Wow! Marcus Washington at Nashville News Channel 5….that was more than I expected! Truly grateful to you, WTVF and all of our friends and supporters out there! Fred Mollin and I really enjoyed our time with you guys yesterday. If it wasn’t for Linda Edell Howard, Melissa Preisler, Nicole Pope Gaia along with my Leadership Music family, I would have never known Kickstarter existed and that now I would be on my way to achieving my dreams! Bless you all!
Thanks again, Marcus!
As of today’s date, we have 7 days to reach our funding goal and start work on the debut album! I really need your help and support!! Please check out the campaign (below) and share with as many people as you can today! There is even a ROUGH rough cut of one of the songs we’ll be re-working on the new album for you to hear. I would LOVE your feedback…good bad or ugly….and any thoughts on the songs you would like to hear!! http://www.Kickstarter.com/frankbravo
I was told to share with you a little about me…where I come from…where I am…and where I want to go…with your help. Well….here you go!
I grew up in Ferndale, Washington, outside of Seattle. While I played football in both high school & college, I discovered my talent, passion and future while goofing off in chorus class during my junior year of high school. The professor was getting cranky because we were goofing off and said “All right you clowns….I want you to sing this song while pretending you are opera singers. Let’s see what you’ve got!”. I will never forget that moment…I was confused and stumped because the only opera sound or song I could think of was BUGS BUNNY singing “Kill Da Wabbit…Kill Da Wabbit!!”. So there you are….I channeled my inner Elmer Fudd….opened my mouth….and blasted away. My own jaw wasn’t the only one in the room on the floor….everyone was looking at me and all I kept thinking was….Where did THAT come from? Right then and there, I realized I was not going to be a football star…
I was going to be an OPERA SINGER!
My mother took extra jobs cleaning people’s homes for my singing lessons with my first voice teacher Margot Israels. I bagged groceries and did whatever I had to for achieving my needed funds for lessons and school. I was blessed to have graduated from Whitworth University where I then studied with Marjory Halvorson and then on to Oberlin Conservatory of Music where I studied and was personally mentored by the great vocal pedagogue Dr. Richard Miller. From there…with my wonderful sponsors who are cherished extended family, Sherri & Frank Knott, my career took off!
I was performing in major baritone roles around the United States, Canada and Europe. I even had the privilege of singing for Pavarotti and winning his World Voice Competition and was actually invited to study with him for a summer at his home in Italy. I sang with some of the great operatic stars in our modern times. It was amazing, surreal and wonderful….but something was missing. Operas are exciting to perform because they are challenging and difficult. Exactly like an Olympic athlete trains for that one moment of glory…an opera singer trains all year for those 3-4 days of performances. The challenge satisfied all of my senses, but my soul was unfulfilled so in 2007, I walked away from my career.
While I appreciate and enjoy opera and classical music….I deeply love and live for the classic pop standards of the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond. Think Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Andy Williams, Elvis and more. I also love country music!! While I appreciate “new” country music….my soul comes alive for the classic country crooners like Ray Price, Hank Williams, George Jones, Kenny Rogers, Patsy Cline, Ray Charles Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson and their contemporaries. So how do I combine my love of a vocal challenge with the sounds that stir my soul?
It took me 5 years….and some incredible folks in the music industry to help me begin to make my dreams—but more importantly—my SOUL come back to life. So here we are…about to do something no one has done before….in a genre of music that is barely 10 years old but the hottest music all over the world and rapidly gaining fans and respect in the United States: Popera!.
The incomparable Fred Mollin, Award Winning Producer (and a lot of other hats), is steering at the helm of this ship we are launching. Fred has produced legendary artists such as Jimmy Webb, Johnny Mathis, America, JD Souther, BB King, Kris Kristofferson etc…. Also, throughout the years he has worked on projects for/with such artists as Barbara Streisand, Billy Joel, Vince Gill, Jackson Browne, Lucinda Williams, Johnny Mathis, Chris Cornell of the band Soundgarden….and the list goes on and on. Fred is really really excited about our concept which makes me even more thrilled and excited! We are combining the best of the classic Pop and Country crooner sounds with a modern “Popera” twist – there is nothing else like it!
