Fran Vielma, born in Venezuela, is a critically acclaimed and award-winning multi-percussionist, composer, and educator. His extensive knowledge of rhythms from the Caribbean, Venezuela, South America, and beyond is integrated with his attraction to concert music and the freedom of jazz.
Vielma was awarded the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities 2020 Fellowship, and the Jazz Road Tour Grant 2019 by South Arts Foundation. His first album Inesperado, was part of a catalog for the label Cacao Music along with productions of international artists such as Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Jose Luis Quintana “Changuito,” and Negroni’s trio among others.
He has been on tour around the continent with his start-stud Venezuelan Jazz Collective since fall 2019. Tendencias, the debut album of the collective, includes Vielma’s original works and arrangements featuring some of the most important players of the jazz scene in the world such as Miguel Zenon, Michael Rodriguez, and Luis Perdomo. The album was included in the Best of 2018 lists by Downbeat (4 stars), Latin Jazz Net (4 stars), & NYC Jazz Record.
Vielma directs the Hidden Treasure Music Workshop with which he has conducted online talks and several hand-percussion, composition, and world music appreciation concert-lectures around the United States. Additionally, he was the producer of the I International Jazz Seminar at University of Andes, Venezuela in 2015.
As an active member of Cesar Orozco’s Kamarata Jazz, Fran has recorded in the latest two productions. His versatility as a performer of different genres has involved him in concerts, recordings, tours, and festivals around the world with artist such as John Medeski, George Garzone, Paul Winter, Bob Moses, Simon Phillips, Antonio Sanchez, Marshall Gilkes, NEC Jazz Ambassadors, Army Blues Band, Eguie Castrillo, Eric Hangen – La Ruta, Josanne Francis, Luis Enrique, and Javier Limón to name a few.
He has been guest-speaker for the Jazz Seminar at Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, adjunct faculty of World Music at Salem State University in Massachusetts, and artist resident at Florida University, Conservatorio de Music de Puerto Rico, Baltimore School of Arts, and Maryland Classic Youth Orchestra.
Fran Vielma holds a M.M. from New England Conservatory, and a B.M. from Berklee College of Music. He also studied composition at the Arts University of Venezuela.
Vielma endorses Meinl Percussion, Vater Drums Sticks, Istanbul Mehmet Cymbals and Africatedra Venezuelan Percussion.