Top 24 Under 24: Franco Maravilla, The Jazz Singer 0
Capilano University jazz student Franco Maravilla went from death metal to church choir to jazz, inspired by hip hop-influenced pianist Robert Glasper. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)
Franco Maravilla never expected he'd end up singing jazz at Capilano University or performing regularly in lounges, fundraisers, airports and the River Rock Theatre.
Then again, the self-described “metalhead” also never expected he'd move from performing Iron Maiden covers to leading a church choir. But at 22, the classically trained pianist loves collecting records and performing across divergent styles.
“I liked to play death metal and black metal,” he said. “That's where I got my guitar chops.
“I wouldn't say it's a talent to appreciate very different music from different spectrums, but I love that. It's all music, right?”
After high school, he studied accounting before realizing he wanted to pursue his musical interests. For reasons he can't explain, jazz school caught his eye even though he was “never even into” the genre. But after auditioning as a guitarist, he wasn't accepted. The next year, he tried again — as a vocalist.
He admits it was a struggle.
“I didn't know anything about Bill Evans or Miles Davis,” he recalls. “I had to force myself to do so much extra research, but it's led me to where I am today.
“I finally got it – it's an art form that is very complex and very colourful. I love it for that.”
His switch to jazz taught him it's “never too late” to change gears in life but, he cautioned, “you need a guide.”
“That's the type of direction I get from school,” he said. “At the end of the day, it's about the feeling of playing music. I wake up every day with joy that I'm going to be able to create something today — no matter whether it's at church, death metal, jazz or rap.”