It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing!
Born in Dallas, TX, Andrew Griffith developed an early interest in music and listened
classical, and other records from his parents’ collection. Especially drawn to the
joined his sixth grade school band and started learning the basics of percussion,
emphasis on Timpani. This led to Andrew going to the Booker T. Washington High
School of the
Performing and Visual Arts, where he started playing the drum set and eventually
joined the top
Jazz Combo under director, Bart Marantz. After graduation, Andrew auditioned and
the University of North Texas in Denton. Here, he studied with the great teacher Ed
played with many groups including the UNT Jazz Repertory Ensemble and the 3 ‘O
Band. Andrew was blessed with the good fortune to be chosen to play with visiting
clinicians such as Wynton Marsalis, Red Rodney, Doc Cheatham, Houston Person,
Pizzarelli, and numerous others. He graduated from UNT in 1996.
Andrew became a professional gigging musician immediately after high school
began playing that summer with recent Booker T. Graduates such as trumpeter
Russell, saxophonist Keith Loftis, and pianist Fred Sanders. Becoming ensconced in
jazz scene, Andrew went on to play and learn from many great local musicians such
Claude Johnson, Thomas Reese, Roger Boykin, and Dave Zoller; bassists Charles
James Gilyard, and Lyles West; trumpeter Dwayne Clemons; and vocalists Shirley
Sandra Kaye and Simone Jackson-Rodgers. Andrew started playing with the great
Marchel Ivery around 1993-1994 and played with him regularly until Mr. Ivery’s
in October of 2007. Mr. Ivery’s mentorship and friendship contributed hugely to
as a musician and person.
Visiting national artists that Andrew has played with from time to time include
Walton, John Hicks, Monty Alexander, Cyrus Chestnut, Michael Weiss, Alan Jay
Larry Ham; saxophonists David “Fathead” Newman, Red Holloway, Houston Person,
Lawrence, Jerry Weldon, Javon Jackson, Brad Leali, and Billy Robinson; trumpeters
Marvin Stamm, and Byron Stripling; trombonists Wycliffe Gordon and Frank Lacy;
Hofmann; vibraphonist Steve Nelson; organists Joey DeFrancesco, Jack McDuff, and
Thomas; guitarist Clint Strong; vocalists Melba Joyce, Jazzmeia Horn, Rosanna Vitro,
Gordon and Cheryl Bentyne; composer/arranger Johnny Pate; and The Duke
Orchestra under the direction of Barrie Lee Hall.
Andrew has recorded with Marchel Ivery, Joey DeFrancesco, James Gilyard, Sandra
Simone Jackson, Roger Boykin, Curt Bradshaw, Gregory Slavin, Jim Shannon, The
Gypsies, and many others. He currently stays busy playing on the local DFW music
such artists as Shelley Carrol, James Gilyard, Roger Boykin, Arlington Jones, Chris
as well as his own groups.
Andrew has also taught drum set students at the Booker T. Washington High
School for the Performing and Visual
Arts in Dallas. In March of 2011, Andrew conducted a jazz drum clinic/workshop at
Texas Tech University in
Lubbock, Tx. In June of 2011, Andrew was chosen to be the house drummer for the
UNT Jazz Bass Camp under the
direction of Lynn Seaton. In 2016, he was chosen to be the house drummer for the
jazz portion of the North
American Saxophone Alliance conference/competition. He has also participated in
educational jazz rhythm section workshops and master classes at various local/state
schools and colleges.
In 2004 and 2017, Andrew was honored to be a Jazz Artist of the Year
award recipient from the Sammons Center for the Arts and D’Jam respectively.