Mari (pronounced "Marie") has been with the Band since 2004, although her performing career began as a child in Somerset, Kentucky, where she and her older sisters would give living room concerts for friends and family at her parents' house.
She took piano lessons from kindergarten through high school, then went on to study vocal pedagogy and choral arts, graduating with a Bachelor of Science from Western Michigan University and a Master of Music in Jazz Studies & Vocal Performance from Roosevelt University.
While living in Florida in the early 1990s, Mari Anne sang with jazz groups, funk bands, and Disney's Voices of Liberty. She also worked as a youth choir accompanist, church pianist, and voice teacher.
After moving to Chicago in 1998, she sang in jazz, pop, rock, and R&B groups, original contemporary and experimental genres, and as a recording artist with Hard Art Groop, Kelly Brand Trio, Scottinho, Band of Joes, and akalibrio. From 2001-05 she taught Vocal Jazz Ensemble and Applied Voice at Columbia College Chicago, and accompanied the award-winning ensemble of actors and educators of Wavelength Inc. Mari is a former Music Director at Bodhi Spiritual Center in Chicago.
She was awarded a residency in 2004 by The Kennedy Center's Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program for Young Jazz Composers. That same year she was selected as a semifinalist in the Thelonious Monk Institute's International Jazz Vocals Competition. As a jazz singer, Mari has performed with George Duke, Carl Allen, Steve Rodby, Kenny Werner, Bunky Green, Steve Million, Maureen McGovern, Cleo Laine, the lates Sir John Dankworth , Joe Williams and Mel Torme.
Mari moved to Lexington, Kentucky in 2011 and is currently a practicing Licensed Massage Therapist. Also licensed in personal coaching, she facilitates courses in self-growth and practical spirituality at Ahava Center for Spiritual Living.
Entering her first decade with the Band, she gratefully continues to enjoy honoring all who serve and have served. She is equally grateful to be a member of Lt. Dan Band, and most definitely appreciates any sleep she can get while on the road.