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Practically born with a guitar in his hands, young Johann Frank recalls “bugging” his parents to buy him a guitar until age 9 when they gave in. His passion for Blues music took shape when he came across “Texas Flood” by Stevie Ray Vaughan; the only CD that he would play ‘over and over’ for a year. By the time he turned 14 he was performing in festivals, venues and clubs throughout his native Switzerland.
It was then that Phil Collins discovered him and instantly realized that his talent had to be nurtured. Collins quickly enrolled the young guitar prodigy into his ‘Little Dreams’ Foundation. This encounter would be one of the most determining and inspiring experiences of his life. During the next four years Johann performed alongside many world-renown artists such as Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford (“Genesis”), Steve Howe (“Yes”), The Pretty Things, MC Solaar and others. Johann also had the honor to open for artists such as Lionel Richie, Barbara Hendricks and Tina Turner in some of Europe’s most prestigious venues (Montreux Jazz Festival, MIDEM, Tourbillon Stadium, AVO Festival).
Phil Collins exposed Johann to some of the best musicians and instructors in the world, sponsoring master classes in France, England, and the US. When Johann turned 18 Collins enrolled him at Berklee College of Music on a scholarship program. He earned his B.A. degree in Music Business in less than two years. While at Berklee he had the privilege to perform with Philip Bailey (“Earth Wind and Fire”), Steve Winwood, Arthur Adams and many others before heading to Los Angeles in 2008.
Once in LA, Johann quickly got studio and touring work with several local and national acts such as Al B Sure, Marconi, Sylvester Rivers, Ray Parker Jr. and Mitchel Musso. In 2011, Johann was asked to join the touring band of Engelbert Humperdinck. Initially hired as the lead guitarist, he also became involved with arrangements and recording sessions for the legendary singer. He recorded guitars on Engelbert’s upcoming duet album alongside the likes of Willie Nelson, Elton John, Gene Simmons and Smokey Robinson. Johann also tours with him on every continent year-round.
When he is not on the road, Johann records for several film score composers (Richard Gibbs, Lucas Vidal, Elik Alvarez) for U.S. and international film productions. He is also in high demand for co-writing, producing and recording sessions in Los Angeles, New York and London, where he recently recorded Lulu Gainsbourg’s latest album, set to be released in French-speaking markets in 2014.
Johann doesn’t falter in acknowledging that someone beyond him has blessed him. He makes a point to give back some of what has been given to him by developing young artists, coaching musicians and working with churches. He also collaborates with institutions such as Berklee College of Music and the Little Dreams Foundation.
His passions for traveling, languages (of which he fluently speaks five) and diverse cultures go hand in hand with his music and drive him towards his life’s objective “To influence popular music in a qualitative, inspired and positive way.”