Mark Karlsen is a saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist located in Ithaca, NY with more than 35 years of experience performing, recording, and teaching as an individual instructor, band director, and college music professor. His degrees include BM (North Carolina School of the Arts) and MM (Ithaca College) in Classical Saxophone Performance.

Mark’s musical exploits encompass a variety of styles, including Journey West (traditional music from across the globe), Strong Maybe (abstract improvisation/ psychotic cartoon music), the Mark Karlsen Quartet (jazz), Road Man (original R&B funk) The Temple Rockers (Jewish reggae band with albums on Tzadik records), Solstice (original R&B and reggae), Mutron Warriors (funk), The Hog-Tie Sessions (Celtic, bluegrass and folk),and Thousands of One (soul/funk/conscious dance music). He regularly plays soprano, alto, tenor and bari sax as well as flute, clarinet, penny whistle and squeaky toys.


Funk, jazz, Middle Eastern, avante-garde, Klezmer, Celtic, global traditional music


Horns make everything sound better


Technique + creativity = freedom. The power of a partner or group will accelerate progress