Frank Petrilli was born and still lives in Los Angeles, California. He started playing the accordion at age 7 and by age 16 was playing professionally. As the popularity of the accordion declined in the US, Frank switched to playing Hammond B3 Organ and the saxophone for about 15 years. In 2006, he returned to the accordion and started playing with the César Mateus Latin Jazz Band at many jazz venues throughout the Los Angeles area.
In late 2006, Frank began intensive study with the great jazz accordionist Frank Morocco which quickly evolved into a very close friendship. By virtue of their close relationship and mutual love of jazz, Frank Petrilli became Frank Morocco’s protégé and Frank Morocco often commented that Frank Petrilli was like the son he never had. Unfortunately, this relationship ended far too soon with Frank Morocco’s untimely passing on March 3, 2012. Later that year at the end of summer, Frank performed at the Fif Castelfidardo festival which is one of the most prestigious festivals in Europe.
As Frank Petrilli’s reputation grew as an excellent player in the jazz community, he began performing frequently in the Los Angeles area with renowned artists such as guitarist John Chiodini. With these artists, Frank has been regularly featured at top venues such as “Herb Albert’s” club called Vibrato Jazz and Grill. Frank also performed at many of the major accordion festivals and clubs in the US including the 2011 AAA Festival in Charleston, SC, the San Francisco Accordion Club (several times), and the Cotati Accordion festival in the summer of 2013.
In October of 2011, Frank appeared on the TV series Mad Men. In May of 2012, he was invited to play in the spot that Frank Marocco had been scheduled for as a featured performer at the Accordion competition in Kiev, “Accofestival 2012.” Frank was also one of the judges for the jazz portion of the competition. Immediately following the competition in Kiev, he performed at the Frank Marocco Memorial Concert in Castelfidardo, Italy with many other stars of the accordion world. Frank’s debut CD, “Totally Frank,” produced by Elke Ahrenholz of “Artist Signed Records”, was recorded in Italy during this trip. Accompanying Frank on this CD were three celebrated Italian musicians, Felice Del Gaudio, Mas Ferri and Fabio Zeppetella. In this CD you will definitely hear the influences of Frank Marocco, however Frank Petrilli plays his own style which includes more focus on Latin grooves.
2014 will be a busy one for Frank as he will be performing in April, via the invitation of Joe Petosa, at the Northwest Accordion Society in Seattle. In May, he will be playing for the Michigan Accordion Society, and in July Frank will be one of the headliners of the ATG Festival in San Francisco. In September, Frank will perform for the Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society. Also, in December the San Diego Accordion Club invited Frank to play on the 12th of the month with a trio. Of course, Frank will continue to play locally in Los Angeles as the “Frank Petrilli quartet at numerous jazz venues.
As the booking agent and artistic director of the Vibrato Jazz Club, Pat Senator wrote, “Like his mentor, Petrilli gives new life to the accordion with impeccable phrasing and a smooth, fluid style. You will enjoy the music stylings of Frank’s accordion, both in concert and on his CD, and can expect some very good music coming from him in the future.