Mario Franco

Mario Franco is a double bass player, composer, dancer from Lisbon, Portugal

About Me

Mário Franco Born in 1965, he started music lessons at the age of 4 in Centro de Estudos Gregorianos. He studied music theory with Maria José Godinho and after moved to Academia de Amadores de Música where he continued his studies in music theory with Cristina Brito da Cruz, started to study double bass and chamber music with Fernando Flores and composition with Pedro Rocha. In 1986-87 attended double-bass courses given by Ludwig Streicher in Estoril and in 1988 won 1st prize in the Prémio Jovens Músicos (Young Musicians Competition); later became a member of Orquestra Sinfónica Juvenil where he worked on classical repertory with conductor Christopher Bochmann. Also worked with conductors Silva Pereira, Miguel Graça Moura, Roberto Perez, Michel Swierczewski and Cesário Costa. He subsequently became interested in Jazz. After having bass guitar lessons with António Ferro he began taking Double bass lessons at Hot Club Jazz School with David Gausden and playing in jam sessions; also took part in workshops with Rufus Reid, Niels Henning, Orsted Pederson, Eberhard Weber, Dave Holland, Gary Burton, Roland Hanna, David Liebman among others… In 1990 presented his first project based on original compositions and was awarded 1st prize for his group and 2nd prize for composition in the competition“ A Juventude e a Música“ (Young People and Music). His eclectic musical education has enabled him, since the 90’s, to work in many different projects, within diverse musical contexts, with artists such as: Pedro Caldeira Cabral, Miguel Amaral, Ricardo Rocha, António Chaínho, José Peixoto, Early and Contemporary Music Consort “Sete Lágrimas”, Vera Morais and Francisco Sassetti, Miguel Azguime, Carminho, Maro, Camané, Sérgio Godinho, Vitorino, Uxia, Lura, José Manuel Barreto, Sofia Vitória, Maria Ana Bobone, Filipa Pais, Bernardo Sassetti, Mário Laginha, Luis Figueiredo, Luis Barrigas, João Paulo Esteves da Silva, Dan Hewson, António Pinho Vargas, Jarmo Savolainen, Júlio Resende, Carlo Morena, Carlos Martins, Tomás Pimentel, Maria João, Tommy Halferty, John Wadham, Luigi Waites, Sérgio Pelágio, André Sousa Machado, André Fernandes, António Pinto, Desidério Lázaro, Andy Sheppard, Daniel Erdmann, Samuel Rohrer, Ralph Peterson Jr., Markku Ounaskari, Myra Melford, Jon Irabagon, Peter Epstein, David Binney, Paolo Fresu, Ralph Towner… Has performed outside Portugal in some of the most important music festivals in China, Japan, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Italy, Czech Republic, Greece, Norway, Russia, Brazil… In 2006 Tone of a Pitch Records edited his first CD as a leader, “This Life”, with Jesse Chandler (piano, hammond organ and melodica), André Fernandes (guitar), João Lencastre (drums), João Gomes (rhodes, sinthetizer, laptop) and includes NY based David Binney (alto saxophone). This recording was well received by the Portuguese public and critics, and was considered by the American magazine All About Jazz, to be the second best CDs of 2006. “Our Door” is Mário Franco’s new album for TOAP Records as a leader realized in 2013 and includes Sérgio Pelágio (guitar) and André Sousa Machado (drums). In 2017 "Rush" is his new album as a leader for Nischo Records, with Sérgio Pelágio (guitar), Óscar Graça (piano and electronics), Luís Figueiredo (rhodes, hammond organ, philicorda, other keyboards) and Alexandre Frazão (drums, percussion). He composes for Dance and Theatre, and since 2013 also for Cinema. Mário Franco is also a professional dancer. In 1986 started his professional activity in Companhia Nacional de Bailado CNB, first as an apprentice then promoted progressively to corps de ballet, demi-soliste and is currently a principal dancer since 1995.

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