Mark Berman's The Genesis Project

Mark Berman's The Genesis Project

In the beginning, when God was creating the heavens and the earth, He was no doubt already looking ahead a few eons, choosing Mark Berman to bring the poetic musings of the Ancient Hebrews to glorious contemporary musical life. “Let There Be Jazz,” God said, and the veteran New York based pianist and conductor set to work on The Genesis Project, his own bold and ambitious, jazz driven creation that takes the listener on an extraordinary, interpretive journey through the first chapter of the Bible.

Leading an ensemble of some of NYC’s most acclaimed singers and musicians, Berman—the project’s composer, arranger and producer—draws from his years as a versatile sideman and Broadway conductor to blend dynamic elements of rock, funk, R&B, gospel, samba, blues and other fascinating musical idioms in tight five part vocal harmony. Opening with an eloquent, harmonica-laced prologue and wrapping with a simmering blues-gospel flavored prayer for “Peace,” Berman’s debut as an artist explores the beautiful spirituality of the Judeo-Christian tradition while addressing humanity’s urgent need to rethink our sacred connections to the earth and one another.

Berman frames the project through the point of view of a young protagonist who comes of age along the journey through the creation and opens his or her eyes for the first time to embrace a world of infinite value. A deep awareness takes place through the process towards “Peace,” and ultimately, there’s no going back.

“I feel that The Genesis Project is very timely,” he says. “We’ve got one beautiful, fragile planet, and its health and people need our attention. We need a call back to the planet, a call to harmony. Peace must be achieved and the earth and its living creatures cherished. This is our natural state. This is my call.”

A graduate of the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Connecticut, Berman has written for, played and recorded with the proverbial who’s who of jazz, pop and rock. His resume reads like a history of modern music: Illinois Jacquet, Jackie McLean (one of his former teachers), Aretha Franklin, Carole King, Wycliff Gordon, Mark Murphy, Nana Mouskouri, Petula Clark, Cornelius Bumpus, Lesley Gore, Gladys Knight, Hugh Jackman, Ben E King, Richie Havens, Jennifer Holliday, Phil Ramone and so many more. But he didn’t truly enter pop culture glory until he played piano on the world famous theme to “Sex And The City.”

And God saw that it was good.