Sax stars blow into Bedford Arms for weekly jazz night

Frank Griffith
Frank Griffith

Big, bold and brassy sounds come to the Bedford Arms on Monday for its weekly jazz session.

The music will be led by two tenor saxophonists, Frank Griffith and Vittorio Mura.

As a composer and arranger, Frank has written for the Ron Carter Nonet, the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, the Jon Hendricks Explosion, the Blue Wisp Big Band and the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra and clarinettist, Eddie Daniels.

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 to 1995.

Moving to London in 1996, Frank has arranged for Mark Nightingale, Tony Coe, Norma Winstone and Joe Temperley. He is also affiliated with the Pete Cater Big Band. His band, The Frank Griffith Nonet, performs frequently in the London area including annually at the Ealing Jazz Festival since 2000.

Frank has also been made a member of the British Adoptee Jazz Alumni, an honour bestowed by the Dankworths.

Vittorio is in his final year of studies at Birmingham Conservatoire. During his time there he has studied with some of the country’s finest jazz musicians such as Mike Williams, Jean Toussaint and Arnie Somogyi. He has also taken part in workshops led by visiting international artists including Mark Turner and Kenny Garrett and most recently, Maria Schneider and her orchestra. He is a versatile and in demand musician specialising in tenor and baritone saxophones, as well as the bass clarinet.

Joining Frank and Vittorio will be Birmingham based pianist and organist David Ferris. Originally from Cornwall, David is now resident in Birmingham, where he is studying on the jazz degree course at Birmingham Conservatoire. He has been taught by musicians such as Mark Turner, Dave Holland and Jeff Ballard, and performs regularly both with his own groups and as a sideman.

Also an active teacher and composer, David was the recipient of the 2014 Mike Gibbs Prize for composition.

Mark Hale will complete the line-up on drums and host the evening’s proceedings. There is no admission charge, but a suggested donation of £5 is encouraged to pay the musicians and keep the nights running on a weekly basis.