Born: December 15, 1961 Primary Instrument: Sax, tenor
BOB FRANCESCHINI Tenor saxophone, soprano, alto and baritone. Flute, alto flute and ethnic flutes. Clarinet, bass clarinet. Keyboards, Composer, arranger, producer and contractor.
Bob Franceschini was born and grew up in New York City. His first professional gigs were just after graduating from Music and Art High School . For two summers Bob played at a club in Harlem, called the Breezin’ Lounge owned by jazz super star George Benson. The band also featured Marcus Miller, Omar Hakim, Bobby Broom on guitar. ( “It was awesome. We were just kids and were getting paid to play jazz and R&B standards, four night a week. Occasionally Benson would sit-in with us“) They became the nucleus of the band for trumpeter Tom Browne ( of Jamaica Funk fame) with whom they recorded and toured. Bob also worked with Eddie Palmieri (with Ronnie Cuber, Barry Rogers, and Andy and Jerry Gonzalez) and with trumpeter Mike Lawrence’s band along side Kenny Kirkland, Anthony Jackson, Barry Finnerty and Steve Ferrone. “These experiences really set the course for me. I was very fortunate to get to play with such awesome cats at such a young age“. I was also hanging with Mike Brecker, Bob Berg, and Lenny Pickett and picking their brains. I got to take some formal lessons from Eddie Daniels, Joe Henderson, and Steve Grossman. In 82-84 Franceschini toured with Chaka Khan. In 86 - 91, Bob was touring and recording with Willie Colon, eventually becoming musical director of the band as well as arranging for and co- producing several of his albums. (“This was a tremendous experience for me , my parent’s grew up in Puerto Rico and I grew up listening to a lot of latin music, Willie was one of my heroes.“) Around this time Franceschini was recording and gigging with Victor Bailey, Hilton Ruiz, Roland Vasquez, Renee Rosnes, Chris Botti, Bobby Broom, Marcus Miller, Dave Weckl, Michel Camilo, and Anthony Jackson and many other great musicians. Bob also worked as an arranger and mentored with the great Mario Bauza. “Mario hipped me to what the clave was all about and how to combine and orchestrate Jazz harmony with traditional Latin rhythms“. Of note in 92 he recorded with bassist Anthony Cox (A Factor of Faces). The CD also features, Ralph Peterson and Michael Caine In 94 Franceschini joined Seis del Solar. They were originally the back up band for singer/actor/politician, Ruben Blades, they recorded an album for Messidor Records Alternate Routes (recently reissued on Universal) and went on a world tour. Three years later (97-98) the group got called to work with Paul Simon. They worked closely with him on his Broadway show Capeman. He recorded and/or arrange for such artists as Celine Dion, Patty Austin, Bebe Winans, Joe Pesci, Tito Puente100th Album(grammy winner), Robby Rosa, Michael McDonald, Steve Khan, Bakithi Kumalo, a bunch of CD‘s for producer Sergio George (DLG, Tito Nieves “I Like It Like That”, Nora et al ) Paul Simon, Ruben Blades, Marc Anthony, Isaac Delgado. and did some touring with Ricky Martin. TV appeances with Lionel Ritchie, Gloria Gaynor. Bob was also working with The Chico O’Farrill Big Band and played on his CD (Pure Emotion). For a couple of seasons Franceschini played on the background music for Sex and the City, music by Doug Cuomo (now in syndication worldwide). Bob Franceschini participated as writer, player and arranger for percussionist Ralphy Irizarry’s group Timbalaye. They recorded three critically acclaimed CD's (“This is some of the best Latin Jazz on record, if I say so myself!“) Of note, Franceschini co-wrote along with B Danielian, O. Melendez and arranged a tune recorded by Tower of Power called Gotta Make a Change on the album “Souled Out”. In 2000, Franceschini began working with the higly acclaimed guitar hero Mike Stern. (“This was a dream come true.“) They are still heavily touring the globe together. The touring rhythm sections features mainly Dennis Chambers or Dave Weckl on drums and on bass, Richard Bona, Victor Wooten, or Anthony Jackson. Franceschini has recorded on Stern‘s last three Grammy nominated CD's Voices These Times, Who Let The Cats Out and his most recent effort, Big Neighborhood“ as well as two critically acclaimed DVD“s “ New Morning: The Paris Concert ” also featuring Dennis Chambers and Richard Bona (2004) and “Mike Stern Band“ also featuring Dave Weckl and Tom Kennedy (2008). In 2002, Bob participated as a founding member of an orchestra created by Wynton Marsalis and Arturo O’Farrill at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. Bob had the honor of being comissioned to write an original piece for the group. It is entitled The Soul and Culture Suite (an Afro Latino Ballet) and it was premiered on Sept 30th 2005 at Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center., soon to be recorded with the orchestra. Since 2005 Franceschini has recorded with pianist Bebo Valdez,“Bebo De Cuba“, The Negro and Robby Band “At the Third World War“,“ On The Streets“.He did a few CD’s abroad: Ann Ducros “Piano, Piano“ also featuring Chick Corea, Jacky Terrason, Enrico Peranunzi, the Italian fusion group South Vertigo “Zero Center” , and Greek bassist Yiorgos Fakanas “Domino”. Bob played flute with Jennifer Lopez on a series of TV show tapings and concert . The band included among others Michael Beardon (musical director), Sonny Emmery, Lenny Underwood and Omar Hakim. Bob Franceschini‘s most recent recordings are with Turkish pianist Fahir Atakoglu “Istanbul in Blue“ which also features Anthony Jackson, Horacio “ El Negro“ Hernandez, Wayne Krantz and Mike Stern. and on a critically acclaimed CD for Marty Sheller entitled „Why Deny“. It was voted best Latin Jazz recording 2008 by New York‘s Jazz radio station WBGO. Franceschini also participated as a solo saxophonist in an orchestral recording project by Doug Cuomo entitled, “Arjuna’s Dilemma“ „“The CD was release in 2008 and we have done several sold out and well reviewed performances of this amazimg multimedia piece“. Bob Franceschini is also working currently with a band called Metro which features , Chuck Loeb, Mitch Foreman, Dave Weckl, Gerald Veasley and Randy Brecker. “Last April, I played and held workshops in Dubai, The Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore and had the tremendous experience of being asked to sit in with an all star L.A. band that featured saxophonist Tom Scott one of my original heroes. We played “Pickup the Pieces“. I was in heaven trading solos with Tom. A couple of nights later I played in a performance that combimed the Stern Band with The Yellow Jackets. I got to play an unaccompanied duet with Bob Mintzer another one of my all time favorites. That was awesome“. Is now subbing for Mintzer with the Yellow Jackets. „ I completed my first tour with them in October 2009, what a great band!. In 2007 Bob moved back to New York after living in Europe for three years. Bob Franceschini is active on the New York scene once again. Playing, arranging and teaching. He has been writing and recording for his first solo effort tentatively titled “Transcendence“. “ It’s great to be back in New York , to me it really is the music capital of the world. Truly stimulating!“ Bob Franceschini endorses Yamaha horns and Vandoren reeds and mouthpieces.
Staten Island, NY
Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students
Saxophone tone production, technique. Improvisation all instruments and general musical concepts. I work on freeing musicians of fear and break down the elements of music.