Seven Questions with Saxophonist, Mark Gross

Mark gross laughNBJP:   If you were about to have your last meal–what would it be?

MG: Having just been in Jerusalem, touring the Old City, my mind goes to me being in the room where the Last Supper occurred. I would want it to be about why am I having my last meal and what I have done with my life. It’s the Christian thang in me. 🙂 

NBJP:  You are a musician—is there another art in which you’d like to be accomplished?

MG: No. I have wanted to be a musician since I can remember. I’ve played alto saxophone since I was six years old.

NBJP:       What’s your favorite city to perform in?

MG: From a list of so many I would say Antibes, France / Juan-Les Pain. Magnificent views, food & people. It’s like being in paradise.

NBJP:        What’s one thing other than milk or water we’d ALWAYS find in your refrigerator?

MG: You will always find a bag of coffee beans. I love coffee. 

NBJP:      What’s your favorite (“G” rated) guilty pleasure?

MG: I go to Cafe Lalo on the Upper West Side and have a slice of strawberry banana chocolate cake and a cappuccino. Yummy!!!!

NBJP:      When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

MG: I am living that childhood dream.

NBJP:       If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

MG: I would change eating habits. I would learn to cook very healthy delicious meals and not eat at restaurants so often. Well, I’d still eat at these restaurants but at least I could cook the same meals at home if I wanted to. Could you imagine saying to yourself, tonight I either have salmon crusted with ginger, scallions, with a little teriyaki sauce, or a nicely marinated London broil grilled to perfection, or some zucchini stuffed with pumpkin. Be right back, going to the kitchen to make a sandwich.

PLUS ONE: When did you first know you wanted to be a professional jazz musician?

MG: I knew from the time I was in high school. I went to the Baltimore School for the Arts. After high school I went to Berklee College of Music. One of my best friends, jazz saxophonist Javon Jackson was one of my colleagues during that time. He gave me a copy of Cannonball Adderley’s Japanese Concerts cd. I heard Cannonball’s version of ‘Easy to Love’, and that solidified my want and desire. In fact my words were, “I want to do that!!!”


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