Frank’s current project is an exciting extemporaneous fusion of Jazz, Funk, Ambient, and Rock, deeply steeped in the tradition of improvised music forms. Its sound and feel are in the spirit of particular stylings of early 70s Miles Davis, while also displaying influences from John Coltrane, Brian Eno, Jon Hassell, Pat Metheny, Weather Report, James Brown, Parliament Funkadelic, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, and even Stockhausen and Stravinsky.
So for this, Frank has assembled an impressive group of musicians that truly fulfill the extensive artistic requirements of such an eclectic and challenging mixture:
Keyboards: Matt King began his professional career at age 14, and has since performed in front of audiences throughout the U.S. and 16 other countries. He has toured extensively with the legendary band Blood, Sweat & Tears and the distinguished jazz guitarist Chuck Loeb, and has also recorded and/or performed with many other notables including pop vocalist Phoebe Snow, blues legend Earl King, and leading jazz artists such as Chris Potter and Rufus Reid. Matt has performed with four symphony orchestras in the United States, appeared on The Today Show and Good Morning America, and at Holland’s North Sea Jazz Festival and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. He has garnered awards for his playing, composing, and arranging, received a Composition Fellowship from the NJ State Council on the Arts, was a Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition semi-finalist, and won the Great American Jazz Piano Competition in 2000.
Guitar: Rolf Sturm has performed and/or recorded with Loudon Wainwright, David Johansen, Glen Velez, Maggie Roche, Jorma Kaukonen, Tony Trischka, Ike Willis, Eddy Arnold, and members of the Grateful Dead. He has toured across both North America and Europe, performing at such venues as the World Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany, at Lincoln Center and Town Hall in NYC, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, to name but a few. He has also performed on soundtracks for both film and television, and his original music has been featured on NPR’s All Songs Considered. Rolf has developed a voice on guitar that is unique and unparalleled, generating textures from his strings that have hitherto been unimaginable.
Bass: Steve Rust comes from several generations of performers and credits early exposure to everything for his eclectic tastes and wide ranging abilities. His credits include the likes of James Galway, Dave Douglas, Paul Simon, Jorma Kaukonen, Nick Brignola, The Band, Guy Kluscevek, and the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. He is prominently featured on several new releases, including work with Walter Thompson, Raul Bjorkenheim, Lukas Ligeti, Todd Reynolds, Harvey Sorgen, and Michael Stevens.
Saxes: Jody Espina is a highly regarded New York City Jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, and flutist who is in demand for sessions, jingles, Broadway pit orchestras, pop, R & B, and funk bands, as well as the thriving downtown New York avant-garde music scene. He is a regular substitute in the orchestra of the Broadway hit, The Full Monty. Jody has been a featured soloist on the soundtracks to three Miramax films, a documentary about Holland entitled “Sex, Drugs and Democracy”, Guiding Light, The Reading Rainbow, and television shows in Japan and Spain. Jody has recorded and performed with with Illuminatti, Brilliant Coroners, Feed The Meter, Splatt, and The Walter Thompson Orchestra. He has toured with The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Mel Tormé, Milton Berle, Patty Page, and country music icon, Eddie Arnold. He has also performed with Jazz greats Louis Bellson, Don Alias, Lew Solof, Vic Juris, Harvie Swartz, Bob Moses, Dave Douglas, the Charlie Persip Superband, Rachel Z, Rolf Sturm, Rob Henke, and Mark Feldman.
Trumpet: Rob Henke is originally from Chicago, and currently records, performs, and tours with a number of ensembles, including Gary Lucas’ Fast and Bulbous, the Spirit of Life Ensemble, 4Vsix, Doctor Nerve, Parisian vocalist Mina Agossi, and the Henke/Sturm Duo. His original recordings include The Bride, White Paws, Evening Pawn, and Footnotes. Additionally, Rob has written and performed sketch comedy with The Likeable War Criminals at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater in NYC, and has worked as playwright with the Strike Anywhere theater company, in residence at St. Clement’s in NYC.
Percussion: Special guest Phil King is a jazz drummer, percussionist, and composer who has performed in the New York area for most of his life. He was a co-founder of Repeat After Me, an experimental mixed media electro-acoustic performance group, which he established with Frank Fagnano. Phil scores commercial and corporate videos, and has written and lectured on the history and making of music, having a considerable knowledge of the histories of both Jazz and Rock & Roll. He is also multi-talented beyond the performing arts, as he draws, takes photographs, builds websites, and produces short commercial video pieces. Phil believes music does not belong to categories, ethnicities, age groups or demographics and should be enjoyed by all.
Contact Frank for bookings.