About the Artists
Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Clif Wallace began serious studies in Jazz at North Carolina Central University where he received both a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance.
In College, Clif gained broad experience in playing in many different musical settings playing with any one from blues guitarist Roy Roberts to Jazz Great Branford Marsalis. Ultimately earning the drum seat in the African American Jazz Caucus’s Historically Black College and University (HBCU) All-Star Big Band for three years. With the HBCU Band, he had the opportunity to perform with Jimmy Heath, Joe Chambers, Gerald Wilson, and Jimmy Cobb.
Just after college, He Joined the judging panel for the 2008 Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival along the likes of Marvin Stamm, Gene Bertoncini, Jim McNeely, Larry Ridley, and Jamey Aabersold.
In 2008, Clif played drums on John Brown’s “Merry Christmas, Baby”, that broke top 40 in the Billboard charts in 2008. Having since recorded with many other up and coming artists of many music genres. He has also recently recorded and toured with Polish tenor saxophonist Marcin Zupanski, as well as Origin Label artists, Aaron Wright and Dudley Owens.
In 2009, Clif Wallace took the opportunity to participate in Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead artist Residency Program in Washington, DC, as well as the Ravinia/Steans Institute Artist Residency Program led by Dr. David Baker, James Moody, Dr. Nathan Davis, and Rufus Reid in Chicago, Illinois. He was also chosen to be the drummer for the Chicago Jazz Institute’s annual Young Lions performance in 2010.
Currently, Clif Wallace can be seen and heard with his Quartet and Trio, funk fused rock band Cousin Affect, as well as a sideman with other great musicians in Chicago, Illinois, and other surrounding cities in the mid-west as well as venues around the country.
Christian Dillingham, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, began his musical journey on the trumpet; later switching to the electric bass, and eventually was led to the double bass. He studied at Youngstown State University under the instruction of Tony Leonardi and Micah Howard of the Pittsburgh Symphony, receiving a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Performance, with an Emphasis on Jazz. Mr. Dillingham continued his education at Duquesne University under the tutelage of Jeffrey Turner, Principal Bass of the Pittsburgh Symphony, receiving his Master’s degree in Music Performance. Other teachers include Jeffrey Grubbs (Pittsburgh Symphony), Peter Lloyd (The Colburn School), and Rob Kassinger (Chicago Symphony). Mr. Dillingham has also studied with Larry Grenadier, Rufus Reid, and Mark Helias, and performed at master classes for Hal Robinson, John Clayton, James Van Demark and Christian McBride. He has attended the National Repertory Orchestra Festival in Breckenridge, Colorado and also the School for Improvisational Music in New York. After receiving the opportunity to play with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Mr. Dillingham found his way to Chicago, Illinois where he currently resides. He played with the Civic Orchestra for two seasons. Mr. Dillingham enjoys being versatile, performing in orchestral, chamber, and jazz settings regularly. He is presently a member of the Chicago Sinfonietta, New Millennium Orchestra of Chicago, Camerata Chicago, and the Kalamazoo Symphony. Mr. Dillingham has also performed with the Grant Park Symphony, the Chicago Philharmonic, the International Chamber Artists, Fulcrum Point, as well as the New Philharmonic Orchestra. Recently, he performed at the International Beethoven Festival. He has had the privilege to perform with various jazz artists including Chris Potter, Robin Eubanks, Sean Jones, Take 6, Bobby Broom, Akira Tana, Stafford James String Ensemble, Ron Perillo, Dennis Luxion, Scott Hesse, Pharez Whitted, blues artists Lurrie Bell, Matthew Skoller, and Bill Sims, hip hop artist Lupe Fiasco, and gospel artists Three Mo Tenors and Smokey Norfol. Mr. Dillingham also performed for the multi-award winning productions of Follies at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and Porgy and Bess at Court Theatre.
Brent Griffin Jr.
Brent Griffin Jr. began playing the saxophone when he was nine years old. Now at 20 years old, he has always strived for excellence in his performance, composing, and teaching. He is currently a music education student at DePaul University and has worked his way into the jazz scene in Chicago. While being in Chicago he as played with artists like Marquis Hill, Bradley Williams, Clif Wallace, Keelan Jones, Phil Woods, John Fedchock, Jeff Hamilton, Jimmy Heath, Benny Golson as well as others. He as also played in the Black Ensemble Theater band, played in the horn section for the Four Tops, and was the horn section leader for the first annual Chicago Gospel Music Awards.
South Bend,IN native Jeff Swanson has made his own way as a guitarist and composer in the city of Chicago. After a completing his undergraduate degree at Northern Illinois University under famed jazz educator Ronald Carter and virtuoso guitar instructor Fareed Haque, Jeff arrived in Chicago in 2010. Since relocating to the city he has performed at many of Chicago’s greatest jazz venues including the Green Mill, The Jazz Showcase, Andy’s, Constellation, Elastic Arts, The Hungry Brain and the 2013 Chicago Jazz Fest. A member of Chicago’s rich music scene, Jeff has been featured as a performer, composer and recording artist with groups including Whirlpool, the Christopher McBride Quintet, Juan Pastor’s Chinchano, the Quentin Coaxum Quintet, The Dustin Laurenzi Quartet, and the Artie Black 3. Touring nationally and internationally he has also worked as an educator at such institutions as Colorado University in Boulder, Denver School for the Performing Arts, Southern Illinois University and Northern Illinois University. In addition to his efforts as a sideman, Jeff also leads his own touring and recording group that will be debuting their first release this winter.