In just a few short years, Miles Griffith's fearless approach to music has helped him to emerge as a serious contender on the modern jazz scene. Adept in any context, his organic style is adventurous, whimsical, fiery, heart-felt and always on the cutting edge. Griffith seamlessly weaves together a potpourri of styles illuminating the "down home" fun missing in much of jazz' current vocal genre. With an instrument which is poised and mature beyond his years, Griffith is also comfortable with some of the more traditional vocal repertoire. Noted jazz critic, Ira Gitler of Jazz Times states, "Griffith's balladry bows in the direction of the romantic baritones of the '40s and '50s," while Bob Young of the Boston Herald declares, "his oblique Betty Caterish approach shows off his dark phrasing and penchant for melody."
Miles Griffith's non-traditional use of the voice as a percussive instrument, combined with an uncanny harmonic sense has made him a prime choice for many musicians. Currently a member of T.S. Monk Septet, (June 2001) James Williams' ICU and Jack Walrath's Masters of Suspense, Griffith is at the forefront of some of the music's most inventive working bands. "I enjoy working with these guys because they love the music. It is a continual learning process because they all have such different concepts, and in each group I can strive to contribute something new," reflects the vocalist. In the past, Griffith has collaborated with such revered ensembles as the Jon Hendricks' Explosion, Jimmy Heath's Big Band, Roy Hargrove Big Band, Stanley Cowell Quintet and the Bill Saxton Quartet. His impressive resume also includes stints with Max Roach, Reggie Workman, Carl Allen, Bill Lee, Barry Harris, Tommy Campbell, Wilber Morris, Burhan Ocal, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Craig Harris, poet Sekou Sundiata, Michael Jefry Stevens "Songbook" and Miles Griffith/Tony Pancella Quintet and Pamela Baskin Watson.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Miles Griffith's musical roots emanate from the Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, A.M.E. and Yoruba ministries. However, he attributes his percussive vocal style to his Trinidadian roots. Both of his parents come from musical backgrounds, immigrating from Trinidad, and they have performed in numerous church choirs and steel bands throughout the tri-state area. Griffith's professional performance career began at the age of six. His first major gig was extra work in "One Trick Pony," Paul Simon's biographical movie. At age 11, he became a member of the esteemed Boys Choir of Harlem which led to extensive touring and performances for the young musician. Further honing his skills, the ambitious young musician was accepted into New York's prestigious LaGuardia High School of Music and the Performing Arts, where his concentration was classical voice. However, it was in his junior year that he fell with Louis Armstrong, Thelonious Monk and Billie Holiday. Prior to graduating, Griffith gigged around town with fellow schoolmates, pianist Stephen Scott, alto saxophonist Justin Robinson, drummers Gregory Hutchinson, Taru Alexander and others. During this time, his mainstay was the renowned Barry Harris Workshop where he performed on a weekly basis.