Marko began his professional musical career at age 14 enhanced by the influence of a musical family. Growing up in northeastern PA he started playing gigs with various wedding/club date bands in local country clubs and resorts.
Like others interested in music, Marko wanted to learn as much as possible about the art, especially jazz. He privately studied jazz and classical piano, and studied music theory and ear training at a local college. Finally, he began drum lessons with drumming legend Joe Morello. All of this helped to pave the way for college.
Marko attended The University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, and gained an enormous amount of schooling in classical /ethnic percussion, drum set, piano, and arranging/composing. While at Miami Marko had the great fortune to study with one of the best music faculties in collegiate music education. During his time performing with the University’s top concert jazz ensemble, he had the chance to play with some of the greatest musical jazz mentors/performers, such as Joe Henderson, Red Rodney, Michael Brecker and Paquito D’Rivera. Marko also toured with numerous school ensembles throughout Florida, Brazil and Italy. These experiences allowed him to grow as a performer and composer/arranger.
After graduating with a BM in music performance Marko created a four piece jazz ensemble named “Active Ingredients”. Constructed mostly of UM jazz alumni, “AI” performed with or opposite of Randy Brecker, The Yellowjackets and Vital Information to name a few. Also around this time Marko was offered the chance to tour and record with jazz legend Maynard Ferguson. He spent three years playing drums throughout the world with this great ten-piece ‘Big Bop Nouveau Band’. Marko even had the opportunity to compose and arrange for the group. With this gig being more of a high- profile opportunity, he was lucky to garnish attention from drum- endorsing companies and have mention/features in magazines,newspapers and trade publications as Modern Drummer, Talking Drums, Jazz Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Village Voice, The L.A. Times, All About Jazz and LA Scene magazine. His experiences on the road taught him greatly about life inside the “music business”.
When Marko finished his time on the road, he came back east in high gear. He was motivated to start a musical arts renaissance in my home region of PA. Marko created a non profit organization called The PA Jazz Alliance that would dedicate itself to presenting the best jazz and world beat music and would provide high- level music education to those who deserve access to it. Since its inception the PAJA has presented some of the greatest names in jazz and has offered master-classes and week long music workshops for students of all ages and levels. This format opened a wonderful educational door for him as an adjunct professor of jazz studies at Penn State University, Adjunct professor at Marywood University, The Keystone College Jazz Institue and past adjunct professorships at Lehigh University and East Orange Community College, NY.
During his many years in this music business Marko has been absolutely blessed to have worked as drummer or pianist with such notables as pop sensation Jon Secada, Mexican pop great Juan Gabriel, R&B Icon Melba Moore, John Legend, Clay Aiken, Connie Francis, Constantine Marulous, The Four Freshman and Little Anthony and The Imperials. Also comedians Jay Leno, Joan Rivers, Bob Newhart, the legendary Don Rickles as well as stage/ film greats Jason Miller and Nicol Williamson.
In the incredible world of jazz Marko has performed with; Kurt Elling, Tierney Sutton, JD Walter, Warren Cooper, Randy Brecker, Joe Lovano, Ilona Knopfler, Paul Jost, Anthony Jackson, Wallace Roney, Bill Goodwin, Steve Gilmore, Bob Mintzer, Joe Locke, Pete Christlieb, Chris Vadala, Ted Rosenthal, Tim Hagans, Nate Birkey, Sean Jones, Terell Stafford, Eddie Severn, Roseanna Vitro, Miles Griffith, Clarence Spady, Masuo Yoshiaki, Lincoln Goines, Steve Turre, Jim Pugh, Mike Davis, Tim Ries, Vinny Valentino, Cafe, Bob Velez, Steve LaSpina, Cameron Brown, Ron McClure, John Benitez, Tim Warfield Jr.,Orin Evans, Mark Soskin, Steve Weingart, Steve Slagle, Steve Smith, Dave Stryker, Francois Moutin, Vic Juris, Alan Farnham, Dean Johnson, Sean Connely, Chip Jackson, Jay Leonhart, Jay Ashby, Marty Ashby, Alain Mallet, John Swanna, Joel Fram, Taylor Haskins, Gary Smulyan, Chris Carlik, Jesse Green, Paul Langosch, Frank Green, Henry Hey, Scott Reeves, Gunnar Mossblad, Mike Tomaro, Charlie Pillow, Dave Rickenburg, Tom Guarna, Paul Thompson, Gene Purla, Valery Pamarov, Dwayne Dolphin, Glen Alexander, Bill Washer, Paul Rostock,Tony Marino, Tom Hamilton, Mike Zilber, Eric Mintel, Gary Rissmiller,Dave Antanow, Ron Oswanski,Pat Bianchi, Rob Middleton, Orin Evans, Kim Nazarian, ClairDee, Mike Smith, Gary Keller, Gary Campbell, Doug Bickel, Chuck Burgeron, Dennis Marks, Greg Gizbert, Nelson Hill, Dennis Deblasio, Larry McKenna, Jim Ridle, Phil Markowitz, Mike Pope, Rob Thomas, Christian Jacobs, Trey Henry, John Hart, Andy Middleton, Matt Bonelli, Steve Rudolph, Steve Varner, Kieth Carlock, Chris Parker ,Eric Doney, Charles Fambrough, Danny Cahn, Steve Varner,Donny McCaslin, Bob Milikin, Ed Calle, Chris Bacus, Dave Stahl, Conrad Herwig, Mike Fahn, Bob Lark,John Benitez, Marvin Stamm ,George Rabi, Sal Giorgianni, Chris Farr, Tony Miceli, Aaron Graves, Jean Michel Pilc.
Other jazz legends: Clark Terry, Phil Woods, Al Grey, Michael Brecker, Joe Henderson, Red Rodney, Rob McConnell, Johnny Coles, Bob Dorough, Jon Faddis, Lew Tabackin, Mark Murphy, Bucky Pizzarelli, Urbie Green, Joe Temperly, Bill Crow, Eddie Bert, Ross Tompkins, Ira Sullivan, Mulgrew Miller, Lew Soloff, John Hicks, Hod O’Brien, Henry Johnson, Arturo Sandivol, Dave Samuels, Mike Stern and Will Lee.
For the past 15 years Marko has been touring and recording with the NEA Master and jazz saxophone icon Dave Liebman.
Discography includes; “Conversation”, Sunny Side Label
“Blues All Ways” Omni Tone Label
“Beyond The Line” Omni Tone Label
“Back On The Corner” Shrapnel/Tone Center Label
“As Always” live Big Band CD, Mama Records
“TurnAround” the music of Ornette Coleman, JazzWerkstatt Lable
The DLBB “A Tribute to Wayne Shorter”, Mama Records.
The Organik Vibe Trio 2011 release “Moscow” featuring Dave Samuels.
“Nothing Hard is Ever Easy”, The 14 Jazz Orchestra, independent release.
Marko Endorses: Yamaha Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Vic Firth Sticks and Aqaurian Heads.