Rayford Griffin

Rayford Griffin was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on February 6, 1958 to Reverend Thomas J. Griffin, a minister father, and Geneva Brown, a mother. His love for music began early. His first introduction to drumming was through the solos of Max Roach and Art Blakey, who were featured on the albums of Clifford Brown, his uncle. Rayford was 10 years old when he got his first drum, a field snare. He also played in the grade school marching band as well as orchestra. At the age of 13, he received his first drum set (all the way from Japan). Rayford studied with Tom Akins from eighth grade to high school. He was the principal timpanist at the Indianapolis Symphony. This gave Rayford a sharp edge that would allow him to play drums with the snare, snare, and tympani. Rayford says, “I used take turns playing James Brown beats alongside other drummers my own age.” They could play, but they didn’t know what they were doing. Tom helped me understand what I was hearing and gave me all the technical details.” Rayford has always been a drummer. Rayford grew up listening to uncle Clifford’s music, Isaac Hayes’ symphonic soul, Jimi Hendrix’s earth blues and Buddy Miles’ jazz-rock fusions. Rayford was a member of Tarnished Silver, a band he joined as a teenager at Shortridge High. It also featured a young Kenny Edmonds, Daryl Simmons, and Tom Borton, who self-proclaimed, “Earth, Wind.”

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