Bom in Merano 1941, Franco D'Andrea started playing the piano at 17, after some experiences with the trumpet and the soprano sax. In 1963 he began his professional activity with Nunzio Rotondo at RAI, Rome. In 1964 his first recording with Gato Barbieri, whose band he's been playing for two years in. In 1968 he founded with Franco Tonani and Bruno Tommaso the Modem Art Trio. From 1972 to 1977 he played with the jazz rock band Perigeo. In 1978 he formed his own trio with Dodo Goya and Bruno Biriaco, taking on at the same time solo piano concerts as well as an intensive teaching activity. In 1981 he founded a quartet with Tino Tracanna, Attilio Zanchi and Gianni Cazzola. In 1986 the percussion player Luis Agudo and then the trombonist Glenn Ferris, the percussionist Naco and the vibraphonist Saverio Tasca joined the band. In 1993 he formed a new trio, Current Changes, with the trumpet player David Boato and Naco.
At present his band is a quartet with Andrea Ayassot, Aldo Mella and Zeno De Rossi.
During his career Franco D'Andrea played with many important jazz musicians as Pepper Adams, Barry Altschul, Gato Barbieri, Don Byas, Conte Candoli, Jon Christensen, Palle Danielsson, Joe Farrell, Dexter Gordon, Johnny Griffin, Slide Hampton, Mark Helias, Daniel Humair, Jimmy Knepper, Lee Konitz, Steve Lacy, Victor Lewis, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, Albert Mangelsdorff, Hank Mobley, Paul Motian, Jean Luc Ponty, Enrico Rava, Frank Rosolino, Max Roach, Aldo Romano, Martial Solal, John Surman, Toots Thielemans, Charles Tolliver, Miroslav Vitous, Bobby Watson, Kenny Wheeler, Fode Youla (Africa Djolé) etc.
He made tours all over in Europe (including Estonia and Russia) and in Camerun, Canada, Israel, Japan, Tunisia and USA.
He composed about 200 tunes, 100 of which recorded.
Franco D'Andrea won various prizes: the Italian Critics' Award in 1979 and 1981 the Radiouno Jazz Prize in 1982
the Top Jazz Award launched by Musica Jazz magazine, as Best Italian Musician , in 1982, 1984, 1985,1986,1987, 2005.
_ the Top Jazz Award for the Best Italian Record in 1984 with No Idea Of Time, and in 1986 with Quartet Live _ the Top Jazz Award for the Best Italian Group in 1986
He's been teaching since 1978. His main collaborations have been with:
Seminari Senesi di Musica Jazz (Siena, Italy) since 1978 (jazz piano workshops) Libera Scuola di Musica (Vicenza, Italy) in the early eighties (jazz piano)
Centro Didattico Musicale (Milano, Italy) since 1983 to 1986 (jazz piano)
Centro Professione Musica (Milano, Italy) since 1986 (jazz piano and workshops) Thelma Yellin High School of Arts (Tel Aviv, Israel), (Master Class)
AMR (Geneve, Switzerland), (tecnique of improvisation stage) He's been teaching jazz at the Conservatory of Trento, Italy, since 1993
He's been member of the Board of Examiners at the Klubschule Migros' Jazz Department (St. Gallen, Switzerland), since 1990.
He's been member of the Jury at the Concours Intenational de Piano Jazz Martial Solal (Paris, France) in 1989.