Franzosa Small Group Projects
jazz, swing, Latin, Easy Listening, Standards, big band
Small Group Projects specializes in jazz, swing, and Latin for background or dancing. We can provide a quartet (sax, piano or guitar, bass and drums), trio (no drums), piano duo (with sax or bass) or even solo piano. We play 'standards,' tunes from the big band era to the present.
Dance Music for the Reception:
Our basic fare are "standards" by Gershwin, Rodgers & Hart, Harold Arlen, Henry Mancini, Sammy Cahn, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, songs made famous by big bands and singers like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, and Ella Fitzgerald, songs that have been revived lately by Diana Krall, Harry Connick, Jr., and others. We also play jazz classics of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Horace Silver, Herbie Hancock, and more. And, depending on the need, we can mix it up with Antonio Carlos Jobim or Stevie Wonder, Van Morrison, or Bob Marley or Billy Joel.
And we do requests. You want to hear a special song? We can do it.
Classics for the Ceremony:
Some people like their own dance music - DJ or iPod - but they want acoustic music for the ceremony or cocktails. We can also play classics, such as Pachelbel's Canon, for the ceremony on accompanied or unaccompanied flute or sax or clarinet. This past year, I've performed at several ceremonies playing solo flute or solo saxophone. Often, I'm accompanied by a guitarist or pianist.
Background for Cocktails:
For cocktails we play background jazz - either solo piano or a small combo of two or three pieces. Whether solo piano or small group, what we provide is sophisticated ambience for your event, a subtle background of standards and jazz tunes to enhance your day.
From small group jazz to big band swing to rock and funk, I've played sax, reeds, and keyboards with a variety of bands north of Boston. Now, I'm fronting groups in various combinations - duos, trios, quartets, quintets - performing at clubs, restaurants, dances, festivals and concerts throughout northern New England.
My passion is small group jazz, - the sound I grew up with, typified by classic recordings of the Blue Note years: Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon and others. Growing up in the Hartford, CT, area you could hear great music almost any time. In those days, clubs would book bands by the week; some would hire groups from New York on a Sunday afternoon or bring up soloists to play with a house trio on Monday nights. It was easy to hear Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins, Stan Getz, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Zoot Sims, Dexter Gordon. We'd sit in the underage section all afternoon or evening. Times are different, but there are a lot of people who want to hear live music and quite a few venues that offer it because there is nothing like being there when the music is being created.
As any musician will tell you, it's good to be versatile: I also play cocktail piano, and work with local dance bands, swing, rock, wedding, and funk bands on sax and piano. I've recorded with a couple of these bands and was working with a local blues band when we won the Portsmouth Battle of the Blues Bands competition and went on to compete in a regional competition in Memphis.