Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Griffin, Rayford (Galen)

Griffin, Rayford (Galen), drummer, composer, producer; b. Indianapolis, IN, 6 February 1958.  He's the nephew of Clifford Brown.  In 1969 his father (Rev. Thomas Jefferson Griffin, 1917-1986) and mother (b. Geneva Estelle Brown, 1925) moved the family (Robert Moore, b. 1948; Thomas Jefferson II, b. 1954; Reginald, b. 1955) to Indianapolis, IN from Houston, TX.  Rayford took a serious interest in playing the drums at an early age and received his first drum at age 10.  He played in his grade school marching band and orchestra.  By 13, Rayford was playing on his first full set of drums. From grade 8 through high school, Rayford honed his natural talent with lessons from Tom Akins, principle timpanist for the Indianapolis Symphony.

While attending Shortridge High School in Indianapolis IN, Rayford played in the band Tarnished Silver with Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, Daryl Simmons and Tom Borton.  Rayford studied music theory at Indiana State University for one year and received Best Drummer honors in three local competitions, including the Elmhurst Jazz Festival.  He joined the local fusion group Merging Traffic, in 1977 and became the drummer for violinist Jean Luc-Ponty in 1981.  Rayford has since traveled the world playing in many musical genres with a variety of artists including; Michael Jackson, Anita Baker, The Isley Brothers, Stanley Clarke, Jean-Luc Ponty, Carl Anderson, Bette Midler, Babyface, Michael Bolton, George Duke, George Howard, Jeff Lorber, Larry Carlton, Rick Braun, James Ingram, Stephanie Mills, Manhattan Transfer, Kenny G, Rodney Franklin, Angela Winbush, Cameo and Debarge.

Rebirth of the Cool (2002)
As sideperson:
Jean-Luc Ponty: Mystical Adventures (1982), Individual Choice (1983), Open Mind (1984, Fables (1985), The Gift Of Time Storytelling (1989), The Very Best of Jean-Luc Ponty (2000), Best of Jean-Luc Ponty (2002); George Duke: Night After Night (1989), Best of George Duke: The Elektra Years (1997); George Howard: A Nice Place To Be (1986), Reflections (1989), Do I Ever Cross Your Mind (1992) When Summer Comes (1993), A Home Far Away (1994), Attitude Adjustment (1995), The Very Best Of George Howard (And Then Some) (1997), Midnight Mood (1998); Stanley Clarke: Find Out! (1985), Hideaway (1986), 3 (with George Duke, 1989); Will Downing: Love's The Place To Be (1993); Kenny G: Kenny G (1989); Norman Brown: Better Days Ahead (1996), Celebration (1999); Patrice Rushen, Watch Out! (1986), Anything But Ordinary (1994); The Jazz Crusaders, Happy Again (1994); Dave Koz, Lucky Man (1993); Doc Powell: Life Changes (2001); Dwight Sills: Second Wind (1992), drums; Everette Harp: Everette Harp (1992), Better Days (1998); Boyz II Men: I'll Make Love To You (1994), II (1994), Water Runs Dry (1995), Yo Te Voy a Amar (1995), Ballad Collection (2000); Brian Simpson: Closer Still (1994); Gladys Knight: Just for You (1994); The Isley Brothers: Smooth Sailin' (1987), Spend the Night (1989); Patti La Belle: Gems (1994); Howard Hewitt: It's Time (1995); Niacin: High Bias (1998); Anastacia: Not That Kind (2001); Bill Summers: Iroko (1992), The Essence Of Kwanzaa (2001); Angela Winbush: It's The Real Thing (1989), Sharp (1993); Dan Siegel: Getaway (1993); Farzin: My World (1997); Wilton Felder: Gentle Fire (1983), Forever Always (1992); Stephanie Mills: Something In The Way You Make Me Feel (1989); A Few Good Men: Take A Dip (1995); Frankye Kelly: My Life, More Than It Is: Not Just (2000); Gregg Karukas: Nightshift (2000); Lori Jenaire: Within Reach (2002); Munyungo Jackson: Munyungo (1991); PERRI: Tradewinds (1990); Sekou Bunch: Sekou (1991); Rebbie Jackson: Yours Faithfully (1998);Laurnea: Betta Listen (1997); Rene & Angela: Street Called Desire and More (1997); Ronnie Laws:, Deep Soul (1992); Sheena Easton: Lover in Me  (1989); Steve Allee: Mirage (1997); Steve Cropper, Night After Night (1982); Teena Marie: Ivory (1990), Love Songs (2000); Tom Borton: Dancing with Tigers (1990); Vibe Tribe & Richard S.: Foreign Affairs (1999); Vinx: I Love My Job (1992); Wayne Henderson: Sketches of Life (1993); Various Artists: Smooth Sound of Quiet Vol. 2 (1992), Music Land & GRP: Got What's Hot (1992), For Our Children: The Concert (1993), LaFace Family Christmas (1993), GRP Christmas Collection Vol. 2, (1995), 1995 Grammy Nominees (1995), Esquire Jazz Collection: Crosstown (1995), People Make The World Go 'round (1996), Contemporary Jazz Christmas (1997), Smooth Jazz (2000), Best Smooth Jazz Ever (2002)

Contact information:
Griffco Entertainment, Inc.
4570 Van Nuys Blvd. #129
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

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