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Mark Stoffel

Bluegrass mandolinist and fiddler extraordinaire Mark Stoffel will be the featured performer on the Hickory Ridge Concerts Virtual on Hickory Ridge Concerts Facebook page and the Chris Vallillo Music YouTube channel. A master of both traditional bluegrass and contemporary mandolin as well as and fiddle, Mark will perform with Nate Graham on guitar and bass.

Originally from Munich, Germany, Mark Stoffel spent literally decades traversing between two continents before finally settling down in Southern Illinois in 2001 and becoming a citizen in 2016. A self-described bluegrass music “addict,” he was introduced to the music in 1979, when as a teenager, he wanted a ukulele for Christmas and was mistakenly given a mandolin instead. The flub turned into a virtue, as he parlayed a classic mandolin instructional book; occasional exposure to bluegrass through radio and concerts by touring American musicians; and accumulated experience in folk, rock and bluegrass bands into a lifelong artistic pursuit.

Long known as an exceptional studio musician, Mark has lent his talents to countless recordings including a string of Chris Jones and the Night Drivers projects, including The Choosing Road (2019) and Chris Vallillo’s #10 charting album, Abraham Lincoln In Song. The song “Dixie’s Land”, which featured Mark on fiddle, was listed as a “Must play” by Mix Magazine’s Blair Jackson.

Mark just released his second solo album “Coffee and Cake” and all-instrumental collection showcasing both for his graceful, sophisticated playing and his equally distinctive compositional flair. Yet despite his passion for bluegrass, Stoffel confesses ironically that he is highly allergic to — yes, really — Kentucky Bluegrass.

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