Frank Varela has dazzled audiences for many years with his guitar prowess. He is known among his peers as a unique master guitarist who ignites the interest of every listener. His imaginative compositions, arrangements of standards and numerous recording engagements have brought years of recognition, including favorable reviews in the nationally renowned publications such as “Jazz Improv” magazine.
The legendary Larry Coryell compared Frank Varela’s playing to Jeff Beck and Grant Green in the liner notes of a Mystery Feet recording. This recording features Larry and Frank playing together on one of Frank’s original tunes entitled Angelina Park.
Frank Varela attended Berklee School of Music and has been a private music instructor throughout the life of his career. He has also taught as a lecturer at the University of Connecticut and Manchester Community College in addition to his after-school guitar program for the South Windsor Recreation Department. Frank Varela’s ability to inspire others is reflected in the improvement of many professional guitar playing peers who study privately with him to bring their playing to a different level. He takes pride in mentoring so many players including a long engagement teaching blues phenom Jake Kulak who Frank taught from Jake’s first lessons at age 11 through to his acceptance into Berklee School of Music.
Early on he was awarded a scholarship from the National Endowment for the Arts. His work has been favorably reviewed in nationally renowned “Jazz Improv” Magazine and he has played and composed music for six published CD recordings including 2 Mystery Feet CD’s. Frank also had the opportunity to record with drummers Lenny White and Joel Rosenblatt on the release entitled “Upstream.”
Frank has performed and recorded with such greats as Jimmy McGriff, Max Roach, Tony Trischka, Bill Keith and Windham Hill Grammy winner, violinist, Darol Anger. He is currently working on a recording under his own name entitled “2 Sides to Every Story.” Frank Varela also has a solo DVD, “Rare Footage” where he plays guitar and bass simultaneously.