Ian Griffin was born in Neath in June 1965 and went to Sandfields Comprehensive School before having music lessons with Gladys Williams, who at one time played the piano for silent films at the Empire Cinema in Neath.
After gaining London School of Music Diplomas, Ian joined Arjay Music in Porthcawl with the Government’s Youth Opportunity Scheme where, under the direction of Roger Parsons who later created the Music Station in Swansea, where Ian played a prominent role in the development of Wales’ largest music store.
Before leaving school Ian gained cabaret experience by working with Billy Joseph (pianist) who previously had his own band – The Ambassadors, and Meurig James (organist/pianist) who played in the Swansea Grand Threatre orchestra.
At the age of twelve Ian appeared on BBC 1 television in a series called Crackerjack ‘Young Entertainers’ and was voted back a second time by the studio audience. Later at the age of fifteen he appeared at Britain’s first electronic organ festival at Pontin’s Torquay, which was one of their special events holiday breaks. Within two years later he was voted the best keyboard player in the UK under the age of eighteen by the readers of the Keyboard and Music Maker magazine who featured him at their ‘Spring in Spain Keyboard Music Festival’ where he appeared on Spanish television.
In the 1990’s Ian was privileged to become the music director with his band ‘Casual Affair’ on a series of HTV programmes: ‘Friday Night Live’ – a form of ‘Wales Got Talent’ with many well known celebrities as judges, including Hughie Green who previously had his own television show: ‘Opportunity Knocks’. Hughie Green was ideally suited for the show in view of the fact that he had given so many celebrities their opportunity to become national stars on television. It was his last appearance on television before he died in May 1997 at the age of 77.
During the time when Ian had progressed to being musical director and co-producer of Pontin’s Keyboard Music Festivals at Torquay and also Martyn’s Leisure Breaks, he became well known for accompanying many well-known singers, including the late David Alexander with whom be became his personal accompanist until the star suddenly died while on holiday in Tenerife. Appearances with this popular singer, who had several gold discs to his credit, included shows on stage at top theatres throughout the UK., including the Grand Theatre Swansea. Ian was devastated over the suddern death of the singer because of their developing musical relationship and what they had planned together for the future.
Ian enjoyed making several appearances in Holland and Germany as one half of the 'Keyklix' duo - the other half being Richard Bower, who has spent much time in Japan with the design team of the Yamaha Tyros range of keyboards.
In the UK., Ian has been involved in promoting several well known brand names including: Hammond, Roland, Solton and Ketron. He currently appears at all the major Keyboard Music events and gets standing ovations after his innovative request show – the only artiste in the UK to perform this spectacular feat of memory with songs requested by the audience.
On the local entertainment scene, Ian has been engaged to play for the NPT CBC Silver Stars competitions where senior citizens reveal their vocal talents. These have taken place at the Shopping Centre and the Princess Theatre at Aberavon with finals at the Swansea Grand Theatre.
On the club entertainment scene Ian has met and worked with many personalities from show business, making him one of the most sought after accompanists for cabaret shows.
At the British Keyboard Player Awards at the former Lyme Bay Entertainment Centre in the 2000's, Ian was nationally voted as being one of the top players in the UK for giving pleasure to audiences. With his nationwide following he has organised a series of tinsel and turkey keyboard winter warmer weekends in the month of December at the Sherborne Hotel in Dorset - a central venue for Christmas parties for keyboard enthusiasts in the south west of the country.