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Jazz Night: Frank Griffith & Matt Cooper

With The Wandering Yak serving 6-9pm

The Thursday Night Jazz tradition was introduced to Hot Numbers Gwydir Street by Nick Hill, known to Cambridge locals from his previous residencies at the Elm Tree and the Cricketers. We now welcome Mark Hale, a frequent guest of Nick's and outstanding Drummer, to bring fresh talent from the UK Jazz scene every Thursday. Our live music is funded through the generosity of the audience with a suggested donation of £5.

Frank Griffith and Matt Cooper date back to the 1970s as they attended South Eugene High School together in Oregon, USA  1975-1977. They played lots together then, of course, and reunited several years ago as they are both members of the Duke Ellington Society in United Kingdom (DESUK) performing Duke and Strayhorn repertoire. Their most recent gig was in May 2012 at the annual DESUK Conference in Woking, UK.

Jazz and classical pianist Matt Cooper won third place prizes in the 1988 Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition and the 1988 Great American Jazz Piano Competition. As a jazz pianist, he has toured with Woody Herman's Young Thundering Herd and performed with Eddie Harris, Nancy King, Clark Terry, the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, and many others. His recent jazz credits include an album of jazz sextet originals titled Clovis, featuring bassist Glen Moore of the renowned jazz group “Oregon.” One track from this album won a JPF Music Award for being one of the top three in the category of “Best Jazz Instrumental Song” in 2009.

His book, "Duke Ellington as Pianist: A Study in Styles" (College Music Society, 2013), featuring 60 pages of original Ellington transcriptions, has garnered him invitations to perform in Woking, England; Portland, Oregon, and Amsterdam, NL. He was recently the guest artist at the San Juan College Jazz Festival (Farmington, New Mexico), and he has guested at other U.S. festivals including the International Festival of Creative Pianists (Boise, Idaho); the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Jazz Festival; and many others. He has given several jazz and classical recitals in the Russian Far East, and has previously performed with UK jazz musicians Trevor Tompkins, Phil Singleton, and Frank Griffith.

Born in Eugene, Oregon in 1959, Frank Griffith lived in New York City from 1980-1995. While there he worked with Ron Carter, Jon Hendricks and Jack McDuff and played lead alto with the Glenn Miller Orchestra for a nationwide tour in 1984. He has also worked with the orchestras of Toshiko Akiyoshi, Mel Lewis, Buddy Rich and Mel Torme. He has recorded with guitarist/singer John Pizzarelli on his CD’s All Of Me and Naturally and produced and arranged for guitarist, Dave Stryker’s Steeplechase CD Nomad.

As a composer/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 1985-1995.

Earlier Event: 15 June
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Later Event: 17 June
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