Oliver Griffith has been playing professionally for over 40 years, first in Boston, New England and New York, and then worldwide during a 20-year career as a US diplomat in Africa, South America and Europe. After studies in ethnomusicology and Jazz at Wesleyan University, he earned a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory. He also studied Jazz at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, and classical flute at the Richard Strauss Konservatorium in Munich. His teachers have included Joe Viola, Joe Allard, Sam Rivers, Bill Barron, Ernie Wilkins, George Russell, Jimmy Giuffre and Jerry Bergonzi.

‚Äč

In a diverse musical career, Oliver has played with the bands of Mary Wilson and the Supremes, Ted Curson, and South American pop star Franco de Vita, as well as lead Alto or solo Tenor saxophone in numerous big bands in Boston, New York, Washington, and Hamburg, including those of George Russell and Herb Geller. He has led Jazz combos in Rwanda, the Central African Republic, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Guatemala and France, appearing in dozens of clubs, concert halls, and cultural centers. His groups have performed in jazz festivals in Chad, Venezuela, Uruguay and Trinidad and Tobago, where he was frequent guest soloist with the major steel drum bands. He has also performed on numerous radio and television broadcasts in the US and worldwide. Among his classical experience are four years with the Cambridge Saxophone Quartet and performances as soloist with the Guatemala Symphony Orchestra.

 

On returning to Paris in 2007, Oliver has performed with various groups at local Jazz venues, Embassies, and Franco-American associations, as well as at functions and festivals. Although a prolific composer and arranger, Oliver now concentrates mostly on playing the classic Jazz repertoire on tenor and soprano saxophone, flute and bass flute.