Franck Amsallem

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Franck Amsallem
Franck Amsallem.jpeg
Background information
Born (1961-10-25) 25 October 1961 (age 54)
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
Website amsallem.com

Franck Amsallem is a French-American jazz pianist, arranger, composer and also singer. He was born in 1961 in Oran, 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. He made his professional debut in 1976 at the age of fourteen in Nice, and by high school was playing in dance bands throughout the Cote d'Azur and featured in an INA documentary titled "La Leçon de Musique" as a student of John Lewis. He went on to attend the Berklee College of Music[2] in the early 1980s to study composition and arranging with Herb Pomeroy and Michael Gibbs.

In New York – 1986–2001

Franck moved to NYC in 1986 to attend the Manhattan School of Music to study jazz composition with Bob Brookmeyer. He continued his classical piano studies with Phillip Kawin while playing jazz and composing. In NY, he played or collaborated with Gerry Mulligan, Joe Chambers, Gary Peacock, Bill Stewart, Joshua Redman, Maria Schneider, Jerry Bergonzi, Charles Lloyd, Bobby Watson, Kevin Mahogany, Bob Brookmeyer, Bob Belden, Sonny Fortune, Tim Ries, 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 Roosevelt University, New York's 92Y, Paris' CNSM, CRR, the Royal conservatory in Den Haag, and in many other countries. His 1990 recording debut, Out a Day, featuring Gary Peacock on bass and Bill Stewart on drums, was produced at the Clinton Recording Studios in Manhattan. The album was reviewed by the Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings, which gave it four stars (maximum rating).[3] He has recorded a total of 9 CDs under his name, and has performed all around the world (United States, the Netherlands, Israel, The Emirates, Algeria, China, South Africa, Portugal, South and Central America, Vietnam, Indonesia, Sénégal). He toured throughout 2011 in South America, Europe and Asia, and performed at the Java Jazz Festival, on its way to solo concerts in Vietnam.

Amsallem has received several 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.

In Paris – 2002-now

Franck returned to France in 2002, settling in Paris. He has collaborated, or recorded with Stephane Belmondo, Elisabeth Kontomanou, Sara Lazarus. In 2009 Amsallem released a solo cd showcasing his singing along with his piano playing.[4] His latest trio recording, Franck Amsallem Sings Vol. II, was released in September 2014.

Recordings as a leader[edit]

Recordings as a sideman[edit]

Awards[edit]

  • 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)

References[edit]

  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. ^ Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian. The Penguin guide to jazz on CD. Penguin. p. 38. ISBN 0-14-051521-6. 
  4. ^ Lindsay, Bruce (2010). "Amsallem Sings". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2010-09-08. 

External links[edit]

Sources[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