Mark Lettieri - Out by Midnight: Live at the Iridium


Side A
Extraspecial (Live at the Iridium)
Mark Lettieri
Big Duck (Live at the Iridium)
Mark Lettieri
Futurefun (Live at the Iridium)
Mark Lettieri
Side B
Lotus (Live at the Iridium)
Mark Lettieri
Catboy (Live at the Iridium)
Mark Lettieri
Side C
Summer Salt (Live at the Iridium)
Mark Lettieri
Point Iz (Live at the Iridium)
Mark Lettieri
Little Minx (Live at the Iridium)
Mark Lettieri
Side D
Seuss Pants (Live at the Iridium)
Mark Lettieri
Voyager One (Live at the Iridium)
Mark Lettieri
Gigantactis (Live at the Iridium)
Mark Lettieri
Side E
Supernova (Live at the Iridium) [feat. Zach Brock]
Mark Lettieri
Spark and Echo (Live at the Iridium)
Mark Lettieri
Side F
Montreal (Live at the Iridium) [Vinyl Exclusive Track]
Mark Lettieri
Naptime (Live at the Iridium)
Mark Lettieri


  • Artist : Mark Lettieri
  • Label : GroundUP Music
  • Format : 3 x 12" (140g)
  • Sleeve : Triple Gatefold
  • CountryUnited States
  • GenresInstrumentalProg RockJazz-Funk
  • Estimated shipping dateJuly 2024


Mark Lettieri's "Out by Midnight: Live at the Iridium" album available for pre-order on an exclusive limited edition 3LP audiophile black vinyl in a triple gatefold sleeve.

“In guitar lingo, a dazzling sequence of notes is often referred to as a “lick.” While for most musicians weaving their lives across a six-string loom, that term might feel idiomatic at best, one can’t help but take it literally in the hands of Mark Lettieri. This isn’t to say the instrument becomes something else entirely by force of sonic transubstantiation—rather, that his music is, quite simply, all about flavor. And in this massive 14-track collection, recorded live over the first two nights of March 2023 at the legendary Iridium, Lettieri and his eponymous band activate a tongue’s worth of taste buds in the very space graced by so many of his heroes. Joined by longtime cohorts Jason “JT” Thomas (drums) and Wes Stephenson (bass), alongside fresher recruit Daniel Porter (keyboards), he associates a chain of original tunes. Featuring nods to six of his seven albums as leader, he labors for these moments shared with his bandmates—and us, by fortunate extension.

While there’s plenty to sink one’s teeth into, few tracks are as meaty as Catboy. This groovy morsel is a masterclass in atmosphere, of which we get a substantial variety that is airy enough to let us pass through unscratched. If anything, this is Lettieri’s modus operandi: surrounding us with hooks to hold on to without so much as a burr in our socks to show for it by journey’s end. Like Big Duck and Little Minx, both newly revived for his live repertoire, this tune gives Lettieri plenty of room to roam the ever-expanding landscape of his fretboard with superior textural authority, at once extroverted and controlled.

The guitarist expands on why he opted for a live album this late in the game:

“Though I’m getting busier every year, you could say I’m still fairly new as a touring solo artist. Many fans haven’t seen or heard the live show yet, so I’m very excited to showcase the band this way. If all you’ve heard are the studio albums (or haven’t heard of me at all to begin with), this will be a solid introduction to the catalog and what we do. I’ve been wanting to capture the live sound of this ensemble, as we’ve been playing together for several years now. It’s an incredibly tight, grooving unit that can take the music in all sorts of ways while still staying true to the compositions.”

Of those compositions, we get a broad selection, including in-person staples like Futurefun and Spark and Echo, both of which surround nostalgic centers with crunchy outer layers. The latter tune is also the album’s most anthemic. With a melody that oozes finality yet leaves enough doors open for future revisits, it achieves ecstatic levels of playing from the full band. Lettieri expounds on working with such a talented crew:

“After countless shows together, we’ve developed almost a ‘sixth sense’ of communication on stage. We’re playing the songs as they were written, but certain sections (like solos and various vamps and grooves) are left open to interpretation and improvisation. Everyone has such big ears that we’re all constantley aware of what each other is playing. I think it helps that we’re all good friends, road buddies, and just general fans of one another.”

