Known for evocative melodies, smooth harmonies, and deep grooves, the Frank Irwin Quintet draws experience from the sounds of the Pacific Northwest, bringing a unique flavor to the Portland jazz scene. Founded in 2018 by bassist, producer, and composer Chris Frank, his Quintet strives to bring positivity and levity into the lives of its audience members, armed with a dark sense of humor and uplifting sound.
Inspired by his work as a middle school teacher, Frank lets the humanity of music shine through his compositions and arrangements, embracing a songbook that takes listeners through an eclectic array of genres, from hip-hop to Fiddler on the Roof, all told through the infinite idiom of jazz.
Having performed for over a decade in the Portland scene, Frank has anchored groups like Inky Shadows and the Pariahs, and has performed with Fritzwa, Joe Kye, Farnell Newton, and Argentine Tango group Astillero. He’s performed in venues such as Mississippi Studios, Doug Fir Lounge, The Hawthorne Theater, Alberta Abbey, and McMinneman’s Al’s Den.
Frank Irwin Quintet’s debut album, “Better/Broken,” features nine original compositions with contributions by Portland mainstays like drummer Barra Brown (Korgy & Bass), saxophonist Ian Christensen, guitarist Corey Heppner, and trombonist James Powers (March Fourth). Frank is currently collaborating with local dancer and choreographer Mia O'Connor-Smith on a long-form dance adaptation of The Telling by Ursula K Le Guin.