February 17, 2004 by

Frank Mantooth

3 comments

Categories: Musicians

fmantooth.jpgFrank Mantooth, a Grammy-nominated jazz pianist and composer, died on Jan. 30 of natural causes. He was 56.
Mantooth followed in his pianist mother’s footsteps by taking up the instrument as a child. By the time he was 14, he was giving concerts to the public. He graduated from North Texas State University with a degree in music, then spent four years creating arrangements for the Air Force Academy. He moved to Austria in 1973 and earned a piano degree from the Hochschule für Musik.
Upon his return to the states, Mantooth was commissioned by Doc Severinsen, the Kansas City Symphony and the Madison Symphony Orchestra to write music. He published more than 165 works, recorded five albums of his own and earned 11 Grammy nominations.
Mantooth published five volumes of “The Best Chord Changes for the World’s Greatest Standards” for the Hal Leonard Corp. Since the early 1990s, he had been a faculty member of the New York State Summer School of the Arts.

3 Responses to Frank Mantooth

  1. Parley B. Flanery

    Frank and I were in Basic Training together in the Air Force. We spent many hot August days in 1969 marching from place to place at Lackland AFB in San Antonio. Near the end of our training, we were allowed to visit an NCO club where a piano was available. Frank immediately sat down and proceeded to entertain us with a wide repertoire of tunes from Jerry Lee Lewis to Chopin. Frank had often told us that he was a musician and had hoped to become an officer and member of the Air Force Band. We hadn’t believed him, but after hearing his performance, we had no doubt that he would succeed…and he certainly did.

  2. Glenn Harris

    In the early 1970’s, I had the good fortune to play a few gigs in Colorado Springs, CO with Frank, while he was in the USAF Academy Band and I was in the NORAD Band across town.
    He was clearly a talented musician and one who will be missed.

  3. Pat Reynolds

    I knew frank as a child. Im 60 years old and frank was in my first band. , Bob Lewis, LLoyd Wright. We were just kids in 9th grade and all we played was rock but we knew Frank was far above us but he hid it from us because it wasnt cool to play classical or jazz then. We all went on in life never to see each other again but Frank was special and we could se then as kids that he was a genius that we could never obtain.

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