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Frank Irwin Quintet


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 music 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 show tunes, all told through the infinite idiom of Black American Music.


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.


FIQ has released two full length albums and two EPs. Their song book includes over twenty five original compositions, as well as Frank’s arrangements of songs from Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Rocky Horror Picture Show, and various popular tunes. Their newest record, New Commute, was selected and reviewed for The Best Jazz on Bandcamp, June 2022. Frank’s writing style is greatly inspired by Charles Mingus, in that he steers clear of conventional song structures, letting his compositions go where they need to.


Contact Info


—6423 Tompkins Ct, West Linn, OR 97068

"Better/Broken" Album Review
Bird Is The Worm (Blog) 

This album is at its best when melodies are exhaled slowly and allowed to drift like a plume of smoke.  When the Frank Irwin Quintet roll out a tune in this fashion, the music emotes an appealing moodiness.  And it’s the kind of thing that sticks. Even if the electricity on the piece gets upped a notch or three, there remains a contemplative presence that behaves as the context for any volatility that follows.

The contributions of trombonist James Powers go a long way to cementing this impression, especially during those times when his instrument acts as the bonding harmonic element between tenor sax and guitar.  Those moments when the trio coalesce into a unified sound are some of the best moments Better/Broken has to offer.

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