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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 '5O's and early '6O's, 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.

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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, NY

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, 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.

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Charles Mingus Charles Mingus
bass, acoustic
Ornette Coleman Ornette Coleman
sax, alto
William Parker William Parker
bass, acoustic
Albert Ayler Albert Ayler
sax, tenor
David S. Ware David S. Ware
sax, tenor
Bill Dixon Bill Dixon
Jimmy Garrison Jimmy Garrison
bass, acoustic

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