Mark Rochon is a citizen of three cities: Detroit, where he was born; Washington, D.C., where he lives; and New Orleans, which holds his heart—and all three have forged his commitment to using music and the arts to promote justice. As a high school student he listened to Motown, lived through the 1967 Detroit riots, and raised money for Mother Waddles and her mission to provide food, hope, and dignity to the disadvantaged in Detroit.
At 18 years, Mark enlisted in the Navy (he ended up on a nuclear submarine), which enabled him to attend college on the GI Bill. He graduated from Stanford Law School and then moved to the District of Columbia to work at the D.C. Public Defender Service, where he represented the poor and tried countless cases. During these years, Mark continued his love of music, including D.C.’s indigenous Go-Go music.
Mark fell in love with New Orleans when he attended his first jazz festival in 1998. As a Member at a major D.C. law firm, he donates his time and money to indigent defense in “NOLA” and to local justice and music organizations. A highlight of his life was an appearance on New Orleans radio station WWOZ—an auspicious beginning, perhaps, to a second career as a blogger of New Orleans music and estoterica.