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Frank Canino’s first professional work was with the Sal Mosca/Warne Marsh Quartet at the Village Vanguard in 1979. He continued to work with that group as well as leading his own jazz quartet on regular tours of western Europe in the early 1980’s, appearing at the Northsea Jazz Festival, the Heineken Jazz Festival, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and other major venues. The beginning of his career coincided with the later era of the original jazz greats and he was lucky to play with artists such as pianist Joe Albany, guitarist Tiny Grimes (both of whom played with Charlie Parker), drummers Joe Morello, Oliver Jackson, saxophonist Frank Foster, trombonist Jimmy Knepper and others.

In 1987 he joined guitarist Cornell Dupree’s band “Who It Is.” Along with Richard Tee, Lou Marini and Chris Parker he recorded that group’s Grammy nominated record called “Coast To Coast.” That group toured internationally and backed up major Japanese stars such as Sadao Watanabe. Working with Cornell brought him in with the soul – jazz greats of the era and he got to play with organist Jack McDuff, saxophonists David “Fathead” Newman, Harold Vick, etc.

As a freelancer he has played with Ray Charles, Joe Cocker, Dr. John, Willy DeVille, Ronan Tynan, Ben E. King, Richie Havens, Oz Noy, Kid Creole & The Coconuts, Rick Springfield, Gladys Knight, Bo Diddley, Vanessa Williams, Jane Olivor, Melissa Manchester, Felix Cavaliere, The Original Blues Brothers, Band with Steve Cropper and Eddie Floyd, John Oates, Southside Johnny, Gary U.S. Bonds, The Drifters, The Chiffons, Phoebe Snow, Beth Neilsen-Chapman, Billy Squier, Melba Moore, Gloria Gaynor, Marilyn Michaels, etc.

Being a bassist it’s been a great pleasure to have played with some of the great drummers of his era including Bernard Purdie, Andy Newmark, Buddy Williams, Buddy Miles, Chris Parker, Eric Parker, Ritchie Hayward (Little Feat), Jaimoe (Allman Brothers), Jerry Marotta, Rick Marotta, Anton Fig, Keith Carlock, and so many others.

He’s played in dozens of Broadway shows including Summer, A Bronx Tale, Beautiful, Kinky Boots, Hairspray, Motown, Rent, Jesus Christ Superstar, Mamma Mia, Memphis, Color Purple, Spring Awakening, Shrek, Tommy and others. He held the bass chair on Smokey Joe’s Cafe from 1994-2000 and played on that show’s Grammy winning recording. Also had the chair for the last Broadway run of Hair in summer of 2011 and his first Bway chair was The High Rollers Social & Pleasure Club featuring Allen Toussaint. A highlight off Broadway was playing and singing in “Dream A Little Dream” – the Mamas and Papas story at the old Village Gate in 2003. Recreating that sound along with original M & P’s lead singer Denny Doherty was a major musical experience.

TV appearances include “Nascar Night In Hollywood” broadcast from the Wiltern Theater in LA, The View with Ben E. King, CBS This Morning with Gladys Knight, Ronan Tynan PBS Special – “More Than Magic.”

2009 – Originated the bass chair for the first run of “The First Wives Club” at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego featuring new music by Holland Dozier Holland.

2012 – Co produced concert of Laura Nyro’s music at Lincoln Center – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llqnGPJQ0ZA

Major tours include Rent (2nd nat’l), Grease (Germany), Saturday Night Fever (1st nat’l) Hairspray (1st nat’l), Hair (Direct from Bway 2010-12), A Bronx Tale (1st nat’l), Beautiful (1st nat’l).

Recent regional – Priscilla Queen Of The Desert and Mamma Mia at Ogunquit Playhouse, The Mystery Of Edwin Drood at Riverside in Vero Beach.

Produced and music directed shows and concerts at The Suffolk Theater in Riverhead, L.I. including Ring Of Fire, tributes to Carole King, Donna Summer, Stevie Wonder and others.

Links – http://caninobass.wix.com/frankcanino, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QV5l0Wd-0jU

This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. Hi Frank,
    It was wonderful to read about your music career. What a life and accomplishments! I wish you many more fulfilling years. I hope you’re enjoying spending time with Sean and his wife and time with your friends. Be well!

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