The Capital University community is deeply saddened by the passing of Mark Flugge, longtime faculty member in Capital University’s Conservatory of Music, who died on Sunday, May 11.
A beloved jazz musician, educator, composer and performer, Mark began his career at Capital in 1988 teaching jazz piano, jazz composition, jazz styles and analysis, classical jazz and contemporary keyboard, and much more. He taught jazz improvisation, history and pedagogy at other institutions, including The Ohio State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in jazz composition, and the Eastman School of Music, where he earned a master’s degree in jazz performance.
A fixture in Columbus’ jazz scene who is considered to be one of the finest contemporary musicians and accompanists in the Midwest, Mark was a prolific bandleader, creator and collaborator. Most recently, he was producer, musical director and pianist for the Chamber Jazz Series at the Columbus Museum of Art, and he appeared often at Columbus Music Hall, King Arts Complex and, with the Mark Flugge Trio, Hyde Park Restaurant.
He performed frequently with Columbus Jazz Orchestra and was featured in Rhapsody in Blue with Capital/Bexley Orchestra, Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Westerville Orchestra.
As the artistic director of the Firehouse Jazz Society, Mark worked regularly with such greats as David “Fathead” Newman, Jimmy Heath, Marcus Belgrave, Ken Peplowski, Joe Lovano, Byron Stripling and Ira Sullivan, among many others. He also performed with The Woody Herman Orchestra, John Abercrombie, Henry Mancini and many others.
He collaborated often with his Conservatory of Music students, friends and colleagues in jazz ensembles, like Spectrum, Capital’s faculty jazz ensemble, and as director of the Capital student ensemble, the Jazz Consort. Mark was active in numerous professional collaborations with his wife, Capital University professor of flute, Dr. Lisa Jelle.
A private memorial service is being planned, and a public memorial concert and tribute to Mark’s music legacy is expected to take place in June. Capital will update the website with details as they become final.
Photo source: www.markflugge.com.