Welcome to the official website of composer, producer and jazz pianist Rodney Franklin.
Rodney Franklin has spent a lifetime developing his art. From his earliest years as a child prodigy his music bypasses genre interweaving soulful, lightly textured fusion and funk with R&B, soul and, crowd pleasing dance and club hits. His talents, both as a composer and soloist are filled with infectious hooks and the rich production value of a life dedicated to musical genius.
“Music is an international language of peace.
No matter where I have traveled in the world, it has always allowed me to make friends and bring joy
-An understanding that runs deeper than words.”
Veteran recording artist and internationally acclaimed keyboard virtuoso, Rodney Franklin, has been one of the stellar cast of contemporary music masters over the past thirty years. Rodney Franklin’s many contributions to the evolution of jazz and popular music make him an undeniable part of our cultural experience. His innovative dynamic style of keyboard playing has earned him critical acclaim worldwide. He continues to influence artists and audiences alike through his creative innovation and technical excellence.
Educated in jazz and classical piano from the age of three, he showed a natural talent for, and love of, the keyboard. He committed his early years to perfecting his craft after meeting Oscar Peterson at age six and Duke Ellington shortly thereafter.
By the age of sixteen, he had placed first in more than seventy piano competitions, earning accolades and distinguished honors such as the Edward Kennedy-Duke Ellington Award and Contemporary Keyboard Magazine’s Piano Award.
Rodney’s professional career began at the age of nineteen when he was signed as a solo recording artist for CBS Records. During his years at CBS, he recorded a total of eight albums featuring many of the most notable musicians in his field. By age twenty-two, Rodney had played Carnegie Hall and achieved international popularity with the number one hit, “The Groove.”
As his exceptional career gained ground, he shared the stage with such legends as Miles Davis, Carlos Santana, and Freddie Hubbard, among others. He also participated in a host of all-star world tours with incredible artists such as Eubie Blake, Herbie Hancock, Ramsey Lewis, George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Kenny G., Phillip Bailey (Earth, Wind, and Fire), Harvey Mason, Nathan East, Bill Withers, and The Isley Brothers, to name a few.
Franklin performed and toured as keyboardist with musical legend Stevie Wonder for several years. He jokingly refers to this experience as his “post graduate work.”
Highlights of Rodney’s career include two Grammy nominations, the NAACP Jubilee Award for Best Jazz Artist, a Prestigious Image Award nomination for Best Jazz Recording, the Carnegie Hall recording, “One Night Stand – A Keyboard Event,” and recording the theme of the television hit drama series, “Hill Street Blues.”
Rodney Franklin now has fourteen recordings to his credit and has played on countless other recordings. He recently participated in the book of American Musical Keyboard Masters, “Down the Rhodes.” This historic book is accompanied by a documentary film tribute to the Fender Rhodes piano, the most successful electric piano of our time. Maestro Franklin is joined in this venture by many legendary musicians, Patrice Rushen, Marcus Miller, George Benson, George Duke, Bob James, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Robert Glasper, and many others.
From a young prodigy who was mentored by some of the 20th century’s greatest artists, a lifetime of experience has rendered Mr. Franklin a seasoned musical master in his own right. His next release, yet untitled, is due out later this year.
The Fender Rhodes Concert – August 22, Oxnard California
The Fender Rhodes electric piano has played a large part in the history of funk and jazz music. Its signature tones helped make the sound of an era. As part of an anniversary celebration, Rodney (and countless celebrity players) participated in a soon to be released documentary. You can see a clip at the bottom of this page.
The first annual Rhodes concert will be held this year in Oxnard California on August 22. This is your chance to hear it live and experience the joy and mastery of some of the world’s greatest players first hand.