Franco Imperial (Lake Jackson, Texas) is a member of the Audition Process Class of 1998. He joined the Artistic Staff in 2000 and became Artistic Director in 2011. Franco has composed over 20 original works for SJT and has led collaborations with artists such as Abhinaya Dance Company (which won the 2011 Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music/Sound/Text ), 5-time Grammy Award-nominee John Santos, NEA Heritage Fellow Danongan Kalanduyan, artist/teacher Dan Sabanovich, The Bangerz (DJ Crew for JABBAWOCKEEZ), Epic Immersive, and the Aswat Ensemble. He is a member of the Multicultural Arts Leadership Institute (MALI) and has led workshops for the North American Taiko Conference, European Taiko Conference, and Intercollegiate Taiko Invitationals.
Franco has honed SJT’s unique style and created a voice for the current generation while honoring the group's 45-year legacy. He leads SJT in artistic projects that align with three pillars: performing art as a catalyst to move audiences from awareness to action; performing art as a way to foster connection, cultural understanding, and widespread creativity; and performing art as a way to open hearts and minds, building a more just and equitable society.