composer. conductor. lyricist.
playwright. pianist. performer.
author. arranger. orchestrator.
bon vivant. lover of life.
funny person. serious thinker.
Among Mari's recent projects: she wrote songs with legendary lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman for the musical CHASING MEM’RIES. which had its world premiere at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles; she wrote the string arrangement for "Come Live With Me", a track on Steve Tyrell's #1 Billboard-charting album A SONG FOR YOU; and co-produced recording projects by Tony Award-winning singer/actress Lillias White and Grammy winner Deniece Williams.
She has released three solo CDs as a pianist/composer (AND ALL THIS, EMBRACE THE CROSS, and CHRISTMAS PEACE); her instrumental music is a blend of classical, pop, gospel and jazz influences.
As a composer/lyricist, she composed THE GARDEN BALLET on a commission from the Florence Dance Company in Florence, Italy; her songs have been recorded by Deniece Williams, Herb Alpert, Haven, and Helen Baylor; she wrote and produced Debby Boone’s album for children THE SNOW ANGEL; co-wrote the main theme (“All Right Day”) and did additional scoring for the film HOME RUN SHOWDOWN; and has written special material for a variety of artists, including Louise Duart, who featured Mari’s music in the revue CATSKILLS ON BROADWAY. In addition, she worked in Italy writing music for Cinecittá and Rai Uno television, and has scored film & TV projects including the documentary TOUCH THE SKY, the award-winning short film JILLIAN’S VANTAGE and THE SECRET LIFE OF BARRY’S WIFE (Showtime).
Mari toured as keyboardist, conductor, and/or musical director with Donna Summer, Amy Grant, Nell Carter, Debby Boone, Deniece Williams, and Vikki Carr. She also served as musical director for the Groundlings comedy troupe and INSTAPLAY, a musical improv group led by Bill and Cheri Steinkellner; was musical director/conductor for the Off-Broadway premiere of the musical MOBY DICK; worked on the musical EFX with Michael Crawford in Las Vegas, and the inaugural production of DENNIS THE MENACE: THE MUSICAL in St. Louis.
Mari is also a playwright with many performed works to her credit, including AN ORANGE IN GRIFFITH PARK, BURT AND HERB, BOXED UP, BETWEEN THE LINES, and NEW CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS. Her work has been staged at numerous LA theaters. She was a founding member of At Rise, a playwriting collective dedicated to the development and presentation of new works by women writers;
She also is currently on the faculty of Azusa Pacific University, teaching songwriting.
Born and raised in Chicago, she earned her Masters degree in classical piano performance from the University of Miami, a student of Rosalina Sackstein.