A jazz saxophonist with a distinguished career as a performer, composer, music educator and recording artist, CARL GRUBBS has toured with his ensemble in major cities world wide. Early in his career, he received extensive training from one of the music world’s greatest legends in jazz, JOHN COLTRANE.
Mr. Grubbs has received numerous awards in recognition of his work. He has twice been the recipient of the MSAC Traditions award as a jazz master, working with apprentices to pass on the traditions of improvised jazz music. His organization, Contemporary Arts Inc. received a 2009 MSAC Traditions Project grant that culminated in his collaboration with Lafayette Gilchrist in a CD of the music of Marylanders who made significant contributions to the art form of jazz. In 2009, Mr. Grubbs received the Mary Sawyers Baker Award from the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance and William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund. In 2014, he was awarded a Rubys Project Grant from the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, founded by the Deutsch Foundation. His Rubys Project Grant enabled him to revise and expand his original work, The Inner Harbor Suite Revisited: A Tribute to Baltimore for Jazz/String Ensemble.
"Grubbs has crafted a work of considerable color and depth in his Inner Harbor Suite; melodies, counter-melodies, blues elements of call and response, bebop rhythms, Afro-Cuban rhythms and avant-garde elements." – Howard Mandel, DownBeat Magazine
"The quartet takes the tonal centers of Trane’s “Giant Steps” as their shared springboard. Grubbs solos first, crafting a highly personalized tribute to the composer through a verbose series of high register note streams . . . bouts of impressive circular breathing in solo and tandem, but the extended reed techniques never compromise the musicality of their endeavors. 'July' features the full quartet galloping through another of Grubb’s melodically charged creations Miles Davis’s 'Four' supplies further fodder for spirited blowing and the quartet attacks the bop standard with a voracious improvisatory elán." – Derek Taylor, Cadence Magazine