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Carl Gordon Grubbs, alto, soprano and tenor saxophonist – composer, educator and recording artist is a native of Philadelphia.  He received early extensive training from John Coltrane, who was married to his cousin, Naima.  Through his family, he was close to many of the history-making musicians of the 1950s and 1960s.  With his brother, Earl, he formed The Visitors, a quintet that recorded four albums for the Muse record company in the early 1970’s. Mr. Grubbs is a former member of the Julius Hemphill Saxophone Sextet.  This group toured the U.S. and Europe performing two productions: Hemphill’s Long Tongues: A Saxophone Opera and Bill T. Jones/Arne Zane Production: Last Supper at Uncle Tom’s Cabin: The Promised Land.  He was a guest soloist at the Philadelphia performance of Reggie Workman’s current project, African Brass, a tribute to John Coltrane. In 2014, he was commissioned by the Philadelphia Jazz Project to complete a new arrangement of “In My Youth,” a previously recorded by the Visitors.  The new arrangement was performed at the Irvine Auditorium at the Annual Frosty Event. Mr. Grubbs performed as guest soloist.  As a guest artist at Philadelphia’s “Coltrane at 90 Celebration, he performed a medley of his favorite Coltrane tunes and his original music. 


Carl Grubbs is a recipient of the prestigious Mary Sawyer Baker Award and the Ruby’s Prize, programs of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance. He is a two-time recipient of the Maryland Traditions Award as a Jazz Master working with apprentices David Lowe and Lafayette Gilchrist. The Carl Grubbs Quintet performs in major cities in the United States.  His ensemble has performed in Bogota and Medellin, Columbia, SA and did an eight-city tour of Brazil. Mr. Grubbs currently is the Jazz Band Director at St. Paul’s School in Brooklandville, Maryland.  He has directed the Middle School Jazz Band Director at Friends School and served as Artist-in-Residence of the Instrumental Music Child First After School Program at Bernard Harris Elementary School in Baltimore City.  From 2010-2012 he conducted Workshops in Jazz Performance and Improvisation at Randallstown H.S. in Baltimore County, Maryland



• Two Dreams, Odean Pope Quartet, CIMP, 2004

• Stepping Around The Giant, CIMP label, 2003

• Carl Grubbs, Reflections, B&C Productions, 2002

• Broto Roy Live, Total Immersion, Buzkashi, 2001

• Carl Grubbs & Friends: Inner Harbor Suite

• Live at the Baltimore Museum of Art, B & C Productions,1994

• Carl Grubbs & Friends, Live at The New Haven Lounge,

     B&C Productions,1993

• The Julius Hemphill Sextet, Fat Man and The Hard Blues,

     Black Saint,1992

• The Visitors (Carl and Earl Grubbs),

     Neptune, Motherland, In My Youth, Rebirth  1972-74

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NOTE: Carl Grubbs is a member of the Maryland State Arts Council Touring Artist Roster. Presenters can apply to the Maryland State Arts Council’s Touring Artist Fund for funding to present the CARL GRUBBS ENSEMBLE.

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