Frank French

Frank French Frank French was born in Oakland, 1952 and grew up in San Francisco's Haight Ashbury district. A survivor of the Psychedelic 1960's, he became part of the city's "outside" music scene in the early 1970's while completing his musical education at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and San Francisco State University. It was during this time that he became acquainted with Cuban and Porto Rican dance music as pianist with "Papo y su Preferida", noting the immediate connection between Antillean music and piano Ragtime.

Moving to Vienna, Austria in the late 1970's he assumed the lifestyle of a Bohemian, tuning pianos by day and bolstering Vienna's counter-cultural cabaret scene by night. Teaming up with Latin Americans living there, he formed one of the earliest Salsa bands in Central Europe, introducing the music to Austrians, Swiss and Germans, and paving the way for noted performers like Ray Baretto to make debut performances in that part of the world. During his Austrian residence he also found time to record the entire "Well-Tempered Clavier" of J.S. Bach, thus securing a firm footing in the music of both the Old and New Worlds.

Returning to the United States in 1983 he became a noted figure in the world of syncopated piano music, first as a performer and later as composer of such notable and widely-recorded instrumentals as "Belle of Louisville" and "Bucktown Buck". Moving to Colorado in 1990, he founded and directed the Rocky Mountain Ragtime Festival and Institute working as a musical activist in schools, community concerts, radio and community television. In 1996 he visited Cuba with the "Pianos to Havana" project and subsequently concertized in Cuba and the United States raising funds to send pianos and technical support to music schools in Cuba and to improve relations between people of both nations.

Frank French espouses the "Creole Tradition" of the melting pot of cultures in the music of the New World, especially that of the United States, the Caribbean and Brazil. As a composer, teacher, and performer he continues to emphasize progressive assimilation of musical and cultural concepts in order to create an aesthetic and societal texture in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. His teaching seminars include both introductory and hands-on sessions for all ages and all levels.

For more musical performances by Frank French go to His CD recordings can be ordered online via CD Baby and Viridiana Productions. You can also visit Frank's official web site.

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    Copyright © 1996 Oleg Mezjuev.
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