Ambitious doesn't even begin to describe the vision of this multi-faceted performer. Like a well-rounded character in literature, New York native and part-time South Florida resident, Griffin Anthony, has become artistically textured in his musical career. Layering profound lyrics and blues-inspired melodies within the framework of his vocals has done little to pigeon-hole him into one specific genre of music; instead, his cross-cultural style can simply be summed up in one word: amazing!
A self-taught performer, Griffin, 24, began as a drummer for a childhood band, "The Ripptides," at the age of 12. His fellow bandmates included Gillian Roth, the daughter of legendary guitar player, Arlen Roth, and Anna Menken, the daughter of Academy Award-winning film score composer, Alan Menken. Gillian's untimely death, resulting from an automobile accident, did little to hinder the ambitions of her adolescent bandmates. This would forever have an impact on Griffin's mindset; he went on to study percussion with Princeton University professor, John Arrucci, before becoming acquainted with the guitar at 17, which served as a creative emotional outlet and tribute to the loss of his childhood friend.
Another inspirational experience for Griffin occurred while working backstage at the famous Newport Jazz Festival as a teen. There, he encountered several golden opportunities to assist such legendary performers as Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Diana Krall, Wynton Marsalis, Cassandra Wilson, Chick Corea, and George Benson. When talking with Griffin today, it's evident his adventures at the Festival are deep-seated in the current path of his music.
Griffin's love for a diverse variety of music has given insight to his own unique mixed-genre (jazz, rock, blues and folk) songs -- influences such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder and Jimi Hendrix have become agents for his writing process. Through an innovative syncopated rhythmic style of strumming, the melodies and Griffin's persona come together... lyrics structured with conversational verses and wide-open choruses hinging on multiple themes, originating from his early years and trace his steps to the present. Each track combines nostalgia, lust, love, time, trust and personal philosophies, giving listeners a contemplative, thought-provoking experience. Over the years, he's played hundreds of shows throughout New York and Florida and continues to gain an appreciative fan base.
Griffin's latest release, "The Griffin Anthony EP," was recorded at DTM Studios in Miami with the aid of Dan Geary, whose illustrious career with Sony and BMG spans over 20 years. To his credit, Third World, Lauren Hill and Mary J. Blige are a few of the many recording artists Geary's worked with, as well as having numerous productions hit the Billboard Top 100 list.
With such a rich musical history to draw from, Griffin's passion, determination and raw talent have definitely paved his way on the road to success...
Griffin was exposed to Jazz at an early age. While other four year-olds were feebly clapping to Zip-a-di-do-da, he was singing the hook on Sade's "Smooth Operator" or arriving to pre-school humming the melody of Dave Brubeck's Take Five.
First, like many others, it was piano; then a 6-year stint to dabble in percussion (more like a quest to explore every time signature known to man), only to then securely find his niche with the guitar at age 15. It was at the ripe old age of 16 when another defining moment occured -- during the first of three years, working backstage at the legendary Newport Jazz Festival, I had an epiphany. A single moment during Aretha Franklin's set -- as she shook the ground with her paradoxical of power and feel, belting out "Respect," Griffin began dancing. Somewhere between the flailing and gyrating, he ended shifting his position slightly. Before he knew it, he wasn't in the off-stage wing anymore, but a good 7-feet onstage in front of her horn section. "She shot me with the dirtiest look" as Griffin would put it; "it penetrated through my skin, piercing my spine.. That was the very moment I knew that music was in my DNA. Since then, music's been my therapy, yoga, desert, sex life and best friend."
Taken from a studioerin interview; Griffin enjoys "moderately long walks at a slightly brisk pace, hot showers, no-hit pitching performances, black coffee, teaching old dogs new tricks, slowly ripping pieces of paper in two, white wines, and generous club owners". Griffin is a virgo, so the cluttered mess of his life happens to be an organized one...