Brian Q. Torff is a renowned bassist and composer, and is currently the Music Program Director at Fairfield University in Fairfield, CT. He is a featured bass soloist and appears with his band, the blues-jazz power trio, Thunderstick, as well as the Union Trio and many other groups.Brian founded the Fairfield University Summer Jazz Camp and has served as co-chairperson for the music advisory board for the National Endowment for the Arts. Mr. Torff performs frequently in Jazz Festival around the U.S.A. |
Brian Torff’s professional career began in 1974 when bassist Milt Hinton offered him the opportunity to tour with Cleo Laine. During the late 1970’s , Torff recorded and performed with pianists Mary Lou Williams and Marian McPartland. He also toured Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong with Violin virtuoso Stephane Grappelli. He played in pianist Errol Garner’s last group and has worked in the big bands of Oliver Nelson, and the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra.
In 1979 Brian joined in a duo with pianist George Shearing. In the course of their three and a half year collaboration they toured throughout the U.S., Europe, Brazil and South Africa. They were featured on the NBC Tonight Show, Merv Griffin and their own PBS special from New York’s Café Carlyle. They received worldwide acclaim and were invited to perform at the White House in 1982 for President Reagan. Their third album won a Grammy for vocalist Mel Torme.
Brian Torff is a noted composer who has contributed works for records with George Shearing, Larry Coryell, and his own recordings-Hitchhiker of Karoo, Manhattan Hoedown and Workin’ on a Bassline. He has written scores that have been performed by the Boston Pops, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Symphony, and has appeared as conductor, composer and clinician for numerous high school and college jazz festivals.
Mr. Torff was named faculty member of the year by the AHANA students and the office of Multicultural Relations at Fairfield University. He has taught African drumming as part of the Upward Bound program for inner-city students and has published articles on Mary Lou Williams and Stephane Grappelli. He is a regular columnist for Jazz Improv magazine and is listed in the Groves Dictionary of Jazz. He has been featured in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Jazztimes and Downbeat magazine, including CD projects with guitarist Larry Coryell, and the Union Trio with Laurence Hobgood and Paul Wertico.