Director of MacJazz and Macalester Jazz and Pop Combos
Music Building, 109
Joan Griffith is a teacher, performer and composer who has toured and recorded extensively. She is the director MacJazz (big band), coordinates and coaches Macalester Jazz and Pop Combos, and is a studio instructor, teaching electric bass, electric guitar, mandolin, and jazz improvisation. She is also the head of the jazz studies department at the University of St. Thomas.
Joan’s 2011 CD “A Girl Named Vincent” with Prudence Johnson, the 2008 jazz CD “Sambanova” with pianist Laura Caviani, her 2009 CD “Alma Brasileira” with recorder player Clea Galhano and her CD “Enter You, Enter Love,” with Lucia Newell feature many of her own compositions. “Enter You, Enter Love” was chosen as one of the top ten best recordings for 1996 by jazz radio station KBEM. Her choral composition “Sweet Noel” won the 1998 Christmas Carol Contest sponsored by the American Composer’s Forum and Vocalessence. Her performances on mandolin include the Minnesota Orchestra‘s recording of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and as soloist with the South Dakota Symphony on their premiere recording “Journey to the Badlands”. Her mandolin and bass playing can be heard on the many recording of singer/songwriter Ann Reed. She is also a roster artist in jazz for COMPAS, the Minnesota State Arts Board and Young Audiences.