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In Loving Memory of George Gentry Griffin Jr. Jazz Pioneer - Drummer - Singer


After living a good life, George Gentry Griffin Jr. went home to glory on January 28, 2023, in Seattle, Washington. He was born October 28, 1936, to George G. Griffin Sr. and Hazel Mae Robinson in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Years later he, his sister and mother moved to Seattle where his life and brilliant career took flight. He attended Garfield high school and at age 16, he started his drumming career with the legendary Dave Lewis Combo, playing high school events and gigs in Seattle.

In his early career he played in the Joe Brazil house band at the infamous Penthouse and opened for many big bands. He also opened for many prominent drummers like Elvin Jones, Chico Hamilton, Art Blakey, Sticks Hooper, and others. His George Griffin Trio played in other Seattle jazz clubs like Birdland, and the Black & Tan. Since 1961 George worked with famous musical stars like Lionel Hampton, Jimmy Walker and the All Stars, Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers, Peggie Lee, Ray Charles, Etta James, jazz trombonist George Bohanon and more.

George relocated to Southern California in the early 70’s and formed the George Griffin Band and his music career flourished even more. He played in established jazz clubs and jazz music festivals in Southern California/Long Beach and in other states.

He retired and returned to Seattle. While living at Courtland Place he created the 3G Senior Hand Drumline for Seniors and taught classes on site and at other facilities. In 2012 the success of his drumline was featured in the Seattle Times. “Drumbeat Adds Pizazz to Life”. In 2014 he was inducted into the Garfield Golden Grads Hall of Fame – Class of 1955.

George was married to Ramona M. Mitchell (Bohanon) and had two children, Kristina E. Griffin (Armstrong) and George G. Griffin III. His second marriage was to Joyce Simpson (Bartkoski) and had one daughter Myriah D. Griffin.

For over 15 years George was a member of the Freedom Church – Jesus Center where he served on the Father’s Board.


Join us for a Celebration of Life for George G. Griffin, Jr. Saturday, February 11, 2023, at 1pm

Freedom Church at the Jesus Center located at 7817 South 125th Street Seattle, WA 98178

2 Comments


My friend Karl and I followed George for years dancing to the great sounds of his drums/vocal and guitar/vocals of Jimmy (Baby Hewey) Hewitt. We‘ll meet again - much love, Stella.

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Robert Spaulding
Robert Spaulding
Feb 23, 2023

Susan Montgomery sends her love.

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