Johnny Griffith is a multi-Juno Award nominated saxophonist who has played and recorded with numerous artists including Jeremy Pelt, Hawksley Workman, Maceo Parker, Charlie Hunter, Don Thompson, The Wailers, The Roots, Laila Biali, Brandi Disterheft, Terra Hazelton, Alex Dean, Tim Ries, Kardinal Offishal, and Pocket Dwellers. He has toured extensively across North America and Europe performing at all the major Canadian music and jazz festivals as well as several international events including the world famous Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.
The Johnny Griffith Quintet is the newest project from this Canadian saxophonist and composer. Formed in early 2013 to play a series of shows and record an EP, the quintet features a line up of some of the most exciting young performers out of Canada. Special guest from NYC Jeremy Pelt, adds his internationally acclaimed trumpet sound, while Jon Maharaj, Adrean Farrugia and Ethan Ardelli offer the energy and originality of this new generation of Canadian jazz artists. Reunited for a series of performances in August 2014, the quintet recorded their debut CD, Dance with the Lady. Comprised of nine of Johnny’s original compositions, ranging in influences from Joe Henderson, Andrew Hill to Kenny Wheeler & Anton Webern, this record has strong roots in jazz tradition yet heralds the contemporary voice of this young composer.
As a part of the Griffith Hiltz Trio with Nathan Hiltz and Sly Juhas, Johnny has travelled from Victoria to the Yukon to St. John’s picking up a Grand Prix du Jazz nomination at the Montreal Jazz Festival. Their debut album “Now and Then” was produced by and features jazz legend Don Thompson and was selected by Jazz FM 91.1 as Album of the Year 2009. The trio finished recording their sophomore album, produced by multi-Juno award winning Canadian musician and auteur Hawksley Workman, and released in 2013.
Johnny heads up The Big 8, an octet performing all original selections and features top Toronto talent Alex Dean, Terry Promane, Shawn Nykwist, Brian O’kane, Jon Maharaj, and Nathan Hiltz. Upcoming projects include a duo woodwind/percussion album with Hawksley Workman due out this fall, as well as Robe Music a solo analog synth and saxophone record and finally GHT‘s third studio release is set to be recorded in the coming months.
Born in St. Boniface Manitoba Johnny has a Bachelor of Music from Humber College, a Master’s Degree in Jazz performance from University of Toronto and is member of the Humber College Faculty of Music. Johnny currently resides in Toronto.