Rick Frank began playing jazz drums at age 10 after hearing a dixieland jazz band at a local fair in Central NY. He played with dixieland groups with adults 3 to 4 times his age while still in middle school and high school, playing at the Bix Beiderbecke Jazz Festival, and numerous concerts and clubs around Central NY. He started studying drumset with Jazz Drummer Dick Howard in the 8th Grade. In addition, he started to listen to Miles Davis and other more modern jazz artists, quickly moving through the various styles before he was done with High School. He moved to Boston in 1976, and instantly began playing jazz clubs and commercial gigs in Boston with local established musicians. He graduated from New England Conservatory of Music where he studied jazz drums and percussion with Boston Pops drummer Fred Buda, and marimba with arranger and percusionist Pat Hollenbeck. In addition, he studied jazz drums with Alan Dawson, and vibraphone with Ted Wolfe. At New England Conservatory, he was a member of the Scholarship Jazz Quintet in his Junior and Senior years. He was asked to return for an extra year of study to continue playing with the Scholarship Quintet. He was also part of the Conservatory's Bourbon Street Jazz Band, competing in the Southern Comfort Collegiate Dixieland Band contest, playing traditional New Orleans Jazz. In addition, he gained experience during these years playing with visiting guest artists such as Milt Hinton, Bob Berg, and Roswell Rudd.