Born: October 29, 1975 Primary Instrument: Trumpet
Thaddus Jacob Franklin is regarded as one of the most prominent young trumpet players in Chicago. He began formal music studies at the age of 10. At this time, Thad exhibited a serious aptitude for music and a desire to draw upon his creative side. In his first year of playing, he was principal trumpet in the school band and began working with a wide variety of people in the Central Illinois music community. During high school, Franklin auditioned for a position in the Central Illinois Youth Symphony and played a major role in its trumpet section throughout the early ‘90s.
After graduating from high school, he enrolled in the Music Department at Illinois State University. His undergraduate studies introduced him to the works of many contemporary classical composers and they had an important influence on him, particularly the music of Stravinsky and Ravel. Other activities during this time included free-lance work with a few jazz combos including Entropy, which played many of the jazz festivals throughout Illinois and Indigo Blue, which opened up for many of the great musicians that came through town. Thad earned his Bachelor of Science degree in classical music in 2001.
Later that year he enrolled in the Chicago College of Performing Arts and went on to earn his Masters degree in Jazz Trumpet Performance in 2003. During that time, he studied with some of the great musicians and teachers that live in and visit Chicago including David Bloom, Tim Hagans, Tom Garling, Tito Carrillo, Jim Boitos, Laurence Hobgood, Rob Parton, Scott Mason, Mike Smith, Carey Deadman, and Ron Ruvio. He has also performed with jazz greats such as Maria Schneider, Ron Miles, John Fedchock, Carl Allen, Mark Colby, Carl Fontana, John Campbell, as well as many others.
Since moving to Chicago, he has collaborated with several musicians and peers whom he respects greatly, including guitarist Andrés Castillo, bassist Matt Ulery, violinist Zach Brock, tenor saxophonist Tim Haldeman, drummer Frank Rosaly, and percussionist Javier Saume. He currently plays in several groups, all with a wide range of stylistic conceptions. Latin band, Son Trinidad currently plays a wide variety of folk and jazz and can be heard throughout the city on a regular basis. The Matt Ulery Quintet, a modern jazz group, has reached great heights since its inception by its leader and composer/arranger Matt Ulery. Fly Williams is a funk/rock group whose motto is to “move bodies while stimulating minds”.
Thad’s style can be characterized as having unusual but skillful timing with simple or complex melodic phrases. His greatest trumpet influences come from Miles Davis, Woody Shaw, Dave Douglas and Tim Hagans.
Thad performs on a consistent schedule at venues such as the Jazz Showcase, The Green Mill, Hot House, Katerina’s, Park West, Uncommon Ground, ñ, The Old Town School of Folk Music, The Note, Martyr’s, Elbo Room, Wise Fool’s Pub, Rochester International Jazz Festival and many others. In his spare time, Thad teaches private trumpet and jazz improvisation lessons for most instruments in his home studio and at the Bloom School of Jazz.
Willing to teach: