Born and raised in Ft. Worth, Texas, Mario was plucking out tunes by ear from his mom's piano at an early age. His musical journey took him from Texas to New York, where he had the privilege to tour and/or record with an impressive list of some of music's biggest luminaries. From jazz artists Bob James to Dave Valentin; pop icons such as Bruce Springsteen, Joe Cocker and Linda Ronstadt; legends like Lou Rawls and Ray Charles; Mario's musical interests are equaled only by his diversity.
As early as high school, he was writing compositions for his jazz ensemble. This created an interest in jazz music that was encouraged by highly regarded musical educators Curtis Wilson of TCU, Leon Breeden of the University of North Texas, and Whit Sidener of the University of Miami. While playing with these great ensembles, Mario used this opportunity to arrange and compose many pieces that were performed and recorded, even by the Ft. Worth Symphony.
At the University of Miami, Mario had the good fortune to work with jazz great Jaco Pastorius. He subsequently went on the road and recorded with Jaco and the "Word of Mouth" Orchestra. Featuring an "all-star" band that included "Toots" Thielemans, Randy Brecker, Bob Mintzer and Peter Erskine, this experience proved to be an invaluable musical inspiration. However, it was joining up with the legendary rock-fusion group "Blood, Sweat and Tears" that paved the way from Mario to make his way to New York.
Several years of paying "dues" opened other professional doors such as world tours with Bruce Springsteen, Dave Edmunds, Natalie Cole and blues artist Willie Deville. It set the ground work for an extensive resume of TV, jingle and motion picture studio work as a player. In addition, Mario has written and arranged many compositions that have been used in TV shows, commercials, jingles and movie soundtracks; recorded on his and other artistsí CDís; and performed by many academic and professional jazz and symphonic ensembles.
While continuing as a sideman for most everybody, Mario has decided to focus more energy towards his own musical identity, moving back to his Texas roots, and using his life and music experience to cultivate his unique, eclectic style. He is currently performing with his own group in the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area, and is still writing tunes from his momís old piano.