Jeff DeMark is a native of Racine, Wisconsin, home of Johnson Wax, the place where the In-sink-er-ator garbage disposal was invented, the place where Danish kringle is often the breakfast of choice and also the home of some fabulous thin crust pizza (Wells Brothers) and Italian food (Totero’s Restaurant).
DeMark began his performing career doing readings in Madison in the mid-70s and quickly added music to the mix, performing with such bands as the Violent Femmes, Paul Cebar and the Milwaukeeans and Dana’s Junk Mail Band. Eventually the shows evolved more towards narratives and stories.
After moving to far Northern, California in 1990, DeMark debuted his first solo show, Writing My Way out of Adolescence” at Dell’Arte Theater’s annual “Mad River Festival.” Four other solo shows followed, “Went to Lunch, Never Returned,” “Making Every Mistake Twice,” Hard as a Diamond, Soft as the Dirt,” and “They Ate Everything but Their Boots.”
DeMark has performed the shows in many venues including New York City’s Knitting Factory, The Marsh in San Francisco, Theatre X in Milwaukee, theaters in Minneapolis and Madison, Cal Arts in Valencia, CA, the Writers-on-the Edge Series in Newport, Oregon, in addition to numerous schools, cafes and nightclubs.
Since 2008, DeMark has been performing shows in more of a “variety show” format with numerous musicians, mixing together original stories and songs, showcasing these ventures a variety of clubs and theaters. The band, called the LaPatinas, has evolved into a six-piece ensemble and as of October 2013 has been gigging regularly in Humboldt County. He still performs the solo storytelling shows, too.
DeMark has worked at KHSU, the public radio station based in Arcata at Humboldt State University, for the past twelve years. He lives in Blue Lake, California with his wife and two children and is available for bookings.