2010 Nominee – Instrumental Artist of the Year – 20th Annual LA Music Awards
2010 Nominee – Jazz Artist of the Year – 20th Annual LA Music Awards
Bass player Derek Frank arrived on the Los Angeles music scene years ago with one goal in mind: To create good music with good people. That goal continues to be realized year after year, as he has gotten the opportunity to perform all over the world (to this date 18 countries and 48 states) on tours with various artists/bands.
Currently holding down the bass position in country-pop superstar Shania Twain’s band, Derek is touring arenas across the US and Canada for most of 2015. Other projects he is currently involved in include: The Dirty Diamond (LA-based rock band), Mindi Abair & The Boneshakers (groove-centric soul/blues band), Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express (Hammond B-3 organ legend), The Company Men (vocal mash-up group), The Sayers Club Sessions (house band at Sayers Clubs in Los Angeles and Las Vegas), Palaye Royale (indie art-rock band), amongst many other gigs with LA-based independent artists and bands.
Past artists he has toured with extensively include: Victoria Justice (2012-2013), Russian artist Roman Arkhipov aka “Troy Harley” (2012), David Pack (2011-2012), Jeff Golub (2011-2012), Mindi Abair (2010-present), Dancing With the Stars (2007-2009), Aly & AJ (2006-2008), and Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express (2002-present).
One-off performances, including TV shows with: Poe, Alan Parsons, Siedah Garrett, Gregg Rolie Band, Alejandra Guzman (Mexico), Siavash Ghomayshi (Iran), Christina Aguilera, Bonnie McKee, Rachael Yamagata, Keb Mo, Peter White, Chris Standring, Lari White, and Jennifer Paige, in addition to many performances with lesser-known but equally talented artists and several independent band projects.
Derek also keeps himself busy in the recording studio, laying down bass tracks for many different artists, bands, composers, and producers over the years. Check out the SOUNDS and DISCOGRAPHY pages of this site for more info. Derek also has a website dedicated to his recording studio, where he provides solid bass tracks to clients all over the world via the internet. For more info, please visit www.BassTracksOnline.com.
When not on tour, Derek splits his time between his homes in Los Angeles, California and Mammoth Lakes, California, where he lives with his wife, Annette, dog Penny, and cats Ringo and Sherwin.
In 2009, bass player Derek Frank’s affinity for all that is low and funky manifested itself in the release of his long-awaited debut album, “Let the Games Begin…”. This mostly instrumental, bass-heavy funk record projects a sound and vibe that is old and familiar, yet somehow new and unique at the same time. Armed with his flatwound-equipped ’63 Fender Precision Bass (and a few other choice 4 and 5-stringed instruments), Derek takes us on a journey to the groovy side with music that rings of influences such as Soulive, Curtis Mayfield, Jamiroquai, Pleasure, Groove Collective, The Brand New Heavies, Tower of Power, Marcus Miller, and many others that listeners will simply have to name for themselves. Of the twelve tracks on the album, eight were penned by DF; the remaining four are his instrumental arrangements of covers by the likes of Hall and Oates, Soundgarden, Curtis Mayfield, and even something from early episodes of Sesame Street.
Derek’s album came to fruition after years of his being a “bass player for hire” on the Los Angeles music scene… spending time on the road and in the studio with all kinds of artists and bands, playing all kinds of music. At some point in every working musicians career, he decides that it’s finally time to start creating and playing the music that he hears in his head, with people that he feels best interpret those particular sounds, drawing on that which has influenced his musical being since its inception. For Derek, that time is now. On this album, DF has enlisted some of LA’s funkiest players, including special guests such as Hammond B-3 organ legend Brian Auger, veteran drummer Steve Ferrone, and up-and-coming hip-hop artist Kosha Dillz. “Let the Games Begin…” is an apt title to kick off this new phase in Derek Frank’s musical life. Look for Derek in the not-too-distant future as he leads his 7-piece horn-injected old-school funk band to stages throughout the world.
The Early Years:
One day coming home on the school bus in Pittsburgh, PA, Derek’s friend Jeff said “Hey, have you seen this new cable channel called ‘MTV’?”. Cable TV was a thing that the Frank household had not yet purchased, so he went to Jeff’s house to see what he was talking about. He had been a music fan all his life, recalling listening to one of his dad’s Queen 8-tracks repeatedly back when he was a toddler, but had never really SEEN rockstars in action. He was immediately transfixed, saying to himself: “One day I want to do THAT!”. Well, the Frank family eventually got cable installed… Derek watched MTV for hours every day, and asked his parents if, when his hands grew a bit bigger, if he could take guitar lessons. A few years later, his parents bought him a red Fender Stratocaster copy, and enrolled him in lessons. The lessons went fairly well for a few months, but then one day, sitting in the music store waiting for his lesson, he spotted a bass on the wall. Intrigued, not knowing exactly what a bass was, he asked the employee at the store if he could check it out. Once that bass was in his hands, it was all over. He felt an immediate connection with the instrument, and said to himself “THIS is the instrument that I want to play!”. After saving up some money caddying at the local golf course, 14-year old Derek bought a black Kramer Duke bass, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Practicing incessantly, Derek’s journey as a professional bass player began around the age of 15 in Cleveland, Ohio, to where his family had recently relocated. While attending high school, he earned invaluable experience (and a few extra bucks) by playing in jazz clubs and for local musical theater productions. Early formal training at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, along with 4 years in the University of Miami’s music program helped him further develop his skills as a musician. Starting at the age of 17, Derek gained some more “real world” experience by playing on cruise ships, which is how he spent his summer vacations following his senior year of high school throughout his senior year of college. Upon finishing up his 4 years in Miami, and after a brief stint in Boston, Derek loaded his basses into his car and drove to Los Angeles, where he has been living and playing for the last several years.
Of course, none of this would have been possible without the endless support over the years from his parents Steve and Nancy Frank, and his sister Kerry Philipovitch.