This is where we really need your help!! Our goal is to raise enough money for an EP and eventually, for a full record production. I very humbly ask you to consider helping with a donation in any amount you can spare. Any amounts achieved above what we are seeking will go towards a larger production with more musicians hired and more songs produced. Your donation will not only support hard working musicians, it will support the dreams of many!
I will be videotaping our recording journey (as much as possible) to keep you close during the production, so you may watch for yourself as we do something in Nashville that has never been done before, that will hopefully be heard around the world. The EP is tentatively titled “Turned On”.
Following my heart…believing in the music of my Soul…watch as I get Turned On again in the world of music!
Thank you…AGAIN….for taking a moment to learn about me and the project we are working on….and with your help….launching upon the world this year.
Had an amazing time at the IL DIVO concert last week at The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN!!! It was amazing to connect backstage with my buddy, David Miller, who continues the most amazing ride as the American tenor of the group for the past 9 years. He looks just as he did when we met at Oberlin and performed together years ago but his voice has grown in passion and power. The group delivered one power packed punch after another of their greatest hits. Most songs are timeless classics we know and love but sung in an operatic style….we now call “Popera”. From “Unchained Melody”, “I Will Always Love You”, “My Heart Will Go On” to “Can’t Stop Falling In Love”, the power and majesty of IL DIVO just about blew the roof of the Ryman. One of the highlights of the evening for me…was being in the “Mother Church of Country Music” packed with RABID fans of IL DIVO. Popera Fans!!
The standing ovations began the moment they stepped on stage and continued throughout the entire show for almost every song. What an AFFIRMATION for me in knowing that the music I love and intend to record and perform IS so valued by fans here in Nashville! It remains a challenge connecting to the right industry people in Nashville that understand the “Popera” genre and can partner with me in recording the next Popera hit album. But I’ve met and become friends with some of the best people I’ve ever known through Leadership Music so I remain hopeful and driven. Sadly it seemed that every country BUT the U.S. appreciated and loved Popera. The few Popera acts out there are GIANTS…..like Andrea Bocelli, IL Divo, The Tenors, Josh Groban and that master musician, David Foster. Today…there are only a few with the backing and talent to bring this gorgeous music to us. GOD WILLING….I will join their ranks soon! For now, I’m just truly feeling heartened and grateful there are people right here….in the heartland of Country Music….that understand, appreciate and love my kind of music. Many thanks to IL DIVO and my buddy, David Miller for not giving up on the USA and bringing the magic to Nashville!!! Cheers, Frank
BOOOOOOOOOM! I had an amazing time meeting my fellow classmates at the orientation and kick off reception last night for Leadership Music 2013!! I am still humbled and a bit in shock that I have the opportunity to get to know and learn from these incredible folks in the music industry. From giants, leaders and innovators in the music industry to the incredible supportive staff at Leadership Music, I am looking forward with major excitement to the following year of learning how this crazy biz works. Heck…even my hair is standing on end with excitement! LOL….all right….my hair seems to ALWAYS be standing on end lately….but I think I’m starting to pick up signals! I cannot express my appreciate and humility at having been nominated and then chosen for this illustrious opportunity by the incredible people I’ve come to know in Nashville. Looking UP and thanking HIM.
Fastening my seat belt…and…Hair Up! It’s going to be an exciting year! To learn more about Leadership Music, click here http://leadershipmusic.org/about/
Frank had the honor and priviledge of singing with SEVEN at the recent Republican National Convention. Although they were slated to close the convention after Romney spoke, he was proud to have the opportunity to sing the National Anthem in front of the world. “It’s not about politics, but rather an opportunity to sing for the pride I feel for my country and the hope I have for all of us.” Frank said from the green room via text shortly after the performance. Here is the clip from the convention….enjoy!