“Let the song come and I’ll express what the story has to convey,” says Frank Senior, a vocalist that brings the soul and the heart to a repertoire and genre of music he performs. Soulful and swingin’ hard, his style is engaging and has made him one of New York’s incredible and timeless vocalists.
Frank’s sound adapts the reverence of being a Harlem native, growing up in the Lincoln Projects. He went to the High School of Music and Art, LaVelle School for the Blind, and graduated from NYU as a voice major. His life is as a musician and advocate for the independence and understanding of the blind has certainly been a big part of his life and music. Blind since birth, it is a part of who he is and made his other senses come alive and enhanced his music in a way that touches the audience with emotional flare, rhythm and sincerity, and passion. You just want to hear more and more… move your body to whatever song he’s singing...a ballad, blues, big band, soul, R&B, jazz… it’s all there for you to embrace and enjoy.
You can hear Frank perform at some of the most renowned jazz clubs like Birdland, Smalls, The Blue Note, Fat Cat, and Showman’s: to esteemed venues as: the United Nations, Gracie Mansion, and St. Peter’s Church. His festival credits include: The Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing, The Morocco Jazz Festival, and Montreal International Jazz Festival. He loves giving back by performing at hospitals and assisted living facilities as well as charitable events.
Influences come from learning and growing… a big part of his life has been his being mentored by Barry Harris who is one of the main reasons Frank sings today. Playing with some of the best musicians in the world only enhances your sound and story… a mutual feeling of love and respect is conveyed in performing with: Valerie Capers, Harold Maybern, John Di Martino, Tadataka Unno, Nat Adderley Jr., Lafayette Harris, Brianna Thomas, Saul Rubin, James Weidman, Jane Monheit, to name only a few.
Frank’s first release is called “Let Me Be Frank” it says it all with style and bravado! His latest recording ‘Senior’s Center of Love’ blends all genres: Soul, Jazz, and Pop along with original music. It stirs up all the right feelings with songs like: ‘Trust In Me’, ‘You Are So Beautiful', ‘Use Me’, and ‘Fire and Rain’ to name a few. “This album is a compilation of love songs that express how much we pine for this unexplainable emotion!” explains Frank. “Since the birth of our grandson, I can feel the center of what love is again!”
The song and story is what Frank breaths and dreams… He’s always searching, growing, and listening to what’s going on in the world and in music. He is not only a talented vocalist but, excels as a producer, actor, consultant, and entertainer. He teaches and mentors other musicians and has created a production company. Frank is a SAG actor who has been featured in movies and documentaries. He is currently starring in The InterContinental Hotels infomercial as a blind tour guide of Central Park. He was Alec Baldwin’s consultant for the movie “Blind.” And most recently, in the television series “What Would You Do?” produced by Famed producer John Quinones.
Accolades are not sought but respected and in that Frank has won numerous awards for his talent and life-long dedication to the blind: The National Endowment for the Arts; Second Place winner of the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival “Jazz Voice” Competition and Lifetime Achievement Award from the VISIONS Bronx Advisory Board Jamaica Development Corporation Appreciation Award.
Cool and commanding, soulful and swingin’ Frank Senior is the voice that makes you want to embrace a love, pour yourself a drink, and relax or move and groove... Just listen and hear everything that is wonderful about music… everything wonderful about Frank Senior.
Awards and Honors
National Endowment for the Arts Award
Second Place in the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival’s “Jazz Voice” Competition
Lifetime Achievement Award from the VISIONS Bronx Advisory Board
Jamaica Development Corporation Appreciation Award
Dialog in the Dark visit http://www.dialognyc.com.
Blind tour guide Frank Senior shows New Yorkers how to navigate the city in total darkness Corinne Lestch NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Dec 28, 2011 at 6:47 PM
Blind tour guide Frank Senior prepares to lead another ‘Dialog in the Dark’ tour at the South Street Seaport. The tour lets sighted people experience what it is like to be blind in New York City. (Craig Warga/New York Daily News) One Bronx resident wants New Yorkers to see the world through his eyes - in total darkness. Frank Senior was born blind, but that doesn't stop him from giving sensory tours of the city, dubbed "Dialog in the Dark," at the South Street Seaport. He gently guides fully-sighted people through different simulated city destinations: Central Park, a Fairway supermarket, the subway, Times Square and a coffee shop. "It's really to give people an idea of what it's like to move about in a blind world, so it's about using your other senses," Senior, a spry 59-year-old, said in his Co-op City home. "Being blind is all about trust. You have to trust your instincts first of all, and that will help you trust the people that you run into on a day-to-day basis." Senior was born three months premature, which destroyed his optic nerve and left him visually impaired for the rest of his life. But his parents raised him in the Lincoln housing projects in Harlem to play with other children and maintain a normal lifestyle. "My parents kept it real for me," Senior said. "They threw me right in there...and it worked to my benefit." Senior remembers that when he was six years years old and one of the first blind and African-American children at Bronx House sleepaway camp, some candy was stolen from his locker. "I whooped (the thief's) butt, and after that I came back to the camp for 10 years in a row," Senior said, laughing. "I was the man!" Senior went to the Lavelle School for the Blind in Williamsbridge, did a short stint at the High School of Music & Art in Manhattan and dropped out of his last year at New York University in 1975 - but said he has no regrets. The married father and new grandfather said his first love is music. A longtime jazz vocalist, Senior performs all over the city and is cutting his second album in the new year. He also owns a newsstand across the street from Bryant Park, which he used to run himself. Most Read But he says that in his newest job, which he took in July, one of the best parts - aside from networking with and educating people - is 'seeing' their reactions. "People cry, people laugh because they're nervous. They always ask me, 'Do I wish I could see?'" Senior said. "I really believe that I couldn't accept it if I got eyesight now, because this is part of my personality. "I always tell people at the end of my tour that being blind is not the issue," he continued. "It's the fear of facing the unknown. You either jump in and do it, or you sit home and do nothing."
To buy tickets for Dialog in the Dark, call (888) 926-3437 or visit http://www.dialognyc.com. Read More Recommended on Daily News