Fairfield, Conn. -- Happy Birthday to Fairfield’s Brian Q. Torff!
Torff, who has owned a home in Fairfield, turns 62 on Wednesday. The jazz double-bassist and composer was born March 16, 1954, in Chicago.
Torff is a professor of music and director of the music program at Fairfield University in Fairfield. He makes frequent appearances at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, leading the Fairfield University Jazz Ensemble along with guest jazz artists such as Randy Brecker, Bob Mintzer, Bernard Purdie, Milt Hinton, Dave Samuels and Paul Wertico.
His professional career began in 1974 when bassist Milt Hinton offered him the opportunity of touring with Cleo Laine. During the late '70s, he recorded and performed with pianists Mary Lou Williams and Marian McPartland, and toured Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong with jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli. He played as pianist Erroll Garner’s last group and worked in the big bands of Oliver Nelson, and the Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Orchestra.
He is a featured bass soloist leading his own trio and is musical director for the Django Reinhardt New York Festival. He has composed works for recordings with George Shearing and Larry Coryell, and his own recordings "Life in East Bumblepuck," "Hitchhiker of Karoo," "Manhattan Hoe-Down," and "Workin' On a Bassline."
He is the author of "In Love With Voices: A Jazz Memoir" and currently leads the rock band, Phantom Pluckers.
The Fairfield Arts Council named Torff its 2008 Artist of the Year.