Mark Naftalin entered the musical scene in 1965 as the keyboardist with the popular and influential Paul Butterfield Blues Band. He is internationally renowned among blues fans for his contributions to the band's sound.
Since leaving the Butterfield Band and settling in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1968 (and then in Connecticut in 2002), Naftalin has continued to work as a musician (soloist, accompanist, bandleader). Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as "a brilliant pianist who puts a touch of genius in his blues," he has concertized and recorded over the years with some of the best-known names in his field - John Lee Hooker, Otis Rush, James Cotton, Michael Bloomfield, Big Joe Turner, Etta James, Charlie Musselwhite, Big Mama Thornton, Brownie McGhee, Buddy Guy & Junior Wells, to name a few.
Naftalin has also been active as a concert and broadcast producer in the Bay Area and elsewhere, starting in 1978 with a series of Sunday-night blues extravaganzas at San Francisco's Boarding House. In 1979 he launched Mark Naftalin's Blue Monday Party, a weekly blues show and dance that ran continuously through late 1983 at two North Bay clubs, with Naftalin as bandleader and host. The "Blue Monday Party," which was ultimately the scene of 86 live radio broadcast and three television specials, lives on through CD and VHS (and soon DVD) releases.
Naftalin's other productions include Mark Naftalin's Blues Power Hour (on San Francisco's KALW 1984-2011, currently airing on Wednesday evenings from time to time); the Marin County Blues Festival In San Rafael, California (1981-2000); the Westport Blues Festival in Westport, Connecticut (1993-94); and the Labor-Day Blues 'N' Soul Party in Marin City, California (1998 - 2004).