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Franklin Vanderbilt

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Franklin has had the honor to work with many music icons including Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, and - for the past 13 years - with Lenny Kravitz. Currently Franklin is working with Robby Krieger of “The Doors,” co-writing music with “Robby Krieger and The Soul Savages.” Franklin is also launching his solo career as a singer songwriter, with an album to be released in 2023.

As a philanthropist, he has donated his time and his talents, performing at concerts that benefit charitable organizations.

But success, fame and multiple world tours aren’t enough for Franklin, he wants to give back and inspire the next generation by providing a pathway to careers in the performing arts along with the financial education to help students be successful.

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Franklin's talent as a singer/songwriter is being recognized around the world, and a new video of him singing and performing on guitar for Japanese public television is currently available there. The video is followed by comments from Franklin that relate to the theme of the song, called Aitai, which translates to "I miss you, I want to see you."

Growing Up Strong With Creative Arts

Royalprince Franklin Vanderbilt was born to drum. Raised on Chicago's West side, Franklin's family encouraged the development of his innate musical talents. As soon as Franklin could crawl,  he was banging on pots and pans, and by age 5, he was seated on a Ludwig drum kit given to him by his father and grandfather. This began a childhood filled with music.

The first school he ever attended was Nathan Goldblatt Elementary School. Along with support from his parents, the musical activities he experienced in school changed his life, giving him focus, inspiration and a reason to avoid the pitfalls that caused problems for other kids.

Franklin's music education continued after high school at Eastern Illinois University, training under renowned percussion professor, Johnny Lee Lane. During this time, Franklin formed his first band, The Franklin Vanderbilt Experience. This band played the legendary Chicago music scene where Franklin met influential Chicago rock and roll/blues guitarist, Gregg Parker, who immediately took him under his wing as his own son. Parker encouraged Franklin to expand his music training to include rock and roll, along with his blues and jazz repertoire.

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Franklin Vanderbilt
Music Educator and Thought Leader

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Franklin Vanderbilt spoke at United Nations on the development of healthy cities

Franklin’s expertise in percussion and his views on music as a tool for self and community development have been sought by organizations around the world including:

-The United Nations

-International drum festivals in:

  •   Montreal, Canada

  •   Seville, Spain

  •   London, England

  •   The Netherlands

-The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra

-Whitney Young High School, Chicago

-The Drummers’ Studio, Franklin, Massachusetts

-The Musicians’ Institute, Los Angeles

-A Place Called Home, South Central Los Angeles

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