Born in Eugene, Oregon in 1959, 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. He has recorded with guitarist/singer John Pizzarelli on his CD’s All Of Me and Naturally and produced and arranged for guitarist, Dave Stryker’s Steeplechase CD Nomad. |
As a composer/arranger Frank has contributed music to the Ron Carter Nonet, the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, the Jon Hendricks Explosion, the Blue Wisp Big Band and the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra.
Frank received his Masters Degree from Manhattan School of Music, and a BFA from City College of New York, where he also taught from 1985-1995.
Moving to London in 1996, Frank has arranged for Mark Nightingale, Tony Coe, Norma Winstone and Joe Temperley. He also plays and writes for the Pete Cater Big Band, whose CDs, Playing With Fire (1997 Jazzizit) Upswing (2000 Vocalion) and The Right Time (2006 Vocalion) feature many of his compositions and arrangements. His band, The Frank Griffith Nonet performs frequently in the London area including annually at the Ealing Jazz Festival since 2000. Their first appearance there resulted in the Frank Griffith Nonet ‘Live’Ealing Jazz Festival 2000 CD on HEPJAZZ. Their cd The Coventry Suite was released in 2004 on 33 Records. His debut CD, The Suspect, featuring Tom Harrell on HEPJAZZ was released in 1999. His clarinet and string arrangements for baritone saxophonist Joe Temperley were featured on Joe’s 2001 CD Easy To Remember also on HEPJAZZ.
Frank has received composition commissions from the Ealing and Coventry Jazz Festivals, the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School Big Band, the Oakham School Big Band and the Midlands Youth Jazz Orchestra.
Currently Frank is a Music Lecturer and Director of Performance at Brunel University, and taught annually at the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops from 1996-2006. He has two compositions published in the Associated Boards Jazz Works ensemble series and is also a consultant for the their Jazz Clarinet Syllabus and has composed two pieces for their Jazz Saxophone Syllabus. As a longstanding member of the International Association of Jazz Educators, Frank served on their Resource Team and is also a charter member of the UK Jazz Services Ltd Education Advisement Panel.
Frank’s work chronicling the music and career of Sir John Dankworth was published in his article Jazz in British New Wave Cinema- an interview with Sir John Dankworth in the December 2006 issue of The Journal Of British Cinema and Television. He also appears on the 2009 John Dankworth Big Band featuring Cleo Laine CD The Blues Ain’t. He has also appeared with John and Cleo and the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Hall.