Reeder Music Academy

​​3482 Camino Tassajara​​​
Danville, CA 94506
​Tel: 925-964-0571
​Email: [email protected]

​​​Make Music A Part Of Your Life!
Mark Clifford  
Piano, Drums, and Composition Instructor

Mark Clifford is a pianist, percussionist, composer, and educator based in Oakland, CA. A much sought after performer and improviser, Clifford is equally involved in classical music, new music, jazz, free improvisation, and rock. He is currently involved in multiple projects in the Bay Area and around the country. In demand as a recording musician, he can be heard playing piano, keyboard, drums, and percussion on over 20 records to date. His performance experience spans worldwide; he has had the honor of playing alongside an array of master musicians including Jeff Parker, Kjell Nordeson, Ches Smith, Joan La Barbara, Aram Shelton, Colin Stranahan, Scott Amendola, Tatsuya Nakatani, Ron Miles, Lisa Mezzacappa, and he has performed with The Colorado Symphony Orchestra, So Percussion, SF Soundgroup, and Oakland Active Orchestra. 

As a composer, Clifford keeps busy writing music for a wide range of projects, ensembles, and commissions. Most recently, he was invited to New York to premier Levity Factions, a work in four sections for mixed quartet for the Lijiang Studio Index. Other recent commissions include works for Switchboard Presents, New Keys Ensemble, the Temescal Composer’s colloquium, and multiple works for the Samantha Stone Dance Collective. Clifford is also the founder and leader of The Dirty Snacks Ensemble, an eclectic post jazz ensemble in which he serves as the composer, vibraphonist and vocalist.  

Clifford is an active and enthusiastic educator. He has over a decade of teaching experience and has lectured worldwide at such institutions as Nagoya University, The Jazz School, UCSD, Pasadena City College, the Lamont School of Music, and has worked as a mentor and educator with the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra summer programs. In private studies, Clifford uses traditional pedagogy as a means of developing a strong technical and theoretical foundation while simultaneously encouraging his students to seek musical inspiration from the world around them.  

Clifford graduated with a B.M. in Classical Percussion Performance and a minor in Piano Performance from the Lamont School of Music where he received many accolades, including the 2012 undergraduate recital of distinction, the 2012 Frank Toth Memorial Award, and the 2011 Outstanding Student in Jazz and Commercial Studies Award. Clifford studied Percussion under Colorado Symphony Orchestra master percussionist John Kinzie, Piano under Alice Rybak, Jazz Theory and Composition under Eric Gunnison, and Composition under William Hill. Clifford has also had the honor of studying at Nagoya University in Japan with Tomomi Sugo and has studied vibraphone with two of his greatest heroes, Steve Nelson and Matt Moran.