Girls), Kevin Gibson, drums, samples (Jimmy Dludlu,Wired to the floor), Gavin Minter (Wired to the floor) Wesley Rusten, bass (Gramadoelas) and Melanie Scholtz, vocals and poetry (Jimmy Dludlu). The music played by the band has a wide ranging sound pallete and incorporates a fresh urban South African sound fused with elements of Hip-hop, Trip-hop, Funk and Jazz.