Local drummer Frankie Chavez in Sedona International Film Festival documentary on Karen Carpenter
The new original AMS Pictures documentary Karen Carpenter: Starving for Perfection celebrates the life and music of the 1970s pop princess and will be at this year’s Sedona International Film Festival. The screening of the film will take place at the Sedona Performing Arts Center on Thursday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. Sedona resident and drummer Frankie Chavez was interviewed and included in this documentary.
Frankie was instrumental in introducing Karen Carpenter of The Carpenters to the art of playing drums. While attending Downey High School in Downey, California, they were classmates and friends, but she was taken by his drumming and he became her first drum teacher, even helping her to purchase her first drum kit. Frankie was interviewed and included in the 2010 book “Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter,” written by critically acclaimed author Randy L. Schmidt. The book was a New York Times Editor’s Choice and a Wall Street Journal Best Seller.
In 2016, Frankie was once again interviewed for a 90-minute documentary celebrating the best loved songs of the biggest selling sister and brother act in music history, The Carpenters. The documentary, which aired in the UK, was entitled “The Nation’s Favourite Carpenters Song”. It was on the ITV channel and produced by Shiver Entertainment. Frankie, along with Burt Bacharach, Petula Clark and other famous fans, recounted their association with both Karen and Richard.
It was in 2019 that author Randy L. Schmidt once again contacted Frankie asking him to be part of an upcoming documentary on Karen entitled Karen Carpenter: Starving for Perfection. In October 2019, a film crew from AMS Pictures, an Emmy award-winning production company, based in Dallas, Texas, came to Sedona and shot footage of Frankie while in the studio recording the CD “A Sedona Christmas” which features Frankie’s wife, singer Rosemary Chavez. Once again, interviewer Randy L. Schmidt captured Frankie’s association with and influence on the drumming of Karen Carpenter. Randy Schmidt and Frankie Chavez will be at SIFF’s screening of the film and there will be a Q&A session following that screening.
Frankie Chavez was playing professionally by the age of 11 and has performed and recorded with numerous artists including Lionel Hampton, Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Gerald Wilson, Larry Carlton, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Pat Boone, Mitzi Gaynor, Bobby Gentry, Vikki Carr, Willie Bobo and Buddy Collete. In 2011 and again in 2012, Frankie toured with the Los Angeles-based Glenn Miller Orchestra touring internationally in Mexico, the Far East at the Thailand Jazz Festival, and then an exciting eight week tour of Australia playing in fabulous concert settings. He still drums with his group Jazz a’la mode in Sedona and Prescott. When not performing, he is working with other artists on their recording projects. Just like Frankie’s friend and mentor, world-renowned drummer Buddy Rich used to say to Frankie, “Keep it going, kid. Just keep it going.” And that’s what he’s doing