Mark Kroos grew up in Lansing, Michigan. It’s cold up there. And dark. As a teenager, Mark was prone to seasonal depression, acne and general awkwardness. He found solace in music.
At the age of 16, Mark’s classical guitar teacher introduced him to the work of Michael Hedges. This began the journey down a listening path of other ground-breaking musicians like Tommy Emmanuel, Don Ross and Andy McKee.
When Mark heard pianist George Winston’s album, “December,” he was astonished at the emotion, the passion, the polyphony...and Mark was inspired to look at the guitar as if it were a piano, adopting exercises to increase hand independence.
In 2009, Mark bought his first double neck guitar with the intention of playing both necks simultaneously. Through hours of practice, determination, the influence of his role models and the sheer joy of creating, Mark found his style, which is most characterized by compositions like All God’s Children Have Wings and Pedals Press the Floor.
The piano also brought a softer side to Mark’s music. Of his solo acoustic guitar work, “Clarity” is the album that most listeners tend to gravitate toward; a relaxing, contemplative and meditative journey recorded in 432 Hz tuning.
Mark has released 4 full length instrumental guitar albums and a DVD: Music Videos & Live Studio Performances. In January of 2024, he released his first vocal album under the name, mark kroos and the forest floor.
Mark was the winner of Guitar Player Magazine’s Guitar Superstar Competition in 2011, hosted by guitarist Larry Carlton and overseen by judges Muriel Anderson, Reeves Gabrels (The Cure) and Carl Verheyen. He has had the honor of sharing the stage with artists like Phil Keaggy, Calum Graham, Antoine Dufour, Trevor Gordon Hall, Gareth Pearson and Alexandr Misko among others. Mark has also had the pleasure of collaborating with artists Lance Allen, Avery Bright, Judson Hurd and Dylan Ryche.
Notable concerts include Muriel Anderson’s All Star Guitar Night, The 2020 Acoustic Canvas Festival, The Olalla Americana Music Festival, The National Old Time Fiddlers’ Festival, Halftime Shows for the Orlando Magic and The Rock Boat hosted by Sister Hazel.
Mark and his wife Lenoria currently live in Central Florida basking in the sunshine and oak groves with the alligators.