Remembering Frank Kimbrough

November 2, 1956 – December 30, 2020


A tribute to the jazz pianist and composer

Pianist Frank Kimbrough passed away on December 30, 2020 at the age of 64.

He was born November 2, 1956 in Roxboro, North Carolina and was trained as a classical pianist before switching to jazz as a young teenager after hearing a recording by the Bill Evans Trio.

Kimbrough spent periods playing music in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and Washington D.C. before he moved to New York in 1981, winning the Great American Jazz Competition in 1985 and working in local jazz clubs.

In the 1990s he worked with the Jazz Composers Collective and the Herbie Nichols Project, joining the Maria Schneider Orchestra in 1993 where he was an important fixture of the big band up until the time of his passing.

Kimbrough also led 16 albums of his own, worked regularly with his trio and quartet, and performed with Ryan Truesdell’s Gil Evans Project and such notables as Paul Motian, Ted Nash, Joe Locke, Kendra Shank and his wife singer Maryanne de Prophetis.

Here is Frank Kimbrough playing his original “The Spins” in 2009.

-Scott Yanow

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