October 15-17, 2019

Fran Vielma / Venezuelan Jazz Collective

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Fran Vielma / Venezuelan Jazz Collective
Washington, DC
Grant amount: $15,000

Fran Vielma, born in the Venezuela Andes, is a critically acclaimed and award-winning multipercussionist, composer, and educator. His extensive knowledge of rhythms from the Caribbean, Venezuela, South America and beyond is integrated with his attraction to concert music and the freedom of jazz. 

His first album Inesperado was part of a catalog for the record label Cacao Musica long with productions of international artists such as Horacio “El Negro”Hernandez, Jose Luis Quintana Changuito, and Negroni’s trio among others.

Fran Vielma’s recent album Tendencias with his Venezuelan Jazz Collective included in the top releases of 2018 by DownBeat, Latin Jazz Network, and the NYC Jazz Records -features outstanding jazz figures like Luis Perdomo, Michael Rodriguez, and Miguel Zenón

His versatility as a percussionist, arranger, and orchestrator has involved him in recording projects, tours, and festivals with renowned musicians around the world.

Fran attended the Arts University (UNEARTE) for composition in Venezuela and in 2010 transferred to Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA awarded by a scholarship. He earned a Master in Jazz Studies at New England Conservatory in 2016.

Vielma has received multiple awards and honors and his scholarly interests have immersed him in the study of musics of the world, which he currently teaches as an adjunct faculty at Salem State University, MA.  He has offered lectures and master classes in several institutions around the world, among those stand out Berklee College of Music, New England ConservatoryThe Andes University, and The Panama Jazz Festival. 

He has been an artist resident at Baltimore School for the Arts, DC Youth Orchestra Program, and was a Teaching Artist of the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestra for the Spring 2019. 

Fran Vielma uses Istanbul Mehmet CymbalsVater Percussion Sticks, Meinl Percussion and Alejandro Escobar Venezuelan Percussion. 

Past Recipients