Frank Villafañe is a pianist, composer, and music arranger. He plays piano "con clave" in the styles of Eddie Palmieri, Peruchin and Sergio Mendes. The other members of his ensemble are bassist Victor Mendoza, drummer Larry Evans, and percussionist/vocalist Jose Chavarria.
Born in Bremerhaven, Germany, Mr. Villafañe grew up in the United States and Europe and experienced multi-culturalism first-hand. Musically, his upbringing was eclectic. He was exposed to Latin, jazz, calypso, folk, and the classics early on, and began piano lessons at the age of eight. At twelve, he moved to Puerto Rico and was quickly exposed to the infectious music known as "salsa." But hearing an original copy of Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" played by Scott Joplin himself changed him forever. After moving back to the United States, Villafañe studied ragtime music and earned his first paying "gig" as a professional musician at the age of 14, performing ragtime favorites for the Whiteman Air Force Base Officers’ Club. He attended Rutgers University and played piano for a number of jazz and Latin "conjunto" style bands and orchestras, while studying piano with Kenny Barron. He later formed “Jazz Y Clave,” an eight-piece “conjunto.”
Frank & 3 to Clave has performed at various venues throughout New Jersey, including Trumpet’s Jazz Club, Rutgers University, Moonstruck in Asbury Park, and Restaurant Village in Long Valley, among others.
There is no charge to attend the concert and no sign-up is needed. For further information, call the library at 908-766-0118.