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 Janien Kommer, Lutz Diehl, Joe del Tufo, Monica Duffels & Mike Anders
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.
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Discography (10)

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Wed, 5 January 2011
Posted by Dave Bainbridge on 5 January 2011 @ 1:36am
Great work going on one the Iona album at the moment - Frank has recorded some great strings today, I've been recording the last few bits of acoustic guitar on the album. Phil will be coming up at the weekend to finish off his bass parts and Jo will be over next week for the final vocal session - getting there and it's very exciting t...o hear it all coming together!

Wed, 10 November 2010
Posted by Dave Bainbridge on 10 November 2010 @ 1:46am
ust spent the last few hours at Frank's studio in The Netherlands improvising together - Frank on Violin and Viola, me on Keyboards. A wonderful time! Recorded everything - some possibly for the 'Another Realm' album, some for another forthcoming Iona more chilled out release!

Sat, 23 October 2010
Posted by Dave Bainbridge on 23 October 2010 @ 1:46am
New album recording Dave & Frank

Sat, 23 October 2010
Posted by Frank Van Essen on 23 October 2010 @ 1:36am
Recordings going well! Did a great drumtrack & percussion for "The Angels Dance" yesterday, now recording some very unusual string parts for Clouds.

Wed, 20 October 2010
Posted by Frank Van Essen on 20 October 2010 @ 1:46am
Had a great day here in the studio with Dave. Recorded some drums, percussion, violin and viola. O yes, and some Glockenspiel :-)

Tue, 19 October 2010
Posted by Dave Bainbridge on 19 October 2010 @ 1:36am
4 more days work on the Iona album this week with Dave and Frank at Frank's studio in the Netherlands - gradually getting there!!


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