Mário Franco started music lessons at the age of 4 in Centro de Estudos
Gregorianos. After one year in Lisbon Conservatory where he studied
harp, singing and music theory he went on to Academia de Amadores de
Música, where he continued his studies in music theory with Cristina Brito
da Cruz and he started double bass lessons with Fernando Flores, and
composition with Pedro Rocha as well as studying chamber music.
He subsequently became interested in jazz. and became a member of the
Lisbon Hot Club. After having bass guitar lessons with António Ferro he
began taking Double bass lessons with David Gausden and playing in jam
sessions; also took part in workshops with Rufus Reid, Niels Henning,
Orsted Pederson, Eberhard Weber, etc.
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
Also worked with conductors Silva Pereira, Miguel Graça Moura, Alberto
Nunes, Roberto Perez, Michel Swierczewski, Cesário Costa...
As from 1984 plays jazz and improvised music in Portugal and abroad
musicians such as António Pinho Vargas, Mário Laginha, João Paulo
Esteves de Silva, Bernardo Sasseti, Benny Lackner, Carlo Morena, Luis
Barrigas, Luis Figueiredo, Dan Hewson, Carlos Martins, Tomás Pimentel,
Maria João, Luigi Waites, Louis Stewart, Tommy Halferty, John Wadham,
Zlatko Kaucic, Peter Guidi, Sérgio Pelágio, António Pinto, José Peixoto,
Desidério Lázaro, Jarmo Savolainen, Markku Ounaskari, Jim Leff, Ralph
Peterson, Jr., Samuel Rohrer, Paolo Fresu, Daniel Erdmann, Julian
Argüelles, Andy Sheppard, Myra Melford, Jon Irabagon, David Binney, Peter
Epstein, Ralph Towner, among others.
Appeared on TV and played live radio broadcasts in Portugal.
In 1990 presented his first project based on original compositions; was
awarded 1st prize for his group and 2nd prize for composition in the
competition“ A Juventude e a Música“ (Young People and Music).
Has an entry of his own in a book by musicologist Jorge Lima Barreto,
“MusaLusa”, Hugin 1997, Lisboa.
Is mentioned for his work with Tomás Pimentel in the bilingual quarterly
journal “The Role of Jazz” written by José Duarte, edited by Edições