Frank Wagner

Musician / Educator / Composer



Frank Wagner was born in Levittown, New York. Graduating in 1980, Frank attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, studying jazz bass with Steve Swallow and Ron McClure as well as classical music with William Curtis from the Boston Philharmonic and Walter Botti of the New York Philharmonic. During the following two years, he began his professional career while studying brass and percussion instruments at Hofstra University. He has performed all over the world in a host of musical settings including all star jazz bands, Broadway shows, national tours, recording sessions, cabaret, society bands, and classical orchestras. Some of the big bands Frank has toured with are: Buddy Rich, Larry Elgart's Manhattan Swing Orchestra, Glenn Miller and Clem Derosa's All Stars.

Mr. Wagner has played numerous Broadway shows, jingle sessions, society orchestras and classical chamber groups. He has taught music throughout his career in a variety of capacities. Mr. Wagner served as a faculty member at the Rudolf Steiner School in New York City. He has played in many small jazz band settings including: Tiny Grimes, Milt Jackson, Ray Nance, Gary Smulyan, Earth Kitt, Bobby Sanabria, Joe Puma, Johnny Ray, Eddie Fisher, and Carrie Smith to name a few. In 1989, Mr. Wagner returned to formal study and entered the City College of New York as an art major with a minor in psychology. While at City College Frank studied with Ron Carter privately and played in his bass ensemble. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1993, Magna Cum Laude and was admitted into Phi Beta Kappa.

In 1995, Mr. Wagner was accepted into NYU’s Music Therapy program and in 1997 graduated with a Master’s Degree in Art. For the past 20 years, he has been practicing music therapy at Brooklyn's Woodhull Hospital in Inpatient Psychiatry and chemical dependency department. He is an adjunct professor at Queensborough Community College and Pratt Institute, teaching composition,jazz theory and music therapy.

For the past 12 years Mr. Wagner can be heard on many cd's of Eugene Marlow's Heritage Jazz Ensemble at eugenemarlow.com/the-heritage-ensemble/. This ensemble specializes in playing Israeli folk tunes in an African Cuban genre. Under the management of Ann Braithwaite, Frank's past album with his group Primary Colours, "Past, Present and Future" on Jazzheads Records received acclaimed recognition winning Herb Wong's Blue Chip CD award. Mr. Wagner's latest recording entitled, "Floating Holiday" on meii records has also received stellar reviews.



  1. Fri June 21, 2019 5pm / Emily Cavanagh / Elkhart Jazz Fest - Elkhart, Indiana / BUY TICKETS

  2. Sat June 22, 2019 1pm / Emily Cavanagh / Elkhart Jazz Fest - Elkhart, Indiana / BUY TICKETS

  3. Sat June 22, 2019 4:30pm / Emily Cavanagh / Elkhart Jazz Fest - Elkhart, Indiana / BUY TICKETS

  4. Sun June 23, 2019 11:30am / Emily Cavanagh / Elkhart Jazz Fest - Elkhart, Indiana / BUY TICKETS


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