Mark Orton is the guitarist in the chamber jazz group Tin Hat Trio and is also a professional recording and sound engineer who has worked on sessions with Bill Frisell, John Zorn, and the Lounge Lizards and engineered the sound at the Knitting Factory for a couple of years. Orton plays banjo, lute, Dobro, lap steel, and electric guitar with his other group, San Fransisco's Old Joe Clarks, and has composed scores for independent films like Beverly Wachtel's Just Noticeable Difference. In the late '90s, he co-founded the Tin Hat Trio with accordionist Rob Burger and violinist Carla Kihlstedt. The group's music is a unique blend of structure, improvisation, and contemporary classical, with folk, world, and jazz elements. The Tin Hat Trio's recording debut, Memory Is an Elephant, came out in early 1992 on Angel Records, and Helium followed in spring 2000.