Born in Eugene, Oregon in 1959, Frank lived in New York City from 1980-1996. He earned his BFA- Music at City College of New York studying with Ron Carter, John Lewis and Ed Summerlin along the way. He also taught there from 1986-96. In 1987 he received his Masters Degree in Jazz and Commercial Music from Manhattan School of Music studying saxophone and arranging with Bob Mintzer. Other notable teachers he has studied with are Bob Brookmeyer and Bill Finegan.
Frank has worked with Ron Carter, Jon Hendricks and Jack McDuff, and played lead alto with the Glenn Miller Orchestra for a nationwide tour in 1984. He has also worked with the orchestras of Toshiko Akiyoshi, Mel Lewis, Buddy Rich and Mel Torme, and recorded with guitarist/singer John Pizzarelli on his CD’s All Of Me and Naturally. Frank’s debut solo CD, The Suspect, featuring Tom Harrell on the Hepjazz label was released in 1999. The Frank Griffith Nonet has performed frequently in the London area including the annual Ealing Jazz Festival since 2000. That first appearance resulted in the Frank Griffith Nonet ‘Live’ Ealing Jazz Festival 2000 CD on the Hepjazz and their second CD, The Coventry Suite was released in 2004 on 33 Records.
Frank’s big band CD, Holland Park Non-Stop, was released in 2011 on the Hepjazz label and features vocalist Tina May as well as a host of top flight London based soloists like trumpeters Steve Fishwick and Freddie Gavita, trombonist, Adrian Fry, saxophonists, Sam Mayne, Matt Wates and Karen Sharp and pianist John Turville,
As a composer/arranger, Frank has written for the Ron Carter Nonet, the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, and the Jon Hendricks Explosion as well as the Blue Wisp Big Band and the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra and clarinettist, Eddie Daniels. Frank also produced and arranged the title tune for guitarist, Dave Stryker’s Steeplechase CD, Nomad. Frank has also done arrangements for Mark Nightingale, Tony Coe, and Norma Winstone. He is also affiliated with the Pete Cater Big Band, whose CDs, Playing With Fire (1997, Jazzizit) Upswing (2000, Vocalion) and The Right Time (2006, Vocalion) feature many of his compositions and arrangements. He has received composition commissions from the Ealing and Coventry Jazz Festivals, the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School Big Band, the Oakham School Big Band, the Midlands Youth Jazz Orchestra and AMIS (The Association for Music in International Schools) for their annual Honours Jazz Festival.
Frank moved to Liverpool in 2018 and performs with his own groups which include a quartet, nonet and big band as well as his saxophone quartet, Saxtivity. Their CD-No Deal, was recorded in 2020 and includes several of his compositions as well as pieces by noted British composers, Dick Walter and John Warren. In addition, he does two regular radio shows (that include many big band tracks) on www.mykindamusic24.com and Liverpool Community Radio (www.l-c-r.co.uk).