Franck Amsallem

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Franck Amsallem
Franck Amsallem.jpeg
Background information
Born (1961-10-25) 25 October 1961 (age 53)
Origin Oran, French Algeria
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, composer, arranger, conductor,
Instruments Piano, Vocals
Labels Sunnyside Records, Naive, Nocturne
Associated acts Gerry Mulligan, Joe Chambers, Gary Peacock, Bill Stewart, Joshua Redman, Maria Schneider, Jerry Bergonzi, Charles Lloyd, Bobby Watson, Stephane Belmondo, Rick Margitza

Franck Amsallem is a French jazz pianist, arranger, composer and also singer. He was born in 1961 in Oran, then in French Algeria, but grew up in Nice, France.[1]

He started learning the piano at age 7 and also took up the classical saxophone at the local conservatory. Early in his studies he was able to hear such artists as Thad Jones, Count Basie, Charles Mingus, Bill Evans, Sonny Stitt and Stan Getz live at the Grande Parade du Jazz in Nice, France. By high school, he was playing in dance bands throughout the Cote d'Azur and featured in an INA documentary titled "La Lecon de Musique" as a student of John Lewis. In 1981, as a young adult he received a full scholarship to study at the Berklee College of Music[2] with Herb Pomeroy, and Michael Gibbs and in 1986 he moved to NYC to attend the Manhattan School of Music to study with Bob Brookmeyer. He also continued his classical piano studies with Phillip Kawin while playing jazz in and around New York. He has since accompanied or collaborated with Gerry Mulligan, Joe Chambers, Gary Peacock, Bill Stewart, Joshua Redman, Maria Schneider, Jerry Bergonzi, Charles Lloyd, Bobby Watson, Kevin Mahogany, Herb Pomeroy, Bob Brookmeyer, Bob Belden, Sonny Fortune, Sara Lazarus, Elisabeth Kontomanou, Tim Ries, Stephane Belmondo, Rick Margitza, Blood, Sweat & Tears, and Harry Belafonte, among many others.

In 1989, Amsallem's composition "Obstinated" was performed by the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, now known as the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. He has since written, conducted and recorded big band music for the Köln Radio Jazz Orchestra (WDR), the Orchestre National de jazz (France), chamber cross-over music for the Prism Saxophone Quartet, Chicago's chamber ensemble Fulcrum Point and cross-over symphonic pieces as well as big band music for the Mancini Institute. He has taught or given workshops at New York's 92Y, Paris' CNSM, CRR, the Royal conservatory in Den Haag, and in Israel, Bulgaria, Belgium, Portugal, Switzerland. His 1990 recording debut, "Out A Day", featuring Gary Peacock on bass and Bill Stewart on drums, was produced at the famous Clinton Recording Studios in Manhattan. The album was reviewed by the 1994 Penguin Guide to jazz Recordings, which gave it four stars (maximum rating). He has recorded a total of 9 CDs under his name, and often performs all around the world (United States, Holland, Israël, The Émirates, Algéria, China, South Africa, Portugal, South and Central America, Vietnam, Indonesia, Sénégal).

Amsallem has received several distinguished awards including a Composition fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the ASCAP award for Young composers, a FAJE Award (French American Jazz Exchange) and the Fondation de la Vocation Award from France. He toured throughout 2011 in South America, Europe and Asia, and performed at the Java Jazz Festival on 6–8 March 2012.

Franck's latest cd is a solo showcasing his singing along with his piano playing.[3] His latest trio recording "Franck Amsallem Sings Vol. II" has been released in September 2014.

He returned to Paris to live and work in 2001.



  • 1989: Fondation de la Vocation Award (France)
  • 1989: National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship to compose works for string orchestra.
  • 1990: ASCAP Award For Young Composer
  • 2010: FAJE Award (French American Jazz Exchange)


  1. ^ Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian. The Penguin guide to jazz on CD. Penguin. p. 38. ISBN 0-14-051521-6. 
  2. ^ "Take Five With Franck Amsallem". All About Jazz. 2010-01-28. Retrieved 2010-09-08. 
  3. ^ Lindsay, Bruce (2010). "Amsallem Sings". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2010-09-08. 

External links[edit]


  • Richard Cook & Brian Morton : The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings, 8th Edition, London, Penguin, 2006 ISBN 0-14-102327-9
  • John Swenson : The Rolling Stones Jazz Record Guide, 1999