On March 4, 2002 Mark Vann, age 39, succumbed to the effects of cancer at his home near Longmont Colorado. His six month battle with the disease was marked by immense love and support from family, friends, and the music community across the country. He will be greatly missed.
Mark was born December 28,
1962 in Rockville, Maryland to parents Ricki and Bryant Vann. His life changed
forever on July 4, 1972 when he heard Carl Pagter play the five string banjo at
the Festival of American Folklife. Soon afterwards, Mark formed his first band
with his brother Mike on mandolin, his father on guitar, and mother on upright
bass. As his appetite for music grew, his parents sought out other musicians in
the D.C. area to help him along. The area is home to lots of bluegrass and they
were quite successful at keeping him musically fueled.
It was during this time that
he met Jennifer Loud while on a trip to upstate New York. Love eventually lured
him out of the woods, and he and Jennifer started a carpentry business, bought a
home, got a dog, and began their lives together.
For the next twelve years Mark brought the banjo to whole new audiences and genres of music. He quickly became one of the most respected players in his field and brought immense joy to those lucky enough to hear him.
A celebration of his life will take place on an as yet to be determined date in the spring. Mark lived life to its fullest and he would insist that we do so as well. He will be greatly missed and will continue to be an inspiration to many to go big!
Rest well our brother,