Mark Nauseef

Last updated
Mark Nauseef
Born (1953-06-11) 11 June 1953 (age 68)
Cortland, New York
United States
Genres Rock, jazz, world
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Drums, percussion, vocals
Years active1971–present
Associated acts Elf, Ian Gillan Band, G-Force, Thin Lizzy, Gary Moore

Mark Nauseef (born June 11, 1953), in Cortland, New York, is a drummer and percussionist who has enjoyed a varied career, ranging from rock music during the 1970s with his time as a member of the Ian Gillan Band and, temporarily with Thin Lizzy when Brian Downey left for a short time, [1] to a wide range of musical styles in more recent times, playing with many notable musicians from all over the world.



Nauseef briefly toured the United Kingdom in 1972 as tour member of The Velvet Underground before joining Elf, fronted by Ronnie James Dio, in early 1975, but the group disbanded shortly afterwards. Accompanied by Elf keyboardist Mickey Lee Soule, Nauseef joined ex-Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan in his new jazz fusion group, simply named the Ian Gillan Band. After three albums, Gillan broke the group up in 1978. Nauseef stood in for Thin Lizzy drummer Brian Downey for two international tours, then joined Gary Moore's short-lived band G-Force.

During the 1980s, Nauseef moved away from rock music towards a wide range of styles, including Javanese and Balinese gamelan, as well as music of Indian and Ghanaian origin. He has released several solo albums and worked with many other musicians in an array of different projects.

Nauseef has performed and/or recorded with such artists as Joachim Kühn, Gary Moore, Jack Bruce, Bill Laswell, Glenn Hughes, Rabih Abou-Khalil, Trilok Gurtu, Steve Swallow, L. Shankar, Hamza El Din, The Velvet Underground, Joëlle Léandre, Ikue Mori, Ronnie James Dio, Markus Stockhausen, Kyai Kunbul (Javanese Gamelan), Andy Summers, Tony Oxley, Tomasz Stanko, Kenny Wheeler, Edward Vesala's "Sound and Fury", Thelma Houston, David Torn, The Ladzekpo Brothers (Ghanaian music and dance), Charlie Mariano, The Gamelan Orchestra of Saba (Balinese Gamelan), Kudsi Erguner, Philip Lynott, George Lewis, Evan Parker and Lou Harrison. Throughout most of these projects Nauseef has collaborated with Walter Quintus.

Nauseef attended the California Institute of the Arts where he studied Javanese Gamelan with K.R.T. Wasitodiningrat, Balinese Gamelan with I Nyoman Wenten, North Indian Pakhawaj drumming with Pandit Taranath Rao, North Indian music theory with Pandit Amiya Dasgupta, Ghanaian drumming and dance with Kobla and Alfred Ladzekpo, Dzidzorgbe Lawluvi and C.K. Ganyo, and 20th Century Western percussion techniques and hand drumming with John Bergamo. He also studied frame drum techniques of the Middle East, India and the Caucasus with Glen Velez. It was also at CalArts that Nauseef began a very creative and productive relationship, which continues to this day, with musical "alter ego", guitarist Miroslav Tadic. Together, they have composed, recorded and produced a wide range of music in situations from duo to large ensembles with musicians from around the world.

Nauseef has also worked as a producer. In addition to his own recordings, he has produced many records of various types of music including modern experimental forms as well as traditional forms. Traditional music productions include numerous recordings of traditional Balinese and Javanese music such as the acclaimed and award-winning "The Music of K.R.T. Wasitodiningrat" which was recorded in Java and features Wasitodiningrat's compositions. Other examples include the Balinese ensemble recordings "Gamelan Batel Wayang Ramayana" and "Gender Wayang Pemarwan" which were recorded in Bali. These recordings and many others of Indonesian music were produced for the CMP 3000 "World Series" with the production team of Kurt Renker And Walter Quintus. The "Worlds Series", which Nauseef was instrumental in establishing, was founded by CMP owner and producer Kurt Renker and produces recordings from a variety of non-western countries including India, Turkey, Korea, Indonesia and others.


Jack Bruce

The Velvet Underground


Ian Gillan Band

Thin Lizzy

Gary Moore's G-Force

Philip Lynott

Solo and others


Arcana V: Musicians on Music, Magic & Mysticism, Hips Road: New York ( ISBN   0978833791), Edited by John Zorn with writings by Meredith Monk, Fred Frith, Terry Riley, Pauline Oliveros, Alvin Curran, Gavin Bryars, a.o., 2010

The Drum and Percussion Cookbook: Creative Recipes for Players and Teachers, Meredith Music / Hal Leonard ( ISBN   1574631012), Edited by Rick Mattingly with writings by Peter Erskine, Bill Bruford, Valerie Dee Naranjo, Anthony Cirone, Robin Engelman, Bill Cahn, She-e Wu, John Beck, Glenn Kotche, a.o., 2008

Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas, Inner Traditions ( ISBN   0892819138) by Claudia Müller-Ebeling, Christian Rätsch and Surendra Bahadur Shahi, 2002

Practicing and Making Music...Without Your Instrument, Published in The Percussive Arts Society journal PERCUSSIVE NOTES (Oct. 1992)

Music Practice as Meditation, Published in The Percussive Arts Society journal PERCUSSIVE NOTES (Feb. 2007)


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  1. Steve Blackburn (2008). "NY Times: Thin Lizzy: The Boys Are Back in Town". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times . Baseline & All Movie Guide. Archived from the original on 2008-04-09. Retrieved 2010-02-20.