Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Henry Franklin Quartet

April 6 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Presale tickets $25 GA/$35 VIP available here

$30/$40 at the door (subject to availability)

Henry Franklin – bass

Tony Austin – drums

Theo Saunders – piano

Teodross Avery- sax

Franklin played on Hugh Masekela’s 1968 number one single, “Grazing in the Grass,” as well as with Masekela’s band at the Monterey International Pop Festival in June 1967. In addition, Franklin played and recorded with Gene Harris and the Three Sounds, Hampton Hawes, Freddie Hubbard, Bobbi Humphrey, Willie Bobo, Archie Shepp, O.C. Smith, Count Basie, Stevie Wonder, Al Jarreau, Curtis Amy, Teddy Edwards, and Sonny Criss. Franklin’s recording—composed by Sanifu Al Hall, Jr.— “Soft Spirit” was featured on the Breakbeat compilation Tribe Vibes as it had been sampled by the musical group A Tribe Called Quest.

Encouraged by his father, Sammy Franklin, a jazz trumpeter and bandleader, he studied with Al McKibbon and George Morrow, while listening to Paul Chambers and Doug Watkins.

While attending the Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles, he played with his first professional band – the Roy Ayers Latin Jazz Quintet. About that time, Franklin worked with Harold Land and Hampton Hawes. Years later, he toured Europe with Hawes and recorded five albums with him. In Los Angeles, Franklin also played with Don Cherry, and Billy Higgins.

In 1968, after Henry’s year-long tour of the East Coast playing with Willie Bobo and working gigs with Archie Shepp, Lamont Johnson, Beaver Harris and Roswell Rudd on his days off, Hugh Masekela heard him play and made him an offer. Three and a half years later, the two collaborated on Grazing in the Grass. In 1972, Franklin released his debut album The Skipper through Black Jazz Records. Music critic, Tom Hull, described it as “adventurous postbop.”

He continued touring during the next several years, working internationally with O.C. Smith, The Three Sounds, Freddie Hubbard, and Count Basie. Franklin collected a gold record with Stevie Wonder on Journey Through The Secret Life of Plants. Collaborating with John Carter and Bobby Bradford, Franklin produced two albums: Self-Determination Music and Secrets. He performed on five albums with Dennis Gonzales, John Purcell and William Richardson and also played extensively with Pharoah Sanders, Joe Williams, Sonny Rollins, Bobby Hutcherson, Sonny Fortune and Milt Jackson.

For over a decade until 2011, Franklin played a regular, five-night-per-week gig at The Mission Inn, in Riverside, CA. In the summer of 2009, the director of the summer program and the provost of La Sierra University in Riverside partnered with Franklin to provide some on-campus, summer jazz concerts. These continued in the fall, eventually becoming a regular campus concert series, “Pierce Street Jazz” (PSJ). Still organized and headlined by Franklin, PSJ continues to feature well-known local and national jazz musicians as guests performing with the regular house trio. For many years he has also been a regular performer in the Friday night jazz events at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in Los Angeles and at Jazz in the Pines, an annual, summer jazz festival in Idyllwild, CA.

Franklin’s latest disc, Henry Franklin: JID014, was released in Sep 2022 – the 14th by Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad on the Jazz Is Dead label.[11] In his review, Chris May considers the album to be the label’s “most satisfying disc to date” and one that has “done Franklin proud.” In 2023, this album won the 54th NCAAP Image Award for “Outstanding Jazz Album – Instrumental.”

He also published a jazz bass player’s method book entitled, Bassically Yours. Originally released in 1975 in printed form, it is now available only as an online .pdf download. The book, with melody lines and chords, contains 225 tunes, including many standards by such notables as Miles Davis, Bud Powell, Sonny Rollins, Bill Evans, Freddie Hubbard, Cole Porter, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, McCoy Tyner and others, including, of course, the Skipper.


April 6
8:00 pm - 11:00 pm


The Grape


The Grape
2733 E Main St
Ventura, CA 93003 United States
+ Google Map
View Venue Website