Growing up in Long Island, New York, versatile trumpeter/ flugelhornist Frankie V. (Frank Vardaros) chose his instrument after hearing a recording of legendary trumpeter Maynard Ferguson. "It was Maynard's Live at Jimmy's album. After hearing that album, there was no doubt in my mind what career I wanted to pursue. I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said I had that album on my turntable for a whole year."
A classically trained trumpeter, FVs musical career began to take shape at an early age. He spent his early years developing the craft of screaming lead trumpet by performing with countless numbers of big bands, including a two-year stint at Disney World in Florida.
Later, while attending the prestigious Berklee College of Music, he combined screaming lead trumpet and jazz soloing over the backdrop of his jazz funk group Future Reference. In 1993, he came out with his first solo album entitled Funky Talk, which featured all FV's original jazz funk compositions. Two years later, FV recorded an album Live at the Regattabar in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His rendition of "A Night in Tunisia" became the number one requested on many college radio stations throughout the Northeast.
In 1996, FV began to seriously think of the flugelhorn as a solo instrument. "I was always known for being a high note trumpet player, but when I picked up the flugelhorn a different side of my playing immerged, focusing on more melodic and subtle playing. I still leap into the stratosphere on the flugelhorn but it seems to take on a different quality for myself and for the listener. Of course the trumpet remains my main voice and first love."
In 1998 Frankie V's debut single, "My Heart Will Go On
(Love Theme from the Titanic)" was the perfect prelude to his debut smooth
jazz/ instrumental pop album entitled Oceans of Dreams. The album highlights
his original compositions as well as refreshing new versions of Amy Grant's
"Arms of Love", Elton John's "Your Song", and Toni Braxton's
"Un-Break My Heart".
In summer 1998, Frankie V toured in the trumpet section with Arturo Sandoval's Hot House Big Band beginning at the Boston Globe Jazz Festival, passing through the Saratoga Jazz Festival, JVC Jazz Festival at Carnegie Hall and eventually making its way to the Newport Jazz Festival.
Exposing other facets of his playing and musicianship. FV serves as the trumpet soloist and music director for the Ryles Jazz Orchestra; the house big band for Boston's famed Ryles Jazz Club. FV founded the Ryles Jazz Orchestra in 1997 keeping in mind the great tradition of a house big band in a major jazz venue (i.e. The Village Vanguard Band, Thad Jones Mel Lewis, Birdland Dream Band, to name a few). Throughout the year, the band performs with many national guest artists, most recently Bobby Shew, Bob Mintzer, Slide Hampton, Nick Brignola, Jon Faddis and Bill Watrous. In April 2001 the band released its debut recording, a live album entitled Ryles Jazz Orchestra Live at Ryles, featuring saxophonist Ed Calle.
In the fall of 1999, FV traveled to London England and Abbey Road Studios where he was the Associate Producer on the debut recording of the John Williams Trumpet Concerto, featuring Arturo Sandoval with the London Symphony Orchestra for an upcoming album.
In May of 2000 history was made. Two legendary trumpet players, Maynard Ferguson and Arturo Sandoval, along with the Boston Metropolitan Orchestra and Frankie V, performed in a thrilling concert. Frankie V served as artistic director for the event, and performed in the symphony orchestra's trumpet section. As part of the evening's events, Frankie V performed his original composition, "Mi Amiga Mi Amore" with the orchestra, Arturo Sandoval's rhythm section, and featured Arturo Sandoval on piano. Frankie V also composed the overture for the concert, Summon the Legends; as well as arranged several of the evenings music for full symphony orchestra.
Frankie V was asked to arrange two Duke Ellington compositions
for the San Francisco Symphony with Jon Faddis conducting. The concert took
place June of 2000.
In February 2001 FV released his latest album entitled "Smooth
Ride". The album is produced by Grammy Award Winning Trumpeter, Arturo
Sandoval and is a mix of Frankie V's Smooth Jazz, Jazz Funk and Latin Jazz originals.
"Smooth Ride" features Arturo Sandoval on piano, saxophonist Ed Calle
makes a special solo appearance; and Arturo Sandoval and Frankie V team up both
on flugelhorn for a track.
Additional career high points
Guest Soloist with Maynard Ferguson and High Voltage
Guest Soloist with Arturo Sandoval and the Latin Train
Performances as a sideman with Don Menza, Frank Foster, Ann Margaret, Nick Brignola, and Clark Terry.
Featured soloist with the Boston Metropolitan Orchestra's Smooth Jazz Holiday Pops Concert.
Performance with the Orlando Pops Brass
Performance with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Voting member of NARAS (National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences), since 1996.
Received an artist/clinician endorsement from Boosey and Hawkes Music Corporation, 1995.
Received an endorsement from Yamaha Musical Instrument Corporation, 1994.