Fran Vielma

Instrument: Percussion | Location: New York City

Updated: June 13, 2019

Born: April 11, 1981

Fran Vielma is a Venezuelan multi-percussionist, composer, and educator with an extensive knowledge of Caribbean and Venezuelan rhythms and drums. Vielma's performance and compositional esthetic integrates rhythmic elements of his native Venezuela, the nuance and variety of concert and world music styles, as well as the freedom of jazz.

Being born in the small college town of Merida in the Venezuelan Andes, Fran grew up surrounded not only by nature, but also by an incredibly artistic, intellectual, and diverse community where the prestigious University of Andes is located. It was at the Center for the Arts of the mentioned university, where encouraged by his mom – Maritza Vielma- he joined the children choir, studied Venezuelan cuatro (small guitar), and took music theory, basic keyboard techniques, and percussion courses for 8 years.

In 1999, Fran joined the percussion section of the Merida Youth Symphonic Orchestra – “El Sistema,” and the Venezuelan folk music ensemble -“Kimbandú;” with the latter he made research trips around the country to study the music of Venezuela on the hands of the cultist.

He moved to Caracas in 2004 and performed, recorded, and toured extensively nationally and internationally with regarded musicians of the country. “Inesperado,” his first album released in 2009, was part of the label Cacao Music along with productions of international artists such as Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Jose Luis Quintana “Changuito, ” Bolivar Soloist, Orlando Poleo, and Negroni’s trio among others.

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”One can’t help but marvel how magically effective this is especially as the horns constantly have to be mixed in with the dry and sharp, stabbing aural palette of Mr. Vielma’s Venezuelan percussion – another reason why this is not just another Latin-Jazz album of songs, but true to its title, a whole new set of Tendencias.” – Raul Da Gama, Latin Jazz Network 2018

“A Venezuelan percussionist that knows how to serve up smoking originals and find lots of the best Latin jazz cats in New York ties... A tasty work that just doesn't quit, this is just one of those dates you slap into your fave device and enjoy as it lets you let the world go by

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