Franklin started playing 1920s music in the 1980s, as lead trumpet in Royal Society Jazz Orchestra, Devil Mountain Jazz Band, and San Francisco Starlight Orchestra. He plays Dixieland with Silicon Gulch Jazz Band, hot dance tunes with the Kally Price Blues Band & Hot Baked Goods, and leads his own vintage jazz group, The Toppman Trio, formed for the wedding of two original cast members of The Speakeasy. Franklin plays principal trumpet in Symphony Parnassus and Golden Gate Symphony. He composes & arranges music for his own ensembles: The Brassworks Band, Gabriel's Trumpets, The Memorial Brass & Toy Soldiers. And he teaches all the brass instruments. Franklin has performed in musical theater productions including West Side Story, Guys and Dolls, Anything Goes, A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, Fiddler On the Roof, Sweet Charity, The Boyfriend, Man of La Mancha, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Gershwin's Oh, Kay!