Fran Merante is a Drummer / Instructor in the Greater New Haven, Connecticut area and has been playing drums now for over 33 years. If you ask him, he’ll tell you the most important of those years were the ones he spent at the Berklee College of Music where he had honed his drumming skills and teaching concepts. Fran has worked in many facets of the drumming industry from studio work, to off Broadway musicals, to original and top 40 gigs, to headlining gigs with his former band, Cubistic Jack. He has played such venues as, Toad’s Place in New Haven, CT, Fat Daddy’s in Watertown, CT, The Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, CT, Foxwoods Casino in Ledyard, CT, Le Bar Bat in Manhattan and The Bitter End, Greenwich Village. While with Cubisitic Jack he also worked with musicians from Blood, Sweat & Tears, The Buddy Rich Big Band and the Arturo Sandoval group. In addition, Fran played with Styrocultural Antidote, an original “Progressive Fusion” trio powered by the composing and guitar playing wizardry of Ron Neuhauser. In this setting, Fran was free to create and progress as a player. To date, he feels that this was the setting where his drumming was most pushed to its outer limits. He also served as Drum Technician for New England Sound Company and worked with the Woody Herman Orchestra, The Arturo Sandoval Band, and Jack Jones.
Presently, he operates his drum school, Concepts In Drumming, out of his studio. He has an exclusive roster of intermediate and advanced students and is the instructor to many of the established drum educators in the Connecticut area. He is a member of the Vic Firth Education Team and also has an endorsement with Vic Firth as an educator. You can find his instructional and performance videos on YouTube which have earned close to a half million views and over800 subscribers to his channel. YouTube has helped to showcase Fran’s cutting edge teaching techniques, which were once reserved for his private students, but are now available to the world. If you were to “GOOGLE” his name, you would witness first hand how far reaching he is on the internet. His videos and articles have been featured on such websites as: Drummerworld.com, Hudsonmusic.com, VicFirth.com, and TommyIgoe.com just to name a few.
Because of his love for music and his education from Berklee, Fran is well versed in all styles with his favorites being Funk and Latin. Fran says, “Of all the rewards that music has to offer its musicians, the chance to educate other people in the art of playing drums is the one I relish most. Being able to do something that brings people closer to the same dreams I had of playing the drums, is an extremely gratifying experience.”