b. Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Griffin began performing publicly while still a child, appearing in amateur talent contests. She followed this with a spell as a dancer at Cincinnati’s Cotton Club. When she was 17 she briefly took singing lessons and began on-the-job learning by performing with local and visiting musicians. Soon, she was hired to tour with a package that included Big Maybelle, Little Jimmy Scott and Brother Jack McDuff. Although urged to go to New York, marriage and the raising of children intervened and she stayed mostly in her home town but continued to sing whenever the opportunity arose. Among many notable artists whom she met, performing with some of them, were Tadd Dameron, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy and Sonny Stitt. After an absence of several years from the scene, Griffin resumed singing, performing in Cincinnati, Chicago and elsewhere. She made her recording debut on Jodie Christian’s 1994 set Rain Or Shine, and she also appeared on his Front Line and Soul Fountain. Griffin’s singing voice is a resilient, swinging instrument ideal for the hard bop sensibilities that colour much of her work. She brings maturity and understanding to ballads where her superior interpretative skills are evident.
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