Mark was born August 29, 1954 in Providence, Rhode Island. With an abundance of artistic talent on the maternal side of his family, and a father with a keen ear for music, Mark began at an early age to display noteworthy abilities in these two areas, both of which would be important to his future work as a guitar builder.
Mark began playing the guitar at age ten, influenced by the Beatles and other popular music of the mid 60's. Mostly self-taught, he played his father's old Stella flattop for two years before getting his first good guitar - a Gibson hollow-body electric. As a youngster, while learning to play guitar, Mark also began to develop an appreciation for the instrument itself, particularly instruments like the beautiful Gibson L-5 and Super-400. The early impressions made by these lavish instruments would linger and later resurface to influence Mark in the design and construction of his own archtop guitars.
As a result of his father's interest in music, Mark was exposed to musical styles other than rock and roll while growing up. The house record collection included everything from classical music to the popular and jazz standards of his father's era. Since Mark's father was also a guitar enthusiast, these recordings included the work of many fine guitarists playing in these styles, and listening to these recordings deepened Mark's interest in playing guitar. Eventually, the challenge of playing jazz guitar became a strong focus for him, reinforcing his interest in the guitar associated with that musical style - the archtop.
Though he had considered an art related career, Mark finally chose to attend the Berklee College of Music, and subsequently began working as a professional musician. Maintaining a strong interest in guitars led Mark to begin building instruments in the mid 70's. In the years that followed, while continuing to work as a local musician, he built electric six-string and bass guitars and did repair work on both electric and acoustic instruments. This work included the repair and restoration of a number of archtop guitars, which provided the basis for Mark's knowledge of these instruments and piqued his interest in building them.
Mark built his first archtop in 1988. Within a couple of years he decided to stop playing professionally to concentrate on instrument work, with the ultimate objective of building archtops full time.
Inspired by the great orchestra-style instruments, the archtop guitars Mark builds today are among the world's finest. With their beautiful styling, excellent playability and superb acoustic quality, his instruments have quickly gained the attention of archtop enthusiasts across the U.S. and abroad. Combining quality materials, design artistry and expert craftsmanship, Mark produces instruments which establish him as one of today's premiere builders of acoustic archtop guitars.
"(He's) extremely talented... on a par with some of the best guitarmakers of the century."
- Stan Jay, Pres. Mandolin Bros., NY
"His workmanship is, if anything, better than some of the (famous) Gibsons of the 1950's."
- George Gruhn, Pres. Gruhn Guitars, Nashville, TN
Orders may be placed through any of the dealers with links listed below
- delivery in most cases will be 4 to 8 months. M.Campellone also
accepts a limited number of customer direct orders, though delivery
times for direct orders will be significantly longer