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Frank Singer Press Bio.
Frank Singer began playing music at the age of nine. A passion developed quickly, and led Frank to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1976. After graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1980, he went on to complete private studies with Charlie Banacos on guitar, and continue with piano studies for several years. Frank has been a working musician since graduating from Berklee, teaching privately and in the classroom, performing in clubs and concert halls, and composing, arranging, recording and producing, both for his own groups and for professional clients.
Frank has had a long and varied career as a sideman and guest soloist. In addition to playing shows with artists such as Cab Calloway, Vanessa Williams, and Eddie Fisher, Frank has performed with recording artists Les Arbuckle and Rick Della Ratta, trumpeter/composer Arturo Sandoval and more recently with guitarist Larry Coryell. He performs with Downbeat poll-winner Bruce Johnston, and regularly accompanies traveling recording artists in the Mid-Atlantic region, such as vocalist/pianist Cheryl Hodge.
Frank's latest release is Generations String Quartet, an original composition in five movements for two violins, electric jazz guitar, and cello. The work was commissioned by Gannon University for Erie, Pennsylvania's Bicentennial Celebration, and includes a jazz guitar solo. "My Berklee degree is in 20th-century classical composition, and it's not often I get to use it!", says Singer. "This was the first piece to get public performances, and we managed to record one." This is now available on the artist's Naked Kitty Productions label.
Frank's latest CD, oFF tHE tOP: standards 1, is his first solo effort. It includes 12 jazz standards, all performed on solo jazz guitar. "I've been doing this for years," states Singer, "but I never got around to recording the tunes the way I play when I do a solo gig. This album gave me that opportunity. I wanted to present it as a regular set - with same flow and pacing as a live show." In addition to solo work in the New England and Mid-Atlantic areas, Frank has been the partner in many vocal/guitar duos.
While living in Boston, Frank performed and recorded with a number of jazz groups. Cat's A Bear, with Frank as principal composer, began its many incarnations in Boston, with quartets, trios and duos. The duo, with Joe Dorris on drums, used a Macintosh computer as a sequencer in live performance. "The problem of rhythmic freedom was solved by having live drums perform with sequenced parts." says Frank. "We treated the sequence as the bass player, and played the way we would in a trio." This band remained popular in Boston, performing and recording until its relocation to Erie in 1989.
The group continued as a duo until the addition of bassist Tony Stefanelli in 1992. Re-forming the power trio of jazz, the new version of Cat's A Bear also added other personnel for various projects. The trio released Tito...In Search of a Revolution in 1993, and added saxophonist Phil Papotnik for the 1996 release of Tito in Wonderland. Frank continues to compose for the group, which has also begun to cover jazz standards with their own style. A new batch of Singer originals will be featured on the next Cat's A Bear CD, which is in the works now.
Another group which plays Singer's original music is the world music group One World Tribe. Frank is a founding member of the group, and his award-winning song Unity And Diversity is the title track of Tribe's first album. "Tribe gave me an opportunity to express musical ideas in a new way, and to try my hand at lyrics. We played music I had listened to for years, but never done in a band. I really got my Latin piano chops together, and I even learned how to freestyle hiphop - not something I had to chance to do playing instrumental jazz." Tribe's second album, The World Today, features Frank on some guitar, guitar synthesizer, keyboard solos and background vocals. Plans for a third album are in the works, with more emphasis on hiphop.
Frank continues to write, perform and record his original music, in addition to teaching privately and performing jazz in the Mid-Atlantic region. Current recordings feature music spanning the spectrum from jazz standards to funky originals to world beat, and everything in between, with more on the way. He spends any spare time he can find with his wife, Mary, and son, Ari, who may very well continue in the family business if his current abilities and interests are any indication.