Skip to Main Content

Joe Gransden. Image courtesy of the artist.

The Buffalo News Summer Jazz Series: Rising Star and Buffalo Native Joe Gransden Returns with Saxophonist John Sandfort

Sunday, July 16, 2017 ● 2 pm

Delaware Stairs

At 46 years old, Joe Gransden has already performed worldwide and released 16 albums under his own name. Renowned first for the hard bop approach of his trumpet, Gransden’s singing voice has been compared to that of Chet Baker and Frank Sinatra.

Gransden was born in New York City but spent most of his first 20 years in Buffalo. Coming from a family full of musicians, his introduction to music came early on through his father, a gifted singer and pianist. His grandfather was a trumpeter of merit, playing professionally his whole life throughout New York. On his mother’s side of the family was the piano virtuoso Carmen Cavallero. While in Buffalo Gransden studied with jazz greats Jeff Jarvis and Dave Schiavone. 

Not long after high school, Gransden was on the road as a sideman with the big bands of Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller. A number of sideman gigs include Barry White, The Moody Blues, Kenny Rogers, The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, and The Whispers. Eventually moving to New York City, he performed with numerous groups, including sub work with Toshiko Akiyoshi and Chico O’Farrill at the famous Birdland Jazz Club. Meanwhile, he formed his own group, which performed in Brooklyn each week and included the venerable guitarist Joe Cohn and ex–Betty Carter bassist Matt Hughes. 

Gransden has performed at Café 290 in Atlanta; The Blue Note in New York City; The Jazz Corner in Hilton Head, South Carolina; The Ritz-Carlton at Reynolds Plantation with Michael Fienstein; The Museum of Art and Design in New York City; Spivey Hall in Atlanta; and Tehema Golf Club in Carmel, California (where he plays occasional events for Clint Eastwood). His album Close To My Heart, produced by saxophone great Kenny G., is a collection of smooth jazz covers and originals written with Kenny. His new project Songs of Sinatra & Friends features Gransden with his 16-piece Big Band & Strings celebrating the music of Frank Sinatra.

About the Series

The Buffalo News Summer Jazz Series concerts take place on the museum’s Delaware Stairs overlooking Hoyt Lake on five Sundays at 2 pm, from July 9 through August 6. Admission is free. In case of rain, performances will be held in the Albright-Knox’s Auditorium on a first-come, first-seated basis. Indoor concerts are free with museum admission (and free for Albright-Knox Members). View 2017 Series


Limited parking is available in the museum’s parking lot on Elmwood Avenue. Parking is $5 for visitors and $3 for Members. Please bring your parking ticket into the museum to have it validated at the Admissions Desk. There is also parking available on the roads surrounding the Albright-Knox. Please take care to adhere to all parking regulations. Violators will be ticketed and/or towed. View Parking Map (PDF)

Back to Top