Born in Ohio, Mark Turner grew up in Southern California. He started playing clarinet in elementary school, before switching to saxophone in high school. After studies at the Berklee College of Music, in Boston, he settled in New York City. He performed with James Moody, Joshua Redman, Jimmy Smith, Dave Holland, Gary Foster and Brad Mehldau, among others. Along with two long-time collaborators, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard, Turner formed the trio Fly. Yam Yam, his first disc as leader, was released in 1994, followed by Mark Turner and In This World (1998), and Ballad Session and Two Tenor Ballads (2000). Dharma Days (2011) contains nine original compositions by Turner.