Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Griffith, Frank

Griffith, Frank, saxophonist, composer/arranger, educator; b. Eugene, OR, 21 January 1959. In 1984, he graduated from City College of New York with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. He received a Master of Music from Manhattan School of Music in 1987. In 1996, he received a City and Guilds Certificate-Teacher Training. His principal teachers have been Bill Blount-Clarinet (1983), Danny Bank-Saxophone (1984), Bob Mintzer-Saxophone/Composition (1987) and Bill Finegan-Composition/Arranging (1994).

Frank lived in New York City from 1980-1995.  While there he worked with Ron Carter, Jon Hendricks and Jack McDuff and played lead alto with the Glenn Miller Orchestra for a nationwide tour in 1984. He has also worked with the orchestras of Toshiko Akiyoshi, Mel Lewis, Buddy Rich and Mel Torme. Frank has recorded with guitarist/singer John Pizzarelli on his CD's "All Of Me" and "Naturally". He produced and arranged for guitarist Dave Stryker's CD "Nomad" and arranged for bandleader, saxophonist Loren Schoenberg's CD "Manhattan Work Song." As a composer/arranger Frank has contributed music to the Ron Carter Nonet and the Lionel Hampton Orchestra.


Moving to London in 1996, Frank has arranged for Mark Nightingale, Tony Coe and Norma Winstone. He also plays and writes for the Peter Cater Big Band, whose debut album, "Playing With Fire" on the Jazzizit label, features several FG pieces. The Frank Griffith 9Net, performs frequently in the London area, including their debut at the 1997 Kingston Jazz Festival. Currently Frank is a full-time lecturer at Brunel University, and teaches annually at the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops. He is very involved in organizing workshops and performance forums for developing musicians in the London area.  

In 1984, he made a national tour with the Glenn Miller Orchestra. In 1986, he was a member of the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra. He performed with Toshiko Akiyoshi in 1991 and with Mel Torme and the Buddy Rich Big Band in 1992. In 1993, he was featured soloist/arranger with the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra and also a member of the Tonight Show Orchestra featuring Doc Severinsen. In 1994, he was a member of the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra and of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop Orchestra at Merkin Hall in NYC. He performed with the Jon Hendricks Explosion in 1995. He was in the pit orchestra of "Grease" on Broadway in 1995 and at the West End in 1996. Between 1996-1999, he has performed with Mike Gibbs, Mark Nightingale, Dave Cliff, Pete Cater Big Band and own group Frank Griffith Nonet.

He taught at City College of New York from 1985-1995 as an Adjunct Lecturer of Jazz Studies. From 1996-97, he taught at the Francis Holland School (London) as a private instructor of clarinet and saxophone. He taught from 1996-97 at Richmond Adult and Community College, teaching Team Leader-Music. From 1997-98, he was the Director of the Big Band at Kingston University. At Brunel University in 1997, he was Course Leader-Foundation Music, Lecturer on Degree Programme, and Director of Performance. In 1996, he was a tutor at the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshop.

Contact information:
99 Eastcote Lane
Northolt
Middlesex UB5 5RH
United Kingdom
tel/fax     0181 842 3217
mobile    0976  313224
email: frank.griffith@brunel.ac.uk

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