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Brian Torff

Performer

About this Artist

BRIAN TORFF is a renowned bassist and composer, and currently Music Program Director at Fairfield University. He performs in jazz festivals around the U.S., founded the Fairfield University Summer Jazz Camp, and has served as co-chair person for the music advisory board for the National Endowment for the Arts. His professional career began in 1974 when bassist Milt Hinton offered him the opportunity of touring with Cleo Laine. During the late ’70s, Torff recorded and performed with pianists Mary Lou Williams and Marian McPartland, and toured Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong with violin virtuoso, Stephane Grappelli. He played in pianist Erroll Garner’s last group and worked in the big bands of Oliver Nelson, and the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra. In 1979, Brian Torff joined in a duo with pianist George Shearing. In the course of their 3 1/2 year collaboration they toured internationally and appeared often on television. They were invited to perform at the White House in 1982 for President Reagan, and their third album won a Grammy for vocalist Mel Tormé. Brian Torff has written scores that have been performed by the Boston Pops, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Pittsburgh Symphony, and he has appeared as conductor, composer, and clinician for numerous high school and college jazz festivals.