When Frank Griffith talks about jazz, his eyes light up. His love for the music is so strong it is almost tangible.
He works as a lecturer at Brunel University but in his spare time he follows his passion and leads nine-piece jazz band the Frank Griffith Nonet.
The father-of-one, from Northwood via New York and Oregon in the USA, said : "I have always loved music and began playing instruments when I was six years old. I can play a lot of instruments but my favourite is the saxophone. Jazz has always appealed to me because of the element of improvisation it has that other musical genres do not have as much of.
"My band was started more than 11 years ago and we have had people come and go but have kept the same core of four to five musicians.
"Our age group varies enormously. We have young guys in their mid-20s, some fortysomethings and veterans who are way north of fifty. It's all about enjoying the music and the buzz you get from performing. As a composer, I want to hear my music played and to get reactions from people."
One of Frank's career highlights to date was when he played in front of 2,000 people at the UK's queen of jazz Dame Cleo Lane's 80th birthday celebrations at the Barbican.
Frank wants to encourage more young people to listen to jazz. He said: "My advice is for young people to check out as much jazz as possible. There are so many good performers in this country who should be more well-known."
Frank, 49, gets more out of music than simply the sound. "There is a something very physical about playing an instrument. With the sax, it's the breathing rhythms involved. Sometimes performing can have the intensity of a workout." Jerry Lyons
* The Frank Griffith Nonet are regular performers at the Sunday Jazz Sessions at The Woodman pub, in Joel Street, Eastcote. For more information call The Woodman on 020 8429 4
To find out more about Frank's band visit www.jazzorg.com