Despite being an artist of great power and electricity, Lettieri eases the listener into frame with the relatively laid-back Extraspecial. Groovy without being overbearing, it offers just the right amount of spice and cream to whet our appetites. It also sets the tone for the album’s organic seesawing between contraction and expansion. Even the seemingly gentler tunes like Summer Salt have fire in their bellies, as does Lotus, which starts out lyrically, building into powerhouses like the concluding Naptime. From the slack-jawed surrealism of Seuss Pants to the jazzier Point Iz, we are treated to a smorgasbord of sounds. In the middle of all this is Voyager One, a surprisingly earthbound number that kicks off a tuneful trinity featuring Lettieri on baritone guitar, rounded out by Gigantactis, which seems to crawl from the ground, dust itself off, and dance its way onto center stage, and the epic Supernova, which like its namesake is just as gorgeous for its colorful plumes as for the darkness of space between them. Violinist Zach Brock of Snarky Puppy makes a surprising guest appearance here, one of many discoveries awaiting the repeat listener.

Out By Midnight is more than a filler album between studio sets. It’s a consummate portrait of an artist, composer, and performer whose volcano is far from dormant. There’s something for everyone in this spread, so pull up a seat, tuck in your napkin, and dig in.”


Jason “JT” Thomas: drums

Wes Stephenson: bass guitar

Daniel Porter: keyboards

Zach Brock: violin (track 12)

Mark Lettieri: electric and baritone electric guitars

Joey Lomas: mixing

Lance McVickar: engineer

Erik Kohlhoff: live sound and co-engineer

Dave McNair: mastering

Bob Hedlund: cover art

All songs written and produced by Mark Lettieri

Mark Lettieri
United States

Mark Lettieri is a five-time GRAMMY Award-winning guitarist, composer, producer, and instructor based in Fort Worth, TX. He creates acclaimed guitar-based instrumental music, and is a member of leading instrumental bands Snarky Puppy and The Fearless Flyers. As a session musician proficient in a multitude of styles, he has recorded and performed in virtually every genre of popular music with both independent and major-label artists.

Lettieri has released seven albums as a leader: Knows (2011), Futurefun (2013), Spark and Echo (2016) Deep: The Baritone Sessions in (2019), Things of That Nature (2019), Deep: The Baritone Sessions, Vol. 2 (2021), and Fly Through It (EP, 2022). Deep: The Baritone Sessions, Vol. 2 earned a GRAMMY nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, giving Lettieri his first nomination as a solo artist. He tours this material internationally with his quartet, the Mark Lettieri Group.

Playing in the vibrant Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex gospel and R&B scene led Lettieri to join Snarky Puppy in 2008, and he remains active with the band as a writer, arranger, session player, and touring member. His work with the group has resulted in five GRAMMY Awards: Best R&B Performance for "Something" feat. Lalah Hathaway in 2014, and Best Contemporary Instrumental Album (Sylva in 2016, Culcha Vulcha in 2017, Live at the Royal Albert Hall in 2021, and Empire Central in 2023).

In 2018, Lettieri helped form The Fearless Flyers, with Cory Wong, Nate Smith, and Joe Dart. The Vulfpeck-adjacent quartet has four releases to date: The Fearless Flyers (2018), The Fearless Flyers II (2019), Tailwinds (2020), Live at Madison Square Garden (2021), and The Fearless Flyers III (2022). The band is a regular presence on the jazz and jam-band festival scene.

As a sideman, Lettieri has performed and/or recorded with a myriad of artists including Erykah Badu, David Crosby, Kirk Franklin, The Jacksons, Fred Hammond, Tori Kelly, 50 Cent, Ledisi, Tamela Mann, Lecrae, Lupe Fiasco, Keyshia Cole, Xzibit, Anthony Evans, Phillip Phillips, Nelly, Chrisette Michele, Myron Butler, and even alongside comedians Dave Chappelle and Harry Shearer. For a sizable sampling of Lettieri’s session work, visit this Spotify playlist.

In addition to his recording and performing career, Lettieri is involved with the development and demonstration of various musical equipment with a number of brands. In recent years, he has teamed up with Paul Reed Smith Guitars to create his signature model Fiore electric guitar, the MeLody overdrive pedal with J. Rockett Audio Designs, and the NewWave chorus pedal with Jackson Audio. Lettieri has also collaborated with Apple, Inc. to create a package of downloadable guitar loops for the digital audio workstations Logic Pro and Garageband.

As an instructor, Lettieri has released online guitar instructional courses through outlets such as JamPlay, Brett Papa, Guitareo, and Soundslice, as well as print lessons available from Premier Guitar Magazine.

On a personal note, Lettieri was born in the San Francisco Bay Area, and came to Texas via Texas Christian University (TCU). There, he matriculated in advertising and public relations, competed in track and field, and began dipping his toes in the local music scene. A passionate guitarist since middle school, he began his music career upon graduating from TCU. An avid lover of food, travel, and doing his best to keep an active lifestyle, he resides with his wife, daughter, three cats, and a hamster.