Carl Gordon Grubbs, alto and soprano saxophonist/composer, is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Early in his career, he received extensive training from one of the music world’s greatest legends in Jazz, John Coltrane, who was married to his cousin Naima. From this relationship, Carl was introduced to, learned from, played with, and developed close relationships with many of the history-making jazz musicians of the 1950’s and 1960’s. With his late brother Earl Grubbs he formed his first band called " The Visitors" in the early 1970’s and built a strong following in the Philadelphia area. The quintet recorded four albums for the Muse Record Company. The Visitors received strong radio-play and performed at Philadelphia’s most noted jazz clubs. The group continued performing until the untimely death of Carl’s brother in 1989. Carl’s career can best be described as one of diversity; composer, performer, teacher, leader, recording artist and presenter.

Education and Training

Private tutor - piano lessons

Model Cities Program - saxophone lessons

Vaux Junior High School,West Philadelphia H.S., Benjamin Franklin H.S., Community College of Philadelphia.

Private tutor - John Coltrane - saxophone lessons

Co-founded the Maryland Center for Creative Music

This organization presented jazz performers at a variety of locations around Baltimore City, provided opportunities for young musicians to attend workshops and interact with master musicians. Its performing group, The Baltimore Jazz Workshop also gave concerts. Concerts and workshops were held at the Walters Art Gallery, the BAU House, Artscape and The Baltimore Museum of Art.

Performed with the Julius Hemphill Sextet.

The sextet traveled throughout the U.S. And Europe performing two productions; Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane’s The Last Supper At Uncle tom’s Cabin/The Promised Land and Julius Hemphill’s Long Tongues, A Saxophone Opera. The Sextet recorded the CD, "Fat Man and The Hard Blues" in July, 1992. The CD received five stars in Downbeat Magazine.

Adjudicator for the Maryland State Scholarship Committee

Instrumental panelist (Since 1992).

Conducted workshops in Jazz Improvisation for students of all ages

Milford Mill Academy, Contemporary Arts Inc. Sponsored workshops 2004-05

Clinician, IAJE Conference, York Pennsylvania, May, 2000

Randallstown High School, Baltimore County, Md.;Friends School, St. Paul Schools, and Boys Latin and Doughlas H.S. in the Baltimore area; St. Ambrose School, Bethesda, Md.; Mill Creek Cultural Center, Philadelphia; Morgan State University, Baltimore, Md: Drexell University, Philadelphia, PA.; Inter-American Cultural Centers in the cities of Bogota and Medellin, Columbia, South America while on tour (1995-1996) Inter-American Cultural Centers in Brazil (Eight city tour in 1998).

Performed at Special Events such as:

Congressional Black Caucus Tribute to Dizzy Gillespie, Washington, D.C.

Mellon Jazz Festival (Dedication to John Coltrane), Philadelphia, PA.

John Coltrane Society Celebration of Coltrane’s Birthday, Philadelphia, PA.

Reggie Workman’s presentation of Africa Brass, Philadelphia, PA

First Night, Charlottesville, VA

Montpelier Cultural Arts Center Spring Concert Series, Bowie, MD

Jazz Arts, District Curators, Washington, D.C.

St. Johns College Jazz Improvisation Series, Annapolis, MD


Clinician, Jazz Improvisation Workshop, Milford Mill Academy, Contemporary Arts, Inc.

Clinician, Jazz Improvisation Workshop, Common Ground on The Hill,

McDaniel College, Westminister, Maryland, Baltimore Community College, Maryland Clinician, IAJE Regional Conference, York, PA,

"Jazz Improvisation Made Simple--Arranging for Non-Traditional Jazz Ensembles"

Instructor, Jazz Improvisation, Eubie Blake Cultural Center Summer Workshop

Artist in Residence, St. Paul School, Brooklandville, Maryland

Director, Jazz Band, St. Paul School, Brooklandville, Maryland

Director, Middle School Jazz Band, Friends School, Baltimore, MD

Director- Summer Activity Extraordinaire (SAX):

A Summer Music Camp for Youth ages 4-17, Loyola College in Maryland,

Baltimore, Maryland (1997-Present)

Site Coordinator/Instructor Eubie Blake Cultural Center After school Program

Private tutor - Douglas and Dunbar High Schools ,Baltimore, MD.


International Association of Jazz Educators


Musicians Association of Metropolitan Baltimore, Local 40-543

Chamber Music of America


"Two Dreams", Odean Pope Quartet, CIMP, 2004

"Stepping Around The Giant", CIMP label, January, 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) "NEPTURE", "MOTHERLAND", "IN MY YOUTH" AND "REBIRTH".

Muse Records (32 Records). 1972-74

Note: Carl’s next CD on CIMP label will be released in February 2006.


National Endowment for the Arts (1983) Presented concerts and workshops at

Inner Harbor, Baltimore, City

National Endowment for the Arts (1985) Concerts of D.C. Jazz Workshop Orchestra

Baltimore Magazine, "Baltimore’s Best CD" 2003

Maryland State Arts Council, Maryland Traditions Folk Arts and Culture Apprenticeship Award 2005

Baker Artist Awards - 2009 Winner

Awards & Experience...