Mark developed his musical tastes in Chicago listening to house music on the radio, living in one of the country's most primordial breeding grounds for house. Around '88, while record shopping at Imports, Etc., he met Derrick Carter and a friendship began. "I just ended up there between classes, I ended up buying his picks. He steered me toward the cutting edge House producers of the time."
"I started playing when I lived with my parents and didn't have any bills to pay so I could just buy records. My intentions were never to just make money, it's nice, but it's kind of turned into a job by accident - it was a hobby that turned into a job."
When Farina first started wandering from his passion for the purist forms of House into what grew into one of his trademark styles, Mushroom Jazz, he was playing the main room in a club in Chicago and got demoted to the B-room after playing too many Martin Luther King Jr. samples. Mark experimented with a deeper style, dropping De La Soul, disco classics and other stuff that wasn't being played in the main room. However, in 1992, Mark found a welcome place for his collection of downtempo tunes accompanied by a small run of mix tapes entitled "Mushroom Jazz".
Originally launched as a cassette series, the Mushroom Jazz tapes grew from the first Chicago run of 50 copies eachon to the next stage, where 500 copies of several volumes were easily distributed and sought after.
As the Acid Jazz boom began, he perfected his sound and fused the newest tracks from the West Coast's jazzy, organic producers with the more urban sounds he had championed in Chicago. While the predominant musical force in SF was still dark, dubby House and Wicked-style Breaks, the city embraced the downtempo movement with a healthy bunch of live bands and DJs generating the tunes.
Mark Farina, along with Patty Ryan-Smith, created the now legendary weekly Mushroom Jazz club night in San Francisco in 1992. Every Monday night the crowd slowly germinated from 100 for the first few months to 600-700 two years later. As time passed, Farina and Patty put their energies into another project, the first Mushroom Jazz interactive CD-ROM for Om Records. After a three year run, where the club had established a fanatical, cult-like following for Farina and the Mushroom Jazz sound, the club closed its doors and transformed into a CD series and accompanying tours.
Since 1989, Mark Farina has been traveling the globe performing at literally hundreds of shows a year, sometimes DJing both of his preferred styles in two different rooms at the same party. At other events, he's been known to play extended sets that lasted over eight hours. In his House sets, Mark is known for his uniquely effortless journeys on the jazzy side of Chicago House, mixed up San Fran style.
On CD, Mark has recorded both of his dominant musical personalities. His first mix, 'Mushroom Jazz' on Om Records, is defined by a hip-hop sub-groove with jazzy, dubby elements in the downtempo range. It was followed by 'Seasons', a critically acclaimed House mix. An Imperial Dub mixed CD, a guest slot in the pedigreed 'United DJs of America' series, 'Mushroom Jazz 2' (Om Records), 'San Francisco Sessions, Vol. I' (Om Records) and Mushroom Jazz 3 (Om Records), 'Connect' (Om Records), 'Mushroom Jazz 4', and his critically acclaimed debu artist album "Air Farina' (Om Records). Recently, Mark Farina has released a double LIVE mixed cd "Live at Om" w/ Derrick Carter (Om Records), and the long awaited 'Mushroom Jazz 5'