Mark Lettieri Bio
Mark Lettieri is a guitarist, composer, and producer based in Fort Worth, TX. Proficient in a multitude of styles, he records and performs in virtually every genre of popular music with both independent and major-label artists. He also composes and produces original instrumental music under his own name.
Born in the San Francisco Bay Area, Lettieri came to Texas via Texas Christian University (TCU), studying advertising and public relations, and competing in track and field. A passionate guitarist since middle school, he began his music career in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex area upon graduating from TCU.
Playing in the vibrant Metroplex gospel and R&B scene led Lettieri to join jazz/world group Snarky Puppy in 2008, where he contributes as guitarist, as well as arranger and composer. The group has earned three GRAMMY Awards: Best R&B Performance for "Something" feat. Lalah Hathaway in 2014, and twice for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album (Sylva in 2016, and Culcha Vulcha in 2017). Snarky Puppy tours constantly, having performed on every continent except Antarctica.
Outside of Snarky Puppy, Lettieri has released five albums as a leader: Knows (2011), Futurefun (2013), Spark and Echo (2016, #2 on iTunes Jazz and #11 on Billboard Jazz) Deep: The Baritone Sessions (2019, #21 on Billboard Jazz), and most recently, Things of That Nature (2019, #1 on iTunes Jazz). Spark and Echo reached #11 on Billboard's Jazz Albums Chart, and #2 on iTunes' Jazz Chart, with Deep debuting at #21 on the Billboard Jazz Albums Chart. Due in large part to Lettieri’s vibrant social media presence, these records have created a sizable buzz among fans of instrumental music worldwide. He performs this music live with the Mark Lettieri Trio, featuring Wes Stephenson (Funky Knuckles) on bass and Jason “JT” Thomas (Snarky Puppy, Forq) on drums.
In 2018, Lettieri joined up with Vulpeck spin-off group The Fearless Flyers, featuring Cory Wong and Joe Dart of Vulfpeck on guitar and bass respectively, and drummer Nate Smith (Chris Potter, Pat Metheny) The quartet has released two EPs, The Fearless Flyers in 2018, and The Fearless Flyers II in 2019.
As an in-demand session guitarist and touring sideman, Lettieri has logged miles with neo-soul icon Erykah Badu, gospel singer Anthony Evans, and American Idol: Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips. He's also performed with a myriad of other artists, including Nelly, Anthony Evans, Chrisette Michele, Myron Butler, N'dambi, Bilal, and even comedians Dave Chappelle and Harry Shearer.
Recent recording work includes David Crosby, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Adam Levine, Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Bob Reynolds, Tori Kelly, Ledisi, Tamela Mann, Eric Roberson, Lecrae, Lupe Fiasco, Keyshia Cole, Xzibit, as well as numerous radio and television jingles. Lettieri is also a member of SKP, a production collective led by GRAMMY Award-winning producer Symbolyc One (Kanye West, Beyonce).
He can also be seen on television, in the house band for the Marcus & Joni Show, a Christian morning talk/variety show broadcast in over 200 countries Daystar Television Network.
Lettieri teamed up with Paul Reed Smith Guitars to create his signature model electric guitar, the Fiore, released virtually during Winter NAMM 2021.
He resides with his wife, daughter, and two cats.
November 4 2022
Fly Through It (2022)
Fly Through It is a brief collection of rustic, rootsy, organic compositions featuring a classic “power” trio format of guitar, bass, and drums -except the “power” is found in restraint. After the epic adventure that was Deep: The Baritone Sessions, Vol. 2, with all its moving parts, complex arrangements, and overall sonic bombast, Mark Lettieri wanted to explore the opposite. Lettieri has written all sorts of mellow solo guitar chord melodies and grooves throughout the years and decided to adapt a few of them to a rhythm section by enlisting his compatriots Jason “JT” Thomas (drums) and Wes Stephenson (bass). They recorded everything live in one afternoon, with no overdubs, and the amps and drums in the same room. It wasn’t so much about polish as it was about purpose and connection. Since each track draws its inspiration from a different personal place, whether it be a family experience or just a favorite outfit, Lettieri wanted that feeling of familiarity to extend to the session itself. All in all, the inspiration behind this album is about home.
April 16, 2021
Deep: The Baritone Sessions, Vol. 2 (2021)
Created during the pandemic, Deep: The Baritone Sessions, Vol. 2 is a triumph of ingenuity built upon Lettieri’s life-long love of funk and rock. Within each album of the baritone series Mark develops a theme. For Deep: The Baritone Sessions, he descended to the bottom of the ocean, with each song named for a certain species of deep sea fish. For Deep: The Baritone Sessions, Vol. 2, Lettieri traveled into outer space, titling the songs after different celestial phenomena.
October 18, 2019
Things of That Nature (2019)
Things Of That Nature, his most personal effort to date. As a sonic experience, it’s both three-dimensional and metaphysical, and in that sense represents a giant leap of intuition. Joining him over the edge are Jason “JT” Thomas on drums and percussion, Wes Stephenson on electric bass, Justin Stanton on Moog and Fender Rhodes, Shaun Martin and Bobby Sparks on an even wider array of keyboards, and Bob Reynolds on tenor saxophone. As with each of Lettieri’s records, this one is a time capsule of life experiences shared with musicians he trusts to convey those experiences in photorealistic detail.