The first jazz record I heard was Cannonball Adderley’s Live at the Club. Music laughed and cried while the audience clapped and shouted encouragement. The experience of that feeling became my calling.
For 37 years I studied, performed, composed, recorded and taught music. A peak experience came in 1998 when I recorded with drummer Elvin Jones. Before the recording his wife said, “The music may be good or bad. What’s important is the feeling.” Sage advice – craft should be subservient to authentic expression.
At a concert of 19th century Spanish guitar music I recognized that authenticity again – an abstract expression of pain and joy. I also heard the same emotional warmth echoed in 20th century Brazilian composer Heitor Villa- Lobos. I envisioned a bridge between the feeling in his music and jazz....
Awards2014: National Park Service Japanese Confinement Sites Grant 2014: Chamber Music America Residency Partnership Program 2013: ASCAP/Chamber Music America Adventurous Programing - Ensemble Category 2012: 4Culture Historic Site Specific project grant to create music and spoken word concerts at the Panama Hotel based on Oscar Holden, the patriarch of Seattle Jazz 2012: 4Culture Individual Artist Grant to collect oral histories for a biography of saxophonist/educator Joe Brazil 2010: Longfellow Chorus Award of Distinction in the 2010 Composition Competition 2001: Earshot Jazz Voice and Vision Series 2001: Gavin National Jazz Radio Charts for “Steve Griggs Quintet LIVE!” #17 with 56 stations reporting 2001: ASCAPLUS Award 2000: Voice of America radio play for “Jones for Elvin – Volume 2” 2000: ASCAPLUS Award 1999: ASCAPLUS Award 1997: Jack Straw Foundation Artist Assistance Award
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