Infinity Visual and Performing Arts welcomes new instructor and new staff member
JAMESTOWN — Infinity Visual and Performing Arts welcomes a new instructor and new staff member to their team! Frank Valente will be joining the Infinity Percussion department as a hand drumming, cultural drumming, and mallet percussion instructor. He is currently offering lessons to students and adults of all ages. Additionally, Laura Becker will be joining the Infinity Team as their new Office Coordinator.
Valente, a Rochester native, is a recent graduate of SUNY Fredonia where he received a degree in Music Education and a Masters in Percussion Performance. Frank is a seasoned percussionist and has performed with orchestras, big bands, straight ahead and jazz fusion bands, musical pits, 21st century contemporary music ensembles, and African drumming ensembles. Frank has performed concerts in Rochester, Buffalo, Jamestown, Pennsylvania, Chautauqua County, Long Island, and New York City. He is also a dedicated educator both in the public schools and at summer music camps including the Rhythm Section Instructor at the Chautauqua Institute High School Jazz Camp and Jazz Improvisation Instructor at New Horizon Summer Music Festival to name a few.
Valente’s journey with African drumming started in high school when he met master drummer Bernard Woma. Soon after he joined his school’s African Drumming Ensemble where he would learn to play music of the Ewe people of Ghana. In college he performed with the top African Drumming Ensembles for 6+ years where he played music from Ghana, Guinea, Mali, the Ivory Coast, and Burkina Faso. During this time he studied with many guest artists including Bernard Woma (Ghana), Eddie Green (Ghana), Haruna Walusimbi (Uganda), and Joyce Woma (Ghana Traditional Dance). Recently he has been studying the frame drumming traditions of Egypt, Turkey, and Iraq.
Valente is also an avid Classical and Jazz Vibraphonist and currently leads his own groups including “The Frank Valente Trio” and co-leads the jazz fusion collective “Mela”. He has been fortunate to have performed with “The New York Voices”, Downbeat Award-Winning Band Fredonia New Jazz Ensemble, Christos Rafalides, John Cross, Bruce Johnstone and Mike Kaupa.
Outside of his work as an educator and gigging percussionist, Valente is a computer music programmer. His main projects include designing a variety of digital synthesizers, guitar pedals, and iPad instruments. Additionally, he has designed computer music systems that improvise, interpret written music, process and analyze sound and much more.
Becker is originally from Akron, Ohio and has had a life-long involvement in the arts as a dancer, visual artist, musician, seamstress, and theatre student. She received a BA in Theatre with a focus in Non-Profit Arts Administration from Baldwin Wallace University in 2014. Laura recently spent two years in Woodstock, New York developing her work as an independent singer-songwriter and is in the process of recording her first album. She believes in the intrinsic value of the arts for all ages and that it is never too late in life to explore a new artistic passion. She is incredibly inspired by the entrepreneurial and artistic spirit of Jamestown and is excited to be able to contribute to such a wonderful community. Laura is thrilled to be a part of the Infinity team and will work to further its excellence.
For more information about Infinity, or to register for lessons with Frank or any of the 40 instructor mentors at Infinity, please visit www.infinityperformingarts.org.