Following are some fond memories that Mark's family and friends wanted to share. If you have a memory you would like to share, please do so through the Contact Us page.
In addition to a memory, if there is a particular song that you love that you recall Mark turned you on to, please let us the know the title, artist, a little back-story if desired, and a link to the track or music video that features the song if you have it. This way we can really share Mark's love of music in more than just words.
Sentiments from the Family
This section is devoted to Mark's family and their remembrances.
From Gay Tortorici, Mark's mother
To my grandchildren, Nick, Meighan, and Alex
Always keep your Uncle Mark in your hearts and minds.
He loved you all so very much. He always tried to be there for you. He was there when you were born (except Alex in Seattle). He was there for your baptisms, every important church function, birthdays, holidays, graduations, soccer games, baseball, wrestling and water polo.
Nick (Nicodemus as he called you). He was so proud of you when you spoke about going to Spain and the Canary Islands. He was jealous of you and Alex because of your heights! He always wanted to be tall.
Meighan, he thought you were so beautiful. He always would check out your boyfriends to see if they were good enough for you. He really liked Greg.
Alex, he wanted so much to go to Chicago when you graduated from the Navy, but he could not go. I know that is why he drove all the way to Monterey to see you. When he went into the Marines his first choice was languages, but it was not available.
Remember him with Love.
Memorials/Articles on the Web
by Romano W. Montanari
We are gathered here to say thank you Mark.
For in many ways we were touched by your purity in Music,
Gentleness in your manners, and your angelic smile.
Your eyes always reflected your inner soul,
which in turns projected goodness in the Screen of Life.
Therefore this poem became my task,
To Lady Destiny, many questions I have to ask.
Oh Lady destiny, to you Life or Death have no hesitation,
and you sound the clock without trepidation.
For Mark Tortorici you rang his chime
You took him away, yes, before his time.
I address this poem to Friends and Family Members,
As to how Mark should be remembered.
Lady Destiny, Lady Destiny,
You have rung your chime,
For our beloved Mark you said "Come it is your time".
His journey on earth projected joy,
By playing his music, which became the "The poetry of the Heart"
And this Poetry is the music of "The Soul"
Just a few lines to say without hesitation,
That the love of Mark, has been in great appreciation.
Yes my friends, today is a Special Day,
For angel Mark to Heaven is on his way.
A message was left and he said,
Friends, to Lady Destiny don't be mad,
I am in heaven, so don't be sad.
To my Mother,
you are my Shining Star,
Up in Heaven, close to me not too far.
To my Dad,
I am smiling to you from that Glorious Hill.
Oh yes my dear Friends
I have chiseled "I Love you and Farewell" on the upper deck
of the Love Boat, Star Trek Track.
Oh yes my friends, today is a special day
For Angel Mark to Heaven he is on his way.
Mark and Music
This section is devoted to Mark and his love for music.
Listen To The Music ~ from Christopher Gauntt
When I think about Mark, I hear music.
Mark was one of the first musicians in the swing dance world I got to know. We became friends, and he eventually suckered me into running sound for some of his gigs and dj-ing music in between. That was one of the best things to happen to me.
We'd stay up late after gigs, the Coral cafe in particular and talk about life, art, and most of all music.
Music was a huge part of his life and he took his craft very seriously. His love extended beyond improving himself as a performer. He had a deep appreciation for his fellow musicians and made it a point to support live music. It became such a passion that in the absence of venues he helped create one and made Joes the go to place in the valley for dancing and live music. His reputation allowed him to recruit some of the top local talent, and if you had the chops, he loved giving new talent a break. I have no doubts that there are many people here tonight that might not be where they are in their career today if it wasn't for his love of their music and his support.
His knowledge about music, in particular blues, boogie woogie and New Orleans style jazz was solid. He loved the classics, and he got to show that love on air doing late night dj-ing on KCSN.
He loved to dance, was damn good at it, and made a point to cater his music and venues to the social dance scene. He taught me to listen to music in new ways, as a dj, sound mixer, and as a dancer. And if you really listen, there is a story and richness that can be heard in every song, even if there are no lyrics.
He was a loving man, but if there was one thing he could not abide it was the sidelining of live music. So if you want to honor his memory: go out and dance, support live music, and every so often, just take a moment and really really listen.
Mark turned me on to "The Little Drummer Boy" performed by Lou Rawls, which he said was one of his favorite holiday songs. It's quite wonderful. Check it out when you get a chance.
Loss and Keeping Faith ~ from Little Faith
An important part of Little Faith's musical mission is honoring the musical contributions of those who came before us and perpetuating their legacies. Every year, we lose more of our heroes, but the loss of one Los Angeles musician has hit us harder than most. Little Faith and the entire LA music community is still heartbroken over the passing of Mark Tortorici in October. The overwhelming outpouring of love at the memorial held for Mark demonstrated the size of his heart and the reach of his embrace. All of us were warmed by his bear hug and touched by his generous soul.
Mark was the first music promoter to understand that our mix of traditional spirituals, roots gospel and soul music would play in the swing dance and rockabilly venues he booked. His faith in what we were doing gave us a platform from which we were able to launch Little Faith and build a lasting following. After the first show Mark booked us on, I wasn't so sure. "I don't think your crowd gets what we're doing," I told him. "You're right, they don't," he said. "But keep doing it because it hits them in their souls and makes them happy." Only someone who loved music as much as Mark did could come to that conclusion.
Mark Tortorici set the bar as a roots music promoter. We loved making music for Mark as well as with him, and we were proud to feature his harmonica playing on our "Shelter" CD. We honor those who let music hit them in their souls, and we promise to keep aiming our music at that spot. Above all, we honor the memory of Mark Tortorici, who taught us how. In his memory, there's a free download of "Rising in Memphis" with Mark's solo at: Little Faith Music.
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