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Moods: Mood: Fun Jazz: World Fusion Jazz: Big Band Jazz: Jazz Fusion Moods: Featuring Saxophone

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United States - California - LA United States - United States

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Frank Macchia

Born: October 12, 1958

Born and raised in San Francisco, CA., Frank started on the clarinet at the age of ten years old. Soon afterward he began studies on bassoon, saxophone and flute. By the age of fourteen he began studying composition, writing jazz and classical pieces for his high school band and orchestra and for jazz ensembles that rehearsed at the local union hall, including trumpeter Mike Vax's Big Band.

In 1975-76 Frank wrote jazz/classical hybrid works that were performed by the San Francisco Symphony and local professional jazz musicians at the Summer Music Workshop Programs, and he composed and conducted an orchestral overture for his high school graduation ceremony. During this time period he also performed and arranged music for contemporary dance bands in the Bay Area.

In 1976 Frank attended Berklee College of Music, studying woodwinds with Joseph Viola, Joe Allard, Steve Grossman and composition/arranging with Herb Pomeroy, Phil Wilson, Greg Hopkins, Tony Texiera, and Ken Pullig. From 1976-80 he performed and composed for the top student ensembles as well as performing with his own ensembles. He received a National Endowment Grant for the Arts to compose a 90 minute continuous jazz/ classical suite for large ensemble. He also won Down Beat magazine's DB award for original big band composition in 1979.

After graduating with a degree in traditional composition, Frank taught at Berklee at the tender age of 20, as well as performed throughout the New England area with his 8-piece fusion group, 'Booga-Booga'. In 1981 Frank moved back to the San Francisco area where he continued working as a musician and composer/arranger over the next ten years, performing concerts with such artists as Ella Fitzgerald, Rita Moreno, Tony Bennett, Jack Jones, Clare Fischer, Chuck Mangione, and the Temptations, to name a few. He performed with local groups such as The Bay Area Jazz Composers Orchestra, Mike Vax's Great American Jazz Band, Royal Street, the Dick Bright Orchestra and the Melotones. He also led his own original groups, including The Gleets, Desperate Character and The Frankie Maximum Band.

In 1989 he recorded Introducing Frankie Maximum, an eclectic CD that showcased original material in a variety of styles, from new wave to polka. He followed that with the CD Frankie Maximum Goes Way-er Out West, a wild romp through traditional cowboy folksongs, done with new treatments (Ringo as a hip-hop jazz tune!?). This 1991 album received much critical praise including being named one of the top ten albums of the year by the Oakland Tribune

In 1991 Frank toured Germany performing in productions of West Side Story and 42nd Street, and when that tour was over, he found himself in Los Angeles, where he has remained ever since. Since 1992 he has worked as a composer/orchestrator on many films and television projects, including Superman Returns, Pirates of the Caribbean 3, Fantastic Four-Rise of the Silver Surfer, Transformers, Miracle, X2-Xmen United, Men of Honor, Eight Legged Freaks, Ghosts of the Abyss, Austin Powers:Goldmember, The Contender, The Apt Pupil, Santa Clause 2, and television shows Night Visions, Nickelodeon's Oh Yeah Cartoons,Disney's Oliver Twist, and the Tonight Show.

In 2003 he completed the CD, "The Galapagos Suite", a six movement suite based on the animals of the Galapagos Islands, where he and his wife Tracy visited. His next CD, “Animals” was released in Fall 2004, featuring Frank on multi-woodwinds and a roster of some of Los Angeles best musicians, including Billy Childs, Vinny Colaiuta, Dave Carpenter, Mark Isham, Grant Geissman and Bruce Fowler. His follow up CD called “Mo' Animals” was released in 2006.

He released the CD “Emotions” featuring The Prague Orchestra in January 2007 which received a Grammy nomination for Best Arrangement (for “Black Is the Color...”), and a Blue Chip Award from Dr. Herb Wong for “best of” jazz and released a follow up CD with the Prague Orchestra entitled “Landscapes”, which also garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Arrangement for “Down In the Valley”.

His 2009 project “Saxolollapalooza” for six saxophonists and drums featured Eric Marienthal, Bob Sheppard, Gene Cipriano, Sal Lozano, Jay Mason and Peter Erskine on drums.

In January 2010 he released the CD “Folk Songs for Jazzers” featuring an all star 13 piece band featuring Wayne Bergeron, Peter Erskine, Grant Geissman, Trey Henry, Alex Iles, Sal Lozano, Jay Mason, Kevin Porter, Bill Reichenbach, Bob Sheppard and also features guest vocalists Tierney Sutton and Ellis Hall. The band is doing crazed re-imaginings of traditional folk songs in funk, swing, fusion, latin, odd-metered and ballad jazz styles and it got a Grammy nomination! Following that was "SON of Folk Songs for Jazzers with the same ensemble.

Then came "Swamp Thang", a 6 piece funk-jazz band and the follow-up album "Fried Zombie Stew". These were released in 2012-2013.

In 2014 Frank released "Grease Mechanix" an all star 16 piece New Orleans style funk band with Peter Erskine, Wayne Bergeron, Brad Dutz, Brandon Fields, Dan Fornero, Walt Fowler, Craig Gosnell, Alex Iles, Sal Lozano, Eric Marienthal, Jay Mason, Kevin Porter, Bill Reichenbach, Ken Rosser, and Bob Sheppard.

Frank took a break from composing but has released a new album in 2018, "Rhythm Kaleidoscope" with collaborator Brock Avery. Brock created improvised drum solos which Frank then created full orchestral stream-of-consciousness compositions around including up to 50 woodwinds and saxophones performed by Frank. It's a psychedelic sound-fest!!

Frank currently lives in Burbank, CA with his wife Tracy and son Charlie.