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David Griffiths: Biography

Jim Reynolds & Dave Griffiths

Dave is a renowned blues, choro and jazz mandolin player as well as being an accomplished jazz bass player. He started playing mandolin in the 60's influenced by blues, ragtime and jug band music.

After meeting bluesman Dave Peabody at Plymouth College of Art in 1967 he later collaborated with him to form the famed jug band “Tight Like That” with percussionist Bill Short and Tea Chest Bass player Hugh McNulty, recording their seminal album “Hokum” on the Village Thing label. Tight Like That toured extensively in the UK and Europe. Dave appeared on two more albums with Peabody “Come and Get It” and “Peabody Hotel”.

Dave left “Tight Like That” to join Paul Brett recording one album “Interlife” on String Bass. The collaboration led to a move to Bristol where Dave met singer songwriter Dave Paskett appearing on his album “Pasketry” and toured as a successful duo on the folk circuit. At the same time Dave met singer songwriter Jim Reynolds to create a partnership that would last to the present day playing with Jim on both mandolin and bass and appearing on many of his albums including “Smile on Tap” with violinist Stuart Gordon.

A life long passion for jazz took flight on arrival in Bristol when Dave followed a more prominent career as a jazz bassist starting the first modern jazz club in Bristol with Pianist John Hooper. In a jazz career spanning nearly 30 years, amongst others, Dave has played alongside Dusko Goykovich, Barbara Thompson, Michael Hashim, Stan Tracy, Bobby Chew, Tal Farlow and John Etheridge.

Television and radio appearances with Paul Brett, Tight Like That, the Johny Hooper Trio, Smile , and BBC Jazz Parade with Dave Herrington Quartet and Duncan Anselm Quartet. Dave leads the mighty “Mingus Fingers” a 7 piece tribute band to the late and great Charles Mingus and was tutor for 7 years on the Bristol Jazz Workshops and recently on the Sore Fingers Easter Week. Many appearances at UK Jazz Festivals including Bude, Marlborough, Swanage, Upton on Severn and Brecon.

In the late 90‘s Dave’s passion for the mandolin was rekindled after hearing an album by Brazilian Bandolim player Jacob do Bandolim. This led to his latest project a quartet called "Brejeiro" playing the jazz based Samba music of Brazil called Choro. Their CD 'La Llorona' is available through this site, through CD Baby, i-Tunes and also at www.brejeiro.co.uk.

Dave has recently formed Duo Recado a mandolin and guitar team with guitarist Helen James allowing him to explore the full repertoire of the mandolin especially romantic Italian and more ethnic sources. In 2002 he ventured into the classical arena performing the Beethoven Sonatas at Ashton Court Festival with pianist Jon Stein and a brief period with Blues man Eddie Martin appearing on his album “Keep on Working”.

Always eager to raise the profile of the mandolin in Britain, Dave is active with the BMG Federation dedicated to encouraging young musicians to take up the mandolin and he runs workshops at Festivals, the BMG Rally and in his home town of Bristol. He is also a regular tutor at the Sore Fingers and BMG.