Born in Memphis, Tn. and raised in Durham, N.C., the blues have been a big influence on the music of Frank Barham. Bluesmen like Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter and James Cotton motivated Frank to pick up the harmonica in the beginning. A love of jazz, R&B and specifically Toots Thielemans and Stevie Wonder led to Frank's ultimate pursuit of the chromatic harmonica. As he studied the jazz repertoire, he found himself drawn to the music coming out of Cuba and Brazil. He was so deeply moved by these rhythms that he began to study percussion. A chance meeting with world renowned Senegalese percussionist Mor Thiam led to private study of West African folkloric music.
The interconnection of dance and music in West African culture had a big influence on Frank. He found that dancers and drummers fed off each others energy and, together, created magic that was very uplifting. He began to explore other cultures with a similar music / dance connection that he had discovered in West African music. He wanted to recapture the fire and magic in his own band.
Exploring clubs with Latin and Brazilian music. Sitting in with different musicians led to what is now Frank Barham & Brazilian Fusion. A band with a unique sound that fuses the fire of West Africa with the passion of Brazil. This Afro-Brazilian fusion creates a joyous blend that will make you want to move and always leaves you uplifted and smiling.
“Frank is a cool Kat…period, and it comes out in his music. Its fluid. He makes it sound like there is so much air coming out of the harmonica. The solos Frank takes have this incredible composition that I have never heard coming out of a harmonica—no matter who was playing it.”
Mike Jakob – owner of Elliott St Pub
"I love Frank’s fire to express music. His quartet has a freedom and spiritual feeling.”
Grammy-winning saxophonist Kebbi Williams
"Chromatic harpist and bandleader Frank Barham quietly, yet expertly plays the role of Conductor of Musical Energy. From his interactions with the talented musicians with whom he collaborates, the way he connects with the audience, and his interpretation of music, he is channeling, building and releasing a show with such a positive vibe that the audience leaves with whole new perspective on what is possible in a live music show. We look forward to Barham and his band gracing our stage for many years to come!"
The Velvet Note Acoustic Living Room, Alpharetta, GA....
“I think Frank understands that there is no difference between praying and playing music.”
former band mate, jazz pianist - James Schneider