Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Francis Hon 洪維浩 began playing classical piano at the age of six. In addition to classical music, he was also influenced by many other musical genres. In 2011, Francis came to United States to pursue a doctorate in piano performance at the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied with Gregory Allen, the Grand Prize winner of the 1980 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition.
While in Austin, “the live music capital of the world,” Francis ignited his passion for jazz music. He studied jazz piano with Jeff Hellmer and had the opportunity to play with many musicians on the Austin jazz scene. In addition, he worked as the assistant artistic director/lead pianist for “Life in the City” in Austin, a weekly concert project with singers from various music genres including pop, soul, R&B, rock, and musicals.
Standing at the crossroads of two distinct musical worlds, this unique experience was an inspiration for Francis’ musical journey. In his last year at UT Austin, Francis embarked on a research project of Nikolai Kapustin’s solo piano music, which bridges the worlds of classical and jazz by combining classical form with the musical elements of the jazz idiom.
After obtaining his doctoral degree, Francis moved to New York City to attend the jazz studies master program at New York University. There he has studied and played with renowned musicians on today’s jazz scene, including John Scofield, Stefon Harris, Don Friedman, Alan Broadbent, Billy Drummond, Alex Sipiagin, Ralph Lalama, Billy Drewes, Ron McClure, Tony Moreno, Alan Ferber, Michael Rodriguez, and others. In addition to performance, Francis also worked as Adjunct Instructor of Piano in NYU.
In 2017, Francis co-founded World Jazz Quintet (WJQ) along with Scott Litroff, David Ullmann, Jeong Hwan Park, and Daisuke Konno. This quintet draws from a variety of styles including jazz standard, American and Asian pop, contemporary, experimental, and folk music from around the world to bring a truly unique and highly-improvisational sound.
After a successful Kickstarter fundraiser campaign, Francis' upcoming jazz trio debut album "Before Dawn" featuring Billy Drummond and consists almost exclusively his original compositions, will be released in early 2018.