Ric Frank, leader of the Jambalaya Brass Band, was born on October 9, 1951, and grew up in Dayton View surrounded by music and art. Ric’s father was one of the founding owners of the Arrow Wine Stores and his mother taught in the Dayton public school system. Both his mother and Aunt Phyllis Katz played the piano, and his Uncle was Dr. Paul Katz, the founder and conductor of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. His Aunt and Uncle, Ruth and Herb Tepping, both artists, owned the Tepping Studio Supply Company. Ric started to play the flute in the third grade and quickly became the first chair flutist in the Jefferson Elementary School orchestra. He went on to play in the Colonel White High School marching and concert bands. Upon arriving at college, he started to play in rock bands and became a featured soloist in the Ohio University jazz band. He has since expanded his arsenal of instruments to include: clarinet, recorders, saxophones, percussion, piano, and guitar. Ric continued his studies with such greats as Julius Baker, Samuel Baron, Frank Foster, Jamey Aebersold, Jeremy Steig, and Lenny Pickett to name a few. Ric has performed and/or recorded with an eclectic roster of musicians: American Renaissance Theatre Chamber Ensemble, Duke Ellington Orchestra, Ray Santos Caribbean Music Experience, Todd Wolfe, Michael Packer Blues Band, Treme Brass Band, the Jerome Callet Stratosphere Big Band, the Steve Getz Quintet, Jeff ‘Tuff Dart’ Salen, Julie Bluestone Big Band, Hot 8 Brass Band, Rebirth Brass Band, Rashid Ali, Larry Harlow, Alfredo de la Fey, Rick Stone, Perry Robinson as well as his own band, the Jambalaya Brass Band.
Ric’s Jambalaya Brass Band embodies the history of the best American music of the last 100 years while at the same time suggesting a prescient trajectory of America’s musical future. From the Warner Bros. film, Where the Wild Things Are, to the Britney Spears Super Bowl Party in New York City at Planet Hollywood, to the half-time Mardi Gras show for the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, Jambalaya Brass Band has literally made the party. More recently, the band has performed the music for two Southern Comfort commercials and a Ritz Cracker ad, at the funeral for the ‘old’ Coney Island, at D.B.A. New Orleans, at the Mermaid Parade and B.B. King’s in NYC, as well as many colleges and other concerts around the country. Both It’s a Jungle Out There, their previous CD, and On the Funky Side, their current successful release, have been in heavy rotation on radio stations across the country, and both have charted in the top five of the CMJ, Cashbox, and Roots Music Report music charts.
Ric is also a renowned early childhood music educator. He designed, developed and directed an innovative early childhood music and movement program at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. He has written over 200 songs for young children that cover such topics as dinosaurs, the rain forest, jazz, classical composers, dancers, artists, outer space, Greek mythology, and a variety of world cultures. In 2010, Ric was the recipient of the Champions for Children, Education Leader award from the New York State Association for the Education of Young Children. He currently teaches at the Collegiate School for Boys, founded in 1628, in New York City. In addition to his musical talents, Ric is an accomplished artist. He has been in group shows at the Keane-Mason Gallery in New York City, had a solo show at the Figaro Café in Greenwich Village, and was commissioned by the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and the Church of St. John the Evangelist in New York. This Dayton Original designed and illustrated two CD covers for his group, Jambalaya Brass Band.