BLACK HAT, a musical group founded by Wayne State University professors Frankie the K (Dr. Frank Koscielski) and Dr. Caroline Maun in 2008.
Lead vocalist and keyboard player Frankie the K is a longtime member of the Detroit music community. He originally played guitar and keyboards for Badge, among many other smaller bands, and in addition to BLACK HAT he fronts the rock/blues-inspired group big SHORTY and the eclectic Dr. Bop! He currently studies jazz piano with Detroit Music Award winner Scott Gwinnell. Vocalist Maun is an acclaimed poet with three books and numerous publications. Together they have written a clutch of spirited, enchanting songs which follow an arc of compassion, joy and not a little lunacy.
BLACK HAT’s second album Hooray for Love features the duo amid a wide array of accomplished Detroit musicians. Jef Reynolds, well-known in the Detroit community for his presence in many area acts as an electric and upright bass player, produced and engineered the album, which was recorded in his studio throughout much of 2012. Bill Hulet plays drums throughout. James O’Donnell, best known for his work with R.J. Spangler’s Planet D Nonet, contributes trumpet to several of the tracks. Ralph Koziarski of The Luddites plays saxophone, flute, and percussion instruments. Dirty Pirate Hookers' founder and lead guitarist Pat Shanley contributed to several songs, and Dale Robertson of the Dale Robertson Band is particularly haunting on harmonica.
The band's sound is a culmination of classic pop, modern jazz and artful sensibility, claiming inspiration from sources as diverse as Leonard Cohen, Leon Russell and Procol Harum. Their music has won fans throughout the Detroit area and beyond. BLACK HAT has appeared at the Music Hall Jazz Café, the Scarab Club, the Crazy Wisdom Tea Room in Ann Arbor and on the nationally syndicated Mitch Albom Show. As befits two academics with a way for words, they have also performed for National Day of Poetry events in the Detroit area.
While Frankie and Caroline have been writing songs steadily for the past four years, the special impetus for recording Hooray for Love was Frank’s recovery from a serious motorcycle accident in March of 2012. A life-long rider, Frank survived and fully recovered from his injuries; his helmet probably saved his life. The planning, performing, and recording of this album is a celebration of second chances and near misses. Hooray for Love!