Henry Grimes Henry Grimes

The Miraculous Return of the Great Henry Grimes!

Master jazz musician (acoustic bass, violin, poetry) HENRY GRIMES has played more than 600 concerts in 30 countries (including many festivals) since 2OO3, when he made his astonishing return to the music world after 35 years away. He was born and raised in Philadelphia and attended the Mastbaum School and Juilliard. As a youngster in the '50s and early '60s, he came up in the music playing and touring with Willis “Gator Tail” Jackson, Arnett Cobb, “Bullmoose” Jackson, “Little” Willie John, and a number of other great R&B / soul musicians; at Juilliard he played classical music on bass with the opera orchestra and studied with the great Fred Zimmermann, principal bassist of the New York Philharmonic; but drawn to jazz, he went on to play, tour, and record with many great jazz musicians of that era, including Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Haynes, Lee Konitz, Steve Lacy, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Sunny Murray, Sonny Rollins, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, Cecil Taylor, McCoy Tyner, and Rev. Frank Wright.

Sadly, a trip to the West Coast to work with Al Jarreau and Jon Hendricks went awry, leaving Henry in Los Angeles at the end of the '6O's with a broken bass he couldn't pay to repair, so he sold it for a small sum and faded away from the music world. Many years passed with nothing heard from him, as he lived in his tiny rented room in an S.R.O. hotel in downtown Los Angeles, working as a manual laborer, custodian, and maintenance man, and writing many volumes of handwritten poetry.

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November 03, 2015

Happy 80th, Henry Grimes

September 07, 2011

Henry Grimes - Four Days in Chicago

July 04, 2011

Henry Grimes and Wadada Leo Smith Offer a Rare Acoustic Duo Concert in...

October 29, 2010

Henry Grimes's Month of 75th Birthdays at the Stone in New York...

September 29, 2010

Angel City Jazz Festival Opens October 2nd at REDCAT with Henry...

September 25, 2010

Henry Grimes and Rashied Ali - Spirits Aloft (Porter Records, 2010)

August 31, 2009

Henry Grimes and Friends in Concert: A Benefit for Harlem Textile Works...

August 17, 2009

Henry Grimes & Friends in Concert: A Benefit for Harlem Textile Works...

March 17, 2009

The Henry Grimes/ Marc Ribot Duo Live at the Rubin Museum NYC

January 26, 2009

Henry Grimes & Rashied Ali at Gordon Theater Camden, NJ

January 12, 2009

Henry Grimes Times!

June 01, 2008

Grimes Times! June 2008

January 27, 2008

Grimes Times! On Tour with Marc Ribot's Spiritual Unity, February, 'O8

October 23, 2007

Henry Grimes Times! October-December 2007 Performances and Booking For...

July 01, 2007

Henry Grimes Quartet at the "Let Your Motto Be Resistance" Photo...

May 04, 2007

Grimes Times! Grimes Times! May, 2007

January 01, 2007

Bassist Henry Grimes, Association for Performing Arts Presenters...

December 06, 2006

Henry Grimes's Spaceship on the Highway Quartet Dec. 8 @ Philadelphia's...

October 22, 2006

Iridium Jazz Club Presents Historic Jazz Concert Thursday & Friday...

January 25, 2006

Henry Grimes Quartet with Special Guest Roswell Rudd Performs at Bard...

If only for the Ann Arbor debut of the legendary and recently rediscovered bassist Henry Grimes, the closing night of Edgefest [Oct., 'O5] would be deemed an overwhelming success. As if making up for the lost decades, Grimes, rarely playing at less than an eighth-note pace, gently prodded reedman Andrew Lamb and drummer Newman Taylor Baker through a handful of insistent yet meditative suites that found plenty of room for all three players to shine. That the trio rarely rose above a whisper didn't take away from its intensity; rather, with Grimes furnishing mantra-like foundations both with his fingers and a bow, Baker and Lamb were able to overlay their own invocations, creating an almost chamber-music-like vibe in the intimate venue

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Primary Instrument

Bass, acoustic


New York City

Willing to teach

Beginner to advanced


Henry Grimes has taught workshops and master classes and / or held residencies at Berklee College of Music, City College of New York, The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Bard College, Mills College (invited by Roscoe Mitchell), CalArts (invited by Wadada Leo Smith), Hamilton College of the Arts, Scuole Brusio and Scuole Poschiavo in Switzerland (Uncool Festival), second-grade students at the Carlucci School in Sintra, Portugal (see some very dear photos and commentary at www.caislisbon.org/about.cfm?subpage=698), JazzInstitut Darmstadt, and the University of Gloucester at Cheltenham, U.K., among others, all within the past five years. Henry Grimes also teaches students, whether beginning, intermediary, or advanced levels, privately at his home studio in Manhattan (New York City). Private lessons are usually available late afternoons and early evenings when Henry is in town. His regular rate is $75 per lesson, negotiable if the student is having hard times, and lessons usually last about 9O minutes.

Clinic/Workshop Information

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Albums by Henry Grimes

Album The Tone of Wonder by Henry Grimes

The Tone of Wonder

Uncool Edition

Album Purity by Henry Grimes


Sony Music



ILK Music

Album Spirits Aloft by Henry Grimes

Spirits Aloft

Porter Records



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