FRANK VAN ESSEN
Drums, Strings, Production, Engineering
Frank's wide variety of musical activities include composition, arranging, producing, teaching, recording, mixing & mastering in his own studio.
Frank was born in 1967 and was brought up with music, both his parents being professional musicians, and with a brother studying violin at the conservatoire of music. Frank's first drums were his mum's pots & pans, and many buckets lost their bottoms, much of her dismay!
From the age of 15 he started playing in all kinds of bands (including his high school's big band whose favorite tune was the Muppet Show theme!) mainly playing worship and gospel music. His first band was called "Judah" - a Youth with a Mission band with Dave & Becky Durham, Fred & Mary Dallenbach and Celeste Yohai, together with Karen Lafferty. From then on, Frank quickly became a number one choice for many sessions and live performances, including concerts with Margaret Becker, Rick Cua, Marcel McArthur, Jessy Dixon, Billy & Sarah Gaines, Susan Ashton, Julie & Buddy Miller, Nina Astroem, Adrian Snell, Chris Eaton, Ralph van Manen & many others.
He met Dave Bainbridge in 1989 while touring Adrian Snell's "The Passion" and was asked to join IONA in 1990. The band played a few concerts at Flevo, Christian Artists, the Spoor 7 festival in Holland and a performance at the Leverkusen Jazz festival, and was featured in a 60-minute documentary by Dutch television which brought the band to IONA and Mull. It soon became evident that the logistics of having a Dutch drummer was a little too complicated for the band, so after one and a half years, their ways parted again.
Frank had joined a well known Dutch worship band (the Ronduit - Praise Band) in the meantime as drummer, violin player and singer, and was soon asked to start writing songs and arranging for the band, something he really enjoyed and perfected in the years to follow. Some of Frank's songs became very well known and are sung regularly in Dutch churches.
Frank rejoined IONA in June 1998, soon after the departure of drummer Terl Bryant. Over the years, Frank and his wife Marlou recorded many CD's in Dutch in their own studio, including a Christmas CD in Dutch titled "Immanuel", featuring Dave Bainbridge & Troy Donockley.
Frank and Marlou regularly lead worship in churches and conferences throughout the world, with their own band called "Dew" sometimes joined by members of IONA (see www.dew-worship.com). In 1997, Frank was asked to be music director for EO's Classic Festival which led him to writing and arranging for a small orchestra. From that moment on, he fell in love with writing for strings. Today he is regularly called upon as string arranger and performer for many well known Dutch artists. His strings can be heard on several hit radio singles. At the moment, Frank developed his skills as arranger and orchestrator for full orchestra further with studies in Orchestration with the Berklee School of Music in the USA.