Frank Van Essen

Frank's Gear Page > Songwriter, musician Iona / 1990-1993, 1999-present
Drums / Percussion / Violins / Vocals Drums / Percussion / Violins / Vocals Drums / Percussion / Violins / Vocals Drums / Percussion / Violins / Vocals Drums / Percussion / Violins / Vocals Drums / Percussion / Violins / Vocals Drums / Percussion / Violins / Vocals Drums / Percussion / Violins / Vocals Drums / Percussion / Violins / Vocals Drums / Percussion / Violins / Vocals
Photos by Joe del Tufo, Mike Anders, Monica Duffels, Lutz Diehl & Janien Kommer
F rank was born in 1967 and was brought up with music, both his parents being professional musicians, and with a brother studying violin at the conservatoire of music.

Frank's first drums were his mum's pots & pans, and many buckets lost their bottoms, much of her dismay! Although clearly a rhythmic talent who could never sit still, Frank decided to pick up violin, probably brainwashed hearing his brother practicing scales for 6 hours a day! He was never a really good student (always too many other hobbies) but Frank turned out to be a very talented and natural violin player who developed his own style from very early on. He learned mainly from just copying what he heard his teachers play - and was caught years later when one of his teachers discovered he wasn't actually reading his music, but playing by ear!

His fascination with rhythm & drums was never gone. At age 15 he got the opportunity to take up the sticks, and started practicing like a madman - soon to be a better player than his first teacher!

From that time on he started playing in all kinds of bands (including his high school's big band whose favorite tune was the Muppet Show theme!) mainly playing worship and gospel music. His first band was called "Judah" - a Youth with a Mission band with Dave & Becky Durham, Fred & Mary Dallenbach and Celeste Yohai, together with Karen Lafferty.

From then on, Frank quickly became a number one choice for many sessions and live performances, including concerts with Margaret Becker, Rick Cua, Marcel McArthur, Jessy Dixon, Billy & Sarah Gaines, Susan Ashton, Julie & Buddy Miller, Nina Astroem, Adrian Snell, Chris Eaton, Ralph van Manen & many others.

He met Dave Bainbridge in 1989 while touring Adrian Snell's "The Passion" and was asked to join in 1990. The band played a few concerts at Flevo, Christian Artists, the Spoor 7 festival in Holland and a performance at the Leverkusen Jazz festival, and was featured in a 60-minute documentary by Dutch television which brought the band to and Mull.

It soon became evident that the logistics of having a Dutch drummer was a little too complicated for the band, so after one and a half years, their ways parted again. Frank had joined a well known Dutch worship band (the Ronduit -unpronounceable for the English, I know!- Praise Band) in the meantime as drummer, violin player and singer, and was soon asked to start writing songs and arranging for the band, something he really enjoyed and perfected in the years to follow. Some of Frank's songs became very well known and are sung regularly in Dutch churches. Frank rejoined in June 1998, soon after the departure of drummer Terl Bryant.

Over the years, Frank and his wife Marlou recorded many CD's in Dutch in their own studio, including a Christmas CD in Dutch titled "Immanuel", featuring Dave Bainbridge & Troy Donockley. At the moment of writing this (June 2011) they are working on their solo album which will be released towards the end of 2011. Frank and Marlou regularly lead worship in churches and conferences throughout the world, with their own band called "Dew" sometimes joined by members of (see ).

In 1997, Frank was asked to be music director for EO's Classic Festival which led him to writing and arranging for a small orchestra. From that moment on, he fell in love with writing for strings. Today he is regularly called upon as string arranger and performer for many well known Dutch artists (see ). His strings can be heard on several hit radio singles. At the moment, Frank is studying Orchestration with the Berklee School of Music in the USA to further develop his skills as arranger and orchestrator for full orchestra.

Frank's wide variety of musical activities include composition, arranging, producing, teaching, recording, mixing & mastering in his own studio.

Frank lives in Collendoorn with his wife Marlou and 5 cats.
Comments (0)
View All
News:

11th September 2020

View Details



11th September 2020

Dave will be including some Iona material and a couple of things from the new Book of Iona box set!

View Details



28th August 2020

Sally Minnear and Dave Bainbridge will be performing 3 Iona songs on Saturday at this great online festival!

View Details



28th August 2020

Expect a number of Iona tunes in Dave's solo set on 12th September!

View Details



9th September 2020

View Details



14th November 2020

The Book of Iona is in stock and shipping starts today!!! It looks amazing. You can order from

View Details



17th August 2020

View Details



30th August 2020

View Details



28th August 2020

View Details



3rd August 2020

Such an amazing song, and so great playing this again. Enjoy...

View Details



28th August 2020

Undercover photos taken at a secret factory location somewhere in the heart of England

View Details



25th July 2020

Thought you might enjoy this little jam I put together today. Still going strong and playing! Hope our Iona clan is safe & healthy and still enjoying our personal music projects as well as the revived Iona back catalog... Stay safe & healthy everyone and hope you like this. Much love - Frank

View Details



13th July 2020

View Details



30th July 2020

View Details



23rd June 2020

ONE MORE FOR THE MAP PROJECT ......
One of the treasures of our lockdown has been creating and recording music with Natasha Petrovic de Maio. We met for the first time back in March on the Kintsugi Hope Tour when it seemed like we were a music match made in heaven. Today we finished recording an 11 minute song called “ Finding My Way Back” which will be the finale track of the MAP PROJECT coming soon......
In the meantime, lots of wonderful Iona memorabilia and archive to enjoy 😀

View Details



4th June 2020

View Details



9th July 2020

View Details



20th May 2020

View Details



11th May 2020

View Details



26th May 2020

View Details



5th May 2020

View Details



10th May 2020

View Details



3rd May 2020

View Details



30th April 2020

View Details



28th April 2020

View Details



6th May 2020

View Details



20th April 2020

Hi Everyone, hope you can make it to Dave Bainbridge's first live online gig tomorrow night!!

View Details



13th May 2020

This is one of the new recordings of Iona tracks that will be on The Book of Iona box set. Pre-order now from

View Details



18th April 2020

View Details



18th April 2020

Hope you can join Dave Bainbridge for his first online live gig this coming Tuesday!

View Details





> More News on Facebook
More Band Bios: