first came to prominence in the mid 1980s with the influential and radical big band Loose Tubes, which he toured with throughout the USA and Europe and recorded with until its demise in 1989. The late 1980s also saw Mark composing and touring his own music, performing three times at Ronnie Scott's in London, and at festivals in Vienna, Paris and Berlin.
The formation of the co-led Perfect Houseplants in 1992 saw the emergence of one of Mark's most important projects, which is still very much developing today. Perfect Houseplants has released six albums and is involved in several crossover projects such as its collaborations with the Orlando Consort (Extempore, 1998), with baroque violinist Andrew Manze, and more recently with recorder virtuoso Pamela Thorby (New Folk Songs, Linn, 2002). This period also saw Mark collaborating with Irish pianist and composer Micheal O'Sullebhain, and recording a world/jazz album entitled Matheran (Isis, 1993) with guitarist John Parricelli.
In the mid-nineties Mark toured extensively with Django Bates' Delightful Precipice, performing at many international festivals including Berlin, Molde and Willisau, and recording with jazz, folk and pop artists June Tabor, Billy Jenkins, Stereolab, Jah Wobble, Robert Wyatt, Prefab Sprout, Don Um Romao ,Thomas Dolby, and more recently Anja Garbarek and Radiohead.
In 1997 Mark was awarded the Peter Whittingham Award to record his semi-orchestral 11-piece group The Scratch Band. This formed the basis of Through Rose-Coloured Glasses, which was released in 1998 to critical acclaim and voted by Time Out as one of the Top Ten albums of 1998.
A commission from the Cheltenham Jazz Festival and Birmingham Jazz led to a suite of pieces inspired by dance forms, which formed the basis for the Scratch Band's second album, Imaginary Dances (Staytuned Records, 2002). In 2001 with the help of The Arts Council of England Touring Grant the Scratch Band undertook a ten date nationwide tour.
In 2003 Mark joined Seb Rochfords Polar Bear and has toured throughout Europe and recorded three albums with the group, the bands second CD Held On The Tips Of Fingers was nominated for the 2005 Mercury Award.
In 2005 Mark released his critically acclaimed recording Moving Air (basho records) featuring John Parricelli, Martin France and Mark's muti-tracked reeds., this album has been described as his most personal album yet. A major Arts Council funded tour, entitled Big Idea to promote the album took place Oct/Nov 2005.
In 2007 Mark was featured soloist (along with John Pattitucci and Gwilym Simcock) in Mark Anthony Turnage's About Water which was premiered on the Southbank in June 2007 and this year Mark will be playing another Turnage piece, A Man Descending with the Southbank Sinfonia.
Current projects include the Mark Lockheart’s In Deep Group (a new band with Liam Noble, Jasper Hoiby, Dave Smith and Dave Priseman, -CD entitled In Deep released may 2009) Polar Bear, Perfect Houseplants, Nicki Iles/Norma Winstone Group and Robert Wyatts Soup Songs.