BRIAN Q. TORFF BIOGRAPHY
Brian Q. Torff is a renowned bassist and composer, and is currently
Music Program Director at Fairfield University. He is a featured bass
soloist, and currently appears with his seven-piece band,
featuring a horn section, with jazz violinist Randy Sabien, and is the
musical director for the Django Reinhardt New York Festival. Torff
recently performed at Carnegie Hall for Fiddle Fest where he appeared
with Mark O‚Connor, Dave Grusin, and Regina Carter along with Yo Yo Ma,
Itzhak Perlman and Pinchus Zukerman. He performs in jazz festivals
around the U.S., has founded the Fairfield University Summer Jazz
Workshop and has served as co-chair person for the music advisory board
for the National Endowment for the Arts.
Brian Torff‚s professional career began in 1974 when bassist Milt
Hinton offered him the opportunity of touring with Cleo Laine. During
the late 70‚s, 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 ∏ year collaboration they toured throughout the
U.S., Europe, Brazil, and South Africa and were featured on the NBC
Tonight Show, Mrev Griffin, and their own PBS special from New York‚s
Café Carlyle. They received worldwide acclaim, and were invited to
perform at the White House in 1982 for President Reagan. Their third
album won a Grammy for vocalist Mel Torme.
Brian Torff is a noted composer who has contributed works for records
with George Shearing, Larry Coryell, Union trio, and his own
recordings- Hitchhiker of Karoo, Manhattan Hoe- Down, and Workin‚ On a
Bassline. He has written scores that have been performed by the Boston
Pops, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Pittsburgh Symphony, and has
appeared as conductor, composer, and clinician for numerous high school
and college jazz festivals. He is a published writer on music and
musicians, composes for big band, and directs the Summer Jazz Workshop
at Fairfield University. Torff is listed in the Groves Dictionary of
Jazz and has been featured in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune,
Downbeat Magazine, Jazz Times, and many other music publications.
He currently tours with his own band and with French jazz pianist Florence Melnotte.