Meet Francesco Catricala

Francesco Catricala grew up in a very arts friendly household. His dad is an active musician and educator. His mom is an expert costume designer and educator. His older brother is a musician. A generation before, Francesco’s grandfather was the concert master and first cellist with the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra and taught, and his grandmother played cello in the Schenectady Symphony and also taught.

One of Francesco’s earliest musical memories was accompanying his big brother, Leonardo, at the Dorothy Nolan elementary school talent show. He thinks he was about five years old. As he progressed through school he played in orchestra, concert band, and the jazz band. In addition to his ensemble instruments, he learned piano and picked up some guitar technique from his dad and some bass licks from his brother.

In 2016 Francesco started his studies at the SUNY Purchase Jazz Conservatory. In addition to his class studies, school ensemble rehearsals, and 4 hours of practicing a day, he also plays with fellow Saratoga Springs graduate Leah Woods in her band. This very busy student has been very fortunate to study with the likes of jazz masters Kenny Washington and John Reilly.

As is the case with most sibling relationships, the Catricala brothers have become closer as their musical journeys progress. Leonardo attended the Hart School of Music and will be pursuing a masters degree at Queens College. With both brothers focused on music, they are able to support and advise each other. Francesco put it best:

It’s great to have a musical brother to call for inspiration and help. He has good insights. I love getting constructive criticism from him – it pushes me. We do these great musical rhythmical workouts together when we are both home.

When asked about life lessons or perspectives he’s developed from his vantage point behind his drum kit, Frankie comes back to the recognition of groove.

Finding my groove is key for me. Everyone needs to find a groove in both a physical and metaphorical sense. Finding routine – finding a reason to move. Groove is such an interesting thing. It’s an outside thing, but it connects people. Dancing and drumming are some of the oldest art forms. People enjoy it simultaneously – a unison of rhythm. Everyone feeling the same thing at the same time. Melody can make you feel an emotion – it sets the scene. But with groove, it lines everyone up.

If you want to see Francesco’s groove in action, please join us at the alumni concert to see this amazing young man in action. If you attend any of the Saratoga Children’s Theater’s performances this summer you’re also likely to see him in the pit orchestra along with fellow Saratoga Springs alum Ben Jacob.

Beat the rush at the door – pre-purchase tickets at for effortless entry.