|Born||October 13, 1951|
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Genres||Jazz, jazz fusion, Latin jazz, world music|
|Associated acts||The Manhattan Transfer, Wayne Shorter, Harry Belafonte, Tania Maria, Milton Nascimento, Aretha Franklin, Gato Barbieri, Airto Moreira, Flora Purim, Thalía, Herbie Hancock|
Frank Colón (born October 13, 1951) is an American musician and martial artist of Puerto Rican descent.
Born in Washington, D.C., Colón moved from there to Puerto Rico at the age of five. His musical instruction began at age eleven, beginning with classical piano lessons, under the guidance of Angelina Figueroa and Rafael Figueroa, both members of Puerto Rico's most prestigious classical music family. Colón kept up his piano studies throughout his teenage years, trying his hand at pop guitar, electric bass, and trap drums, as well. He was also very active in municipal and collegiate sports, martial arts, and amateur theater. During this time, he worked with various local pop music groups throughout the island of Puerto Rico.
In 1970, he moved back to Washington, D.C. to attend college at American University, where he majored in Political Science. During this time, his musical orientation changed from melodic instruments to percussion. Finishing his university requirements, he turned full-time to his music.
In 1976, Colón moved to New York City, on a call to work with his friend and mentor, the legendary drum master, Julito Collazo. Through Julito's guidance, he became proficient at playing the Batá drums, sacred to the Orisha (Santería) religion.
Colón has played Brazilian percussion since the time he lived in Washington, D.C. Besides learning other rhythms and instruments from the interior of Brazil, he excels in his knowledge and skill of the Capoeira. Having always pursued knowledge in both music and martial arts, Colón is today one of only a handful of American black belt instructors in the Israeli self-defense system called Krav-Maga, having been certified as such by the Wingate Institute of Israel and Krav-Maga International, Inc. He was the first elected Vice-President of the American Association of Krav maga Instructors (AAKMI), nowadays known as The Krav maga Federation. He currently holds the rank of Professor Black Belt Dan 2.
- Live at Vartanjazz
- Latin Wonder
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With Ray Anderson
- Don't Mow Your Lawn (Enja, 1994)
With Michael Galasso
- High Lines (ECM, 2005)
With Mickey Hart
- Planet Drum (Rykodisk, 1991)
- Brasil (Atlantic, 1987)
With Wayne Shorter
- Joy Ryder (Columbia, 1988)
A partial list of those with whom Colón has performed, recorded and/or toured includes The Manhattan Transfer, Wayne Shorter, Weather Report, Thalía, Mary J. Blige, Harry Belafonte, Gato Barbieri, Chet Baker, Pat Metheny, Aretha Franklin, Herbie Hancock, Gilberto Gil, Larry Coryell, Janis Siegel, Jimmy Smith, Minehaha, Milton Nascimento, The Kremlin Chamber Orchestra, Tania Maria, Ernie Watts, Paquito D'Rivera, Dave Valentin, Jon Lucien, João Bosco, Francisco Buarque de Holanda, Michael Wolff, Cesar Camargo Mariano, Ney Matogrosso, Elba Ramalho, Marina, Adam Klipple, Roman Miroshnichenko, RPM, Larry Coryell, Billy Taylor, Gal Costa, Azymuth, Dianne Reeves, Michel Camilo, Nestor Torres, Felix Cavalieri, Airto, Mickey Hart, Samir Chatterjee, Michael Galasso, George Benson, among many others. Also played with Badal Roy and Atilla Engin.
- Colón has been featured in numerous television specials all over the world. These have included an HBO special with Harry Belafonte titled, "Don't Stop the Music", taped in Winnipeg, Canada; a Disney Channel Special with the Manhattan Transfer, titled, "Going Home"; a TV special with Tania Maria for the "Ohne Filter" show, out of Baden-Baden, Germany; a Brazil TVE special with Milton Nascimento "Live in Montreux"; two appearances on The Tonight Show with The Manhattan Transfer – one with Johnny Carson and the other with Jay Leno; a special on WIPR-TV in Puerto Rico, featured with Tania Maria, performing in the Heineken Jazz Festival; an HBO broadcast of the 40th Anniversary of Atlantic Records, in Madison Square Garden; an appearance on the Good Morning America show (ABC TV)with The Manhattan Transfer, and various other appearances performing with his own band throughout Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia and Moldova.
- He is also featured in the movie, Calle 54, by Oscar-winning director, Fernando Trueba.