|Membership level: Hall of Fame|
Inductee Year 1998
|Brian Q. Torff is a renowned bassist and composer and is currently Music Program Director at Fairfield University in Connecticut. A 1972 graduate of Hinsdale Central, he went on to earn his BS and MS in Education from the University of Bridgeport, and a CAS from Fairfield University.
Mr. Torff began his professional career in 1974 when Milt Hinton offered him the opportunity of touring with Cleo Laine. After recording and performing with pianists Mary Lou Williams and Marian McPartland and violin virtuoso Stephane Grapelli, he went on to join in a duo with pianist George Shearing in 1979. They received worldwide acclaim and were invited to perform at the White House in 1982 for President Ronald Reagan. Their third album won a Grammy for vocalist Mel Torme.
A noted composer, he has contributed works for records with George Shearing, Larry Coryell, and his own recordings: Hitchhiker of Karoo, Manhattan Hoe-down, and Workin' on a Bassline. His scores have been performed by the Boston Pops, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Pittsburgh Symphony, and he has appeared as a conductor, composer, and clinician for numerous high school and college jazz festivals. In April, 1998 he composed, performed, and recorded a piece, "Now I Know Why," with the Hinsdale Central Jazz Ensemble.
He was recently named faculty member of the year by the AHANA students and the office of Multicultural Relations at Fairfield University.