Jakubu Griffin is truly one of NYC’s most versatile drummers. Son of trombonist Dick Griffin, he has been surrounded by music from an early age. Growing up with many musical instruments and influences around him, he was always drawn to percussion and can remember playing the drums as early as age 3 or 4. He started studying classical piano at age 5, and later added the trumpet. When his trumpet teacher needed a drummer for the elementary school jazz band he jumped at the opportunity, influenced by his close friend Nasheet Waits, and inspired by his fathers childhood friend the great drummer Freddie Waits. Focusing mainly on classical percussion he attended the North Carolina school of the arts in high school, and majored in percussion performance at Indiana University. While at Indiana U. he also continued his jazz studies with Dr. David Baker, and was honored to be selected as a member of Baker’s band as a freshman. Meanwhile, he continued to progress in his classical endeavors winning an IU concerto competition in 1992.
Jakubu has performed with and lead groups all over the world. While living in Las Vegas he was featured in David Cassidy and Sheena Easton’s “At The Copa” at the Rio Resort. He later went on to tour with David Cassidy. After that he was musical contractor and drummer on a show featuring Chaka Khan, Peabo Bryson, Melissa Manchester and directed/produced by Billy Porter called Signed, Sealed, Delivered a celebration of Stevie Wonders music at the Venetian Resort. Griffin has also been a musical director for Kings Productions, as well as Norwegian and Premier cruise lines. He has performed and recorded with award winning jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas, Ryko/Warner recording artist Matt White, and Broadway stars Tracie Thoms(Rent, Cold Case, 911) and Shoshana Bean (Wicked).
Jakubu is currently playing with the legendary singer Clint Holmes. He was also the drummer for Cirque Du Soleil’s production of Zarkana which premiered at NYC’s world famous Radio City Music Hall in June of 2011, moving on to Madrid Spain, as well as having a historic run at the Kremlin Theater in Moscow Russia in 2012. Jakubu’s powerful yet very musical drumming reputation has been highly appreciated by many musicians and music lovers both here and abroad.
- Off Broadway
- NYC/Tri-State Area
Interested in touring?
- Pit Musician (Other)
My Primary Instrument
- THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS (AFM)