Principal, William G. Irwin Charity Foundation Chair
Name: Mark J. Inouye
Member since: 1999
Hometown: Davis, CA
My parents, first and foremost, had a major influence on my musical career although neither ever played instruments. My mom really encouraged my creative and artistic side with her poetry and British wit. My dad taught me the value of working hard, not whining when times are tough, and always giving 110 percent. When it comes to the horn, my influences include Clifford Brown, a hard bop trumpeter in the ‘50s who had true fire and energy, as well as an intimate sound, incredible tenderness, and lyricism. Every solo he ever played and recorded is pure magic for me. If I could meet any musician, it would be him. In some ways, I feel that wish has been granted in my friendship with my greatest living inspiration: Wynton Marsalis. I have gotten to know Wynton and he is without any doubt one of the greatest musicians in history. Whenever I hear him, I can't help but smile at the sincerity and artistry with which he plays—there is nothing he cannot create on his horn. Best of all, he plays with enthusiasm, style and personality. I think this is how all music, regardless of genre, should be performed.
I enjoy just about anything outside and athletic—tennis, surfing, mountain biking, hiking, disc golf, etc. Lately I've gotten into running half and full marathons.
Other career paths:
I started as a civil engineering major at UC Davis, where I thought about designing freeway structures, bridges, public transportation systems, and roller coasters. As a kid I dreamed of playing center field for the San Francisco Giants. My entire life I dreamed of watching them win a World Series title—some dreams do come true.
Mark Inouye has served as a Symphony mentor in the SF Symphony Community of Music Makers program.