Meet our new Trombone Teacher, Griffin Youngs!

We had a quick chat with our latest addition to the JMI faculty, Trombone Teacher Griffin Youngs!
We are so pleased to announce that he starts a new adventure with us as our primary Trombone Educator of the Jazz Music Institute! Griffin was kind enough to share a bit of a background about himself and what he enjoys the most about teaching and performing music.

Tell us a bit about you as a musician. What do you play and where did you learn jazz?

I’m a freelance Trombone Player and Music Educator from Brisbane. I graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in 2011 with my Bachelor’s degree. In this degree I studied the Classical course, doubling with Jazz in my 2nd and 3rd years. I spent two years from 2012-2014 working on cruise ships as part of the house band. We would play every night supporting guest entertainers and the production shows, as well as our own sets of Ballroom, Big Band, Trad Jazz, and Jazz Standards music throughout each cruise. This is really where I took the time to learn more about jazz and improvising. I then moved to Halifax NS in Canada. There I worked for the Halifax Music Co-op and helped start their jazz program that is still running to this day. One more jump across the pond before moving home, 2016-17 I spent living just outside of London, England playing in a brass band and teaching in some local schools. For the past few years I’ve been living and working on the Gold Coast, slowly building up my performing work with local and inter-state groups.

What do you enjoy about teaching music?

I enjoy teaching because students that enjoy having music in their lives are learning more about this thing that they love. Ultimately I feel like the more you know about something the more you can connect with it yourself.

What do you love about the trombone?

I love the trombone sound.. mellow and smooth. Yet it can also be crass and ridiculous when you need it to be. Overall it’s a very fun instrument to play!

What do you love about jazz?

I love the freedom of expression jazz gives you. Having your own voice amongst familiar sounds and textures. I also love how some jazz songs and styles have the ability to transport you to a certain feeling or emotion.

Who are some of your favourite trombone players?

Fred Wesley is by far my favourite trombone player. His note choices, rhythms, and sound just make my heart happy.

fred wesley

Fred Wesley

Do you perform regularly in any bands?

I perform regularly in many different groups and bands including: wedding and corporate groups, a reggae band, a New Orleans funk band, some party bands, and smaller roving groups. This variety of music styles keeps me on my toes and challenges my playing ability regularly.

What have you been listening to at the moment?

Since joining the reggae band I’ve been listening to a lot of that music. It’s simple but so tasty when it’s done right. Some of the bands I like at the moment include Katchafire, Paua, and our group Kimmy.

What is some of the best advice you have ever received from a mentor, musical or otherwise?

Some of the best advice I’ve ever received was from my dad. He said “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. I would add to that, “love what you do, as this makes even the hardest tasks more enjoyable”.

Griffin Youngs

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