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Press Mark Sweetman’s work was seen recently on the MTV show Cribs where they featured the home residence of singer Patti Labelle.Press

Press Mark Sweetman Painting was featured in the September 2007 issue of Mainline Today magazine! www.mainlinetoday.comHABITAT: Home of the Month
Architect: Gardner/Fox Associates 919 Glenbrook Ave.,
Bryn Mawr;
(610) 525-8305

Kitchen and Bathroom:
Stimmel Consulting Group,
Dave Stimmel,
1544 Butler Pike, Ambler;
(215) 542-0772,
Painter: Mark Sweetman,

*See photos below of MSP work!

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Press PressJULY 2007: Mark Sweetman Painting in Main Line Today“Just a few days before work was to begin on the space, Hall and her husband were sitting at the Boathouse restaurant and bar in Lambertville when it dawned on them: They could replicate the Boathouse’s coffered ceiling. Bedford executed the design just the way the couple had hoped. Instead of using authentic knotty pine wood, painter Mark Sweetman re-created all the new woodwork in a knotty pine faux finish from the walls on up to the coffered ceiling. The cozy space holds a desk, two leather chairs and a new wet bar.”

Mark Sweetman Painting featured in Colonial Homes magazine:

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Mark Sweetman Painting featured in a brochure for Prudential:

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Mark Sweetman Painting featured in an issue of The Trend Midweek newspaper:


Wynnewood drummer rides the Coltrane to the Kimmel Center


By April Olinchak

Riding the Coltrane from Canada to the Main line via sounds from around the globe, Wynnewood, Pa

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. drummer Mark Sweetman and the Cultural Society slow down their steam engine to pay homage to the greats of jazz and the Blue Note record label that has brought the legends to the people for the past 70 years.

“We all grew up with the music of that album [Blue Note Records], so famous in the legacy and history of jazz. My group taps right into that sound,” says Sweetman, who considers it “quite an honor” to flank the Blue Note 70th Anniversary tribute concert.

Sweetman and his quartet will perform a Free at the Kimmel Center, Spring Fling concert Friday, April 3, at 6:30 p.m. in Commonwealth Plaza, before the 8 p.m. “Blue Note 7” concert in Verizon Hall, and again following “Blue Note 7.”

Sweetman says, “The Kimmel Center is actually a great place to play. People are open. People are there to listen.” Between songs, “You can hear a pin drop. We are not background music. People want to hear what you have to say. The Kimmel is such a great venue for sound.”

Sweetman considers himself something of a regular at the Kimmel Center, having done two shows a year there for the past five years; despite the frequency, the concerts differ palpably, with the emotion of the quartet making each performance a distinctive experience.

Sweetman paints for a living, residential and commercial, and spends his life immersed in color. He even claims a bit of synesthesia, “I don’t see symbols like others. Symbols aren’t just symbols, aren’t just music; they produce a color.” The music and the painting interact, constantly rippling off one another and
changing the picture.

“You can play [a tune] faster or slower, sad or happy, with more or less fire. I can play you a song four different times and it can sound four different ways. Take U2 – I adore U2; they’re amazing. Whatever tune they’re playing always sounds the same; like the album, it’s not going to change. Jazz allows you to be
in the moment, allows you to express that moment,” said Sweetman.

“Every time you play with somebody, they influence you —influences how you play, how you listen, how you feel that day. Emotion comes out of the drums, sax, bass and piano. It takes four unique individuals to make it work.”

Each rendition of a song draws from the performers’ life experience, their work, family, travel, history, upbringing and evolution. A young Sweetman studied at the York University of Toronto, but his musical soul is born of the clubs and living rooms he first played. These venues off the grid created a less academic, more natural sound. “[It was] almost like a rock band in the way that people get to know you and people get to know your music,” he said.

“My music has a great spirit to it that tends to touch people’s souls —it’s real jazz, not taught jazz in a classroom,” said Sweetman.

For him, lack of classroom doesn’t mean lack of instruction. “I grew up in Toronto, Canada, an amazing, robust, interesting jazz community, taught by… [Jim Blackley], famous drum teacher, who allowed me to play at a level with a lot of great players in Canada.

“John Coltrane was a great influence growing up. I was a young man at the time, experiencing something very unique. When I was learning how to play, it was not uncommon to fall asleep to Coltrane or Miles Davis. It was a particular vibration that I understood deeply from the John Coltrane Quartet that I absolutely adored and loved. Still do.”

Jazz musicians on big labels, effectively getting their music to the public and accessible musicians playing local clubs, became Sweetman’s teachers. “Some of the formulas of the great masters, we’ve incorporated in our own sound, but still playing tributes to the greats.”

Now having toured with Patti LaBelle, having three critically-acclaimed CDs out — “Inspired,” “All Paths Lead to One,” “Remembering John Coltrane” —and another as yet unnamed on the way, due out Spring 2010, Sweetman is one of those masters getting his message out.

He credits the current technological age with the infusion of distant cultures into local music. “People from all around the world can be touched by the music, which creates some opening of the borders, or really there are no boundaries now.”

The Cultural Society — Sweetman, drums; Dan Kleiman, keyboards; Rob Swanson, bass; and Ed “EJ” Yellen, sax — will perform a spiritual and energetic rendition of songs from Sweetman’s CDs, some classic jazz of the Coltrane era and possibly even something from the album in the making.

Sweetman says, “At this stage, it’s formulation. I have all the music … I might be introducing a guitar — a completely different sound …very spiritual, listenable and defiantly multicultural.”