The Jazz Institute of Chicago was recently designated to receive gifts in memory of Frances (Frank) DeMuynck. To give in his memory, click here.
Francis (Frank) DeMuynck was born in Kansas City, Kansas in 1923.
At 7-years-old he found the first love of his life, the trumpet. He studied it seriously while his older brother, Marshall, was learning the saxophone and clarinet. They first became known as young musicians in a marching band and in a troupe of talented performers known as The Kansas City Kiddies. The Kansas City Kiddies performed live on the radio every Saturday afternoon.
Frank was very proud of the fact that he paid for his own high school tuition with money he earned playing with professional musicians at a local nightclub.
Frank and Marshall traveled a lot together playing music. One of their favorite places was Arizona. Their sister, Rachel, lived in Winslow and Frank remembers his time there fondly, saying it’s where he first developed his love for Mexican food.
At the onset of World War II, Frank enlisted in the Naval Air Force. As a seaplane pilot he flew search and rescue missions in the South Pacific.
After his discharge Frank came to Chicago. He played trumpet and sang with the Wayne Muir Orchestra at the Glass Hat in the Pick Congress Hotel (now the Congress Plaza Hotel). In 1952, he met a young female Chicago vocalist, Mercita Vesely, who joined the band and would go on to become his wife of 63 years.
Frank supported Mercita and their four children – Nina, Christopher, Lisa and Aimee – by working many jobs but his nights and weekends were always spent playing trumpet and leading bands.
Throughout his life Frank enjoyed the camaraderie and talent of his fellow musicians and he was well respected as both a vocalist and a trumpeter.
Frank passed away on Feb. 11, 2016 at the age of 92.
The family of Frank DeMuynck hopes his legacy will continue through donations to the Jazz Institute of Chicago, inspiring future generations of jazz musicians to discover their passion for music the way Frank did many years ago.