Tradition &

Franklin Rankin

High School Band Teacher

Growing up in a home of R&B, Funk, and Soul lovers, music has always been at the heart of life for guitarist, composer, and educator Franklin Rankin ’13. While his mother raised him on artists like Prince and Stevie Wonder, his grandfather was the first to introduce him to legends like Coltrane.


Franklin began exploring improvisational music at a young age while studying at the Harlem School of the Arts. He went on to graduate from the prestigious Berklee College of Music with a degree in Jazz Composition, where he was featured in the Best of Jazz Composition concert and arranged for the Rainbow Big Band led by saxophonist Tia Fuller. While at Berklee, Franklin also discovered an interest in film scoring and had the opportunity to compose for the short films of Beeka Regassa.

Based in New York, Franklin completed his Masters in Jazz Studies at New York University in 2019. He is a freelance musician who has performed with a wide range of artists, some of which include Azealia Banks, Chris Potter, and Mwenso and the Shakes. He also instructs privately and at several institutions around the city.