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Frank Zappa

Zappa 16011977 01 300.jpg
Zappa performing live at Ekeberghallen in Oslo, Norway, 1977

Born

Frank Vincent Zappa
December 21, 1940
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.

Died

December 4, 1993
Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Resting place

Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park and Mortuary

Occupation

  • Musician
  • composer
  • activist
  • filmmaker

Years active

1955–1993

Spouse

Kay Sherman ( m.  1960–1964)
Gail Zappa ( m.   1967 ; his death  1993 )

Children

  • Moon Zappa
  • Dweezil Zappa
  • Ahmet Zappa
  • Diva Zappa
Musical career

Origin

Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Genres

  • Rock
  • experimental
  • jazz
  • classical
  • pop
  • avant-garde
  • doo-wop

Instruments

  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • bass
  • synclavier
  • keyboards
  • drums
  • percussion

Labels

  • Verve
  • Bizarre
  • Straight
  • DiscReet
  • Zappa
  • Barking Pumpkin
  • Rykodisc

Associated acts

  • The Mothers of Invention
  • Captain Beefheart

Website

zappa .com

Frank Vincent Zappa was an American musician, composer, activist and filmmaker. His work is characterized by nonconformity, free-form improvisation, sound experiments, musical virtuosity, and satire of American culture. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa composed rock, pop, jazz, jazz fusion, orchestral and musique concrète works, and produced almost all of the 60-plus albums that he released with his band the Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist. Zappa also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. He is considered one of the most innovative and stylistically diverse rock musicians of his era.

As a self-taught composer and performer, Zappa's diverse musical influences led him to create music that was sometimes difficult to categorize. While in his teens, he acquired a taste for 20th-century classical composers such as Edgard Varèse, Igor Stravinsky, and Anton Webern, along with 1950s rhythm and blues and doo-wop music. He began writing classical music in high school, while at the same time playing drums in rhythm and blues bands, later switching to electric guitar. His 1966 debut album with the Mothers of Invention, Freak Out!, combined songs in conventional rock and roll format with collective improvisations and studio-generated sound collages. He continued this eclectic and experimental approach, irrespective of whether the fundamental format was rock, jazz or classical.

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