Frank Griffith Big Band Experience

Two day Big Band Workshop – 19th /20th March 2022

Durlston Court School, Barton on Sea, Hampshire.
Frank Griffith Big Band Experience

Originating from the West Coast, renowned Saxophonist, Clarinetist and Arranger, Frank Griffith developed his distinctive New York jazz sound living and performing in the city for over 20 years before moving to London, meeting and playing with one of his great influences Sir John Dankworth.

Frank has performed with musicians such as Ron Carter, Jon Hendricks, John Pizzarelli, Joe Temperley, Pete Cater, Mel Torme, Dame Cleo Laine, Tony Coe and Kenny Wheeler. Frank has achieved great acclaim as an arranger, composing for a number of well-known singers to include Tina May, Alexander Stewart, David Mcalmont, China Moses and Anita Wardel.

He has also been the musical director for a number of programmes to include Kind of Blue at Bridport Arts Centre, Jazz on a Summers Day, Dorchester Corn Exchange and The Billy Strayhorn story, Cadogan Hall, London, London Jazz festival. Counting Joe Henderson Lester Young, Duke Ellington and Burt Bacharach as some of his main influences, Frank plays many forms of jazz including modern, mainstream and traditional alongside funk, soul and some crossover Classical.

Born in Eugene, Oregon in 1959, Frank received his Master’s Degree from Manhattan School of Music, and a BFA from City College of New York, where he also taught from 1985-1995. More recently, Frank was Music Lecturer and Director of Performance at Brunel University from 1997-2017 and taught annually at the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops from 1996-2006.

As a longstanding member of the International Association of Jazz Educators, Frank served on their Resource Team and was a charter member of the UK Jazz Services Ltd Education Advisory Panel.

Frank Griffith Big Band Experience – The course will emphasise a balance of ensemble playing and improvisation skills as well as nurturing a healthy cameraderie amongst the members. There will be a further emphasis on establishing an understanding and relationship between the rhythm section and horn players.

A big band is a collective of like minded individuals all making an equal contribution to the whole. This is a necessary and key goal in attaining a winning result for all involved.

The material will include a mix of originals and arrangments by Frank as well tried and tested big band repertoire.

Places will be limited per section and we anticipate the sax places to go quickly. Please spread the word to your brass and rhythm playing friends.

“I will say without equivocation that this latest assembly of Frank Griffith’s work has delighted me”.

Sir John Dankworth


“In a set of short solo explorations, poetic tenorist, Frank Griffith responds to the invitation with particular zest”

John Fordham- The Guardian

“Frank Griffith’s tenor playing shines throughout the album, showing beautiful control of the instrument, unhurried phrasing and continuous storytelling. The clarinet features lovely phrasing and smooth sound”.

Richard Ingham- Clarinet and Saxophone Journal


Based again at Durlston Court School on the Dorset / Hampshire border, with excellent facilities in a purpose built music block. Priced competitively at £135 for two days including a hot lunch, hot and cold refreshments. We cater for needs such as vegetarian, gluten intolerance etc.

We have now set it up for you to be able to book easier than ever before. Book via ticketsource fast and secure. Alternatively if you have any questions on the suitability of this course for you we will be happy to help. Contact at info@jazzsmart.com or by calling 07708 091675 and we will be happy to discuss your needs further.

Participant information:

You’ll need an instrumental ability of Grade 4 standard or above. Please note, this does not mean you need Grade 4 qualification, it means your current playing level should be of this standard or better.
You will need to bring your own instrument and instrument stand.
Participants of all ages are welcome. Please note: Participants under 18 will need to provide parent/ guardian contact details.
We provide a scrumptious hot lunch each day (prepared by our professional chef) and hot/cold refreshments for the breaks.
The cost of this workshop for two days is only £135.
Times for the workshop are as follows:

Arrive: 9.30am onwards
Session one: 10am – 11.15am
Morning break: 11.15am – 11.45am
Session two: 11.45am – 1pm
Lunch: 1pm – 2pm
Session three: 2pm – 3pm
Afternoon break: 3pm – 3.30pm
Session four: 3.30pm – 4.30pm