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Frank Portolese has been active as a guitarist and educator in the Chicago area for 30 years. He has performed with Eddie Harris, Les McCann, Bobby Shew, Ira Sullivan, Shelley Mann and others. He has two CDs on the Southport label, "Transparent" (1994) and "Last Call" (2000). He is also featured on CDs by Libby York, Frank Lamphere, Catherine Russell and others. His pop credits range from the Drifters to Clay Aiken. He has been featured in Just Jazz Guitar, Jazz Times, Guitar Player, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and other publications.
Frank is instructor of Guitar at Elmhurst College and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has taught at the American Conservatory of Music, Triton College and the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz camps. He founded the Jazz program at Midwest Young Artists, a youth music program in Chicago's north suburbs. He also teaches privately in the Libertyville area, specializing in Jazz guitar as well as theory, improvisation and sightreading for all instruments. He has written two books. "Sightreading For Guitarists" was completed in 2006 and "Fundamentals for Jazz Musicians" was written in 2007.
Frank plays straight-ahead bebop and hard bop jazz. He currently fronts his own trio (with Brian Sandstrom and Rusty Jones), plays solo jazz guitar shows and is a member of Rich Corpolongo's ensemble, which performs ultra-contemporary original compositions. He continues to perfect his own sound and concept in the hopes of expressing the beauty of life as he hears it.