George Grifsas

Song 1

George Grifsas is recognised as one of Adelaide's hottest jazz talents. Well known jazz authority Tony Bretherick likens George's driving guitar style to the great Barney Kessell. "He's quite brilliant," says Bretherick. "With a repertoire that bridges jazz and blues, you don't need to be a jazz fanatic to appreciate his mastery of the instrument." George regularly works with internationally renowned vocalist, Naomi Ayres. Naomi's singing career has spanned nearly two decades, and the four corners of the globe. She has performed in some of the world's best venues and alongside some of the biggest names in music, such as Tom Jones, Dionne Warwick, Shirley Bassey, Arturo Sandoval, Delfeayo Marsalis and Andy Sheppard, to name a few.

George also works regularly with Persia Brokensha, winner of the Best Female Blues Singer Award, South Australia 2000. Other members of George's band are legendary drummer Billy Ross, and Paul Yankovic on bass. Special guests have included such players as Gabriel Chamah on saxophone, also Shane Ellery on keyboard.

He has worked as a backing musician for such famous names as James Morrison, Bob Bertles, Joey Peroni, Sue Cruikshank and the late Ricky May, just to name a few. During this time George continued to hone his skills under the tutelage of Dave Coulton, Steve McKenna, Karl Ore, George Gola and Doug Devries. In 1989 he worked overseas, initially taking lessons from Jim Mullen in London and then from Shaun Baxter and Bill Skeat. Whilst in London he was a frequent visitor at Ronnie Scot's, during which time he received lessons from Joe Pass, George Benson, Monty Alexander and Cecil Taylor. The opportunity to listen to this wide cross-section of musicians was an education in itself.

George has been playing up a storm around Adelaide's jazz venues since returning from an eight year stint in Europe, where he performed at festivals, theatres and clubs in Germany, the UK, Italy, Holland and Russia. He completed the Performance Course for Classical Guitar at the Flinders Street School of Music in 1984, and graduated from the Jazz Performance course at the South Australian College of the Arts in 1986. Since then George has worked as a professional musician, in a diverse range of genres from classical to jazz.

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