Keyboardist, composer and band leader Godfrey Grannum will showcase his sound at the next installment of the Atlanta Jazz International Sound Series at Red Light Cafe on Aug. 23 at 8 p.m.
Grannum moved from the Caribbean island of Barbados to Atlanta when he was 21. His first gig was as a church musician at Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Buckhead. He said he would stand out because of his dreadlocks and the fact that most of the members of the church were white.
He went on to play with the award-winning band the PR Experience for seven years, and became a sought-after sideman in local bands. His performance at the Red Light Cafe will be a departure for Grannum as he steps center stage backed by a remarkable band including vocalist Kellie Cadogan, Christopher Allison on trumpet, Will Compton on sax, David Grimsley on bass Terrell Sass on drums.
As a child, Grannum said his first exposure to music was through church, as both of his parents were ministers. He began studying the drums at age 11 and moved on to the keyboard at 17. He says he would practice for hours, but really got focused through his relationship with Arturo Tappin, a saxophonist who has played with Roberta Flack among others. Tappin mentored Grannum and taught him how to practice the right way. This gave Grannum the confidence to know that he could make a living as a musician.
Jazz, popular standards and the music of Barbados will all be a part of Friday night’s program. Grannum says his music comes from the heart and that his concert is all about making good memories.