Music for the Missing - Emily Sweeney, The Boston Globe
Two local singer-songwriters—Jodi Griffith of Weymouth and Grace Morrison of Wareham—will perform tonight at the Beachcomber in Quincy as part of the Squeaky Wheel Tour, a national concert series that raises awareness about missing people.
During the show, they will ask attendees to post fliers in their communities to help find three New Englanders. One is from Quincy: a 14-year old girl named Soomaiiah Quraiishi. She was last seen on April 13, 2001. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, authorities believe she was abducted by a family member and taken overseas, perhaps to Lebanon, Syria, or Pakistan.
The Squeaky Wheel Tour is an annual event that was founded by Jannel Rap, a singer-songwriter from southern California. The concert series and website (411gina.ort) were established in honor of her sister, Gina Bos, who vanished on Oct. 17, 2000.
Griffith got involved in the Squeaky Wheel Tour after she received an e-mail from Rap. "I jumped at the opportunity because this is one of my goals in life, to help people with my music," said Griffith. The other two missing people who will be highlighted at tonight's concert are William Paul Smolinski Jr. and Mary Edna Badaracco – both from Connecticut.
Smolinski was 31 when he disappeared on Aug. 24, 2004. He was last seen at his home on Holly Street in Waterbury, Conn., and his personal belongings were left behind at his home. He was never seen again.
Badaracco was 38 when she disappeared on Aug. 20, 1984. She would now be 61. She was last seen at her home in Sherman, Conn, and her husband reported her missing when he returned home from work. Her car was still at the house, its windshield smashed. A $50,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for Badaracco's disappearance.
Griffith has been posting fliers about the coming show and missing person posters at businesses and schools in Quincy and Weymouth. "When I was handing out fliers, there were a lot of people concerned about the people who are missing," she said.
She's hoping the show will generate more buzz around these three missing people, and uncover information that can help investigators locate them. "I've gotten a lot of feedback," she said. "I think it will generate some response."
The show is free and starts at 9 p.m. The Beachcomber is located at 797 Quincy Shore Drive, in Quincy. For more information, visit 411gina.org.
Anyone with information about Quraiishi should contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST or the Quincy Police Department at 617-479-1212. ###I Believe (CD) - Mike Loce, The Noise
JODI GRIFFITH JLG Records I Believe 10-song CD
Music that makes you think. These are appealing stories from the thematic (as well as anthemic) side of life. Know what I mean? Jodi's sound is an amalgam of the best of the last couple decades in the sense of lyrical chord structures, melody and groove. Vocal layers swimming amidst a rock sensibility permeate these pop/progressive songs.
It's so refreshing to also hear a female musician and songwriter rock out who REALLY KNOWS HOW to rock out in this day! That only comes with years and experience (wait, I'm not saying you're old Jodi!) What is old anyway? The older I get the more I think of that. I think on today's musical scenic landscape, Jodi arrives a a landscaper, not simply a performer or songwriter. The title track is strong and absolutely worthy of being the lead song in say, a new 21st century version of the rock musical. Yes!
There's Only One You (CD) - The Boston Globe & Post-Gazette
Jodi Griffith is a transplanted Pennsylvanian ("whose") move to Boston and an education at the Berklee College of Music has brought to fruition this 7-track album. Utilizing only piano and vocals. Jodi opens with the tender "She," trailed by "The Torch" in which Griffith addresses worldwide issues, that displays her piano playing and passionate vocals on the title cut "There's Only One You," and explodes with the fiery arrangement of "Free." Jodi's concept of life continues with the cliché, "What Goes Around Always Comes Around," extolling the healing virtues of "Find A Way," and finally comes full-circle with her music following "Love." Jodi has appeared at T.T. The Bear's Place and The Good Time Emporium. Watch for more on this up-and-coming artist in the near future. ###
Breaking new ground - Seth Jacobson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Weymouth singer brings her own style to today's music scene!
Jodi Griffith has always had a passion for playing piano and a knack for writing her own music. "I like a lot of different styles of music, but I guess you could day my writing style is progressive rock," Griffith said. "I guess you could say my music is like a combination of Tori Amos and Yes. It's hard to pinpoint it though—you have to just hear it. It's complex and it's got a lot of different time changes."
Griffith said she plays piano, keyboards, and sings on her album. She said she is also trained in violin, but she did not feature that instrument on "There's Only One You."
And Griffith shares her talent with others. She teaches a violin class through the South Shore Conservatory in Hingham, and also conducts private classes. But mainly, Griffith is someone who enjoys making music and giving it to the people. She said "There's Only One You" is an album which reflects that enjoyment, but the album is also semi-autobiographical.
"It's a seven-song CD," Griffith said. "Many of the songs were written years ago. Basically, the whole CD is certain sections of my life compiled." The album holds songs line "She," which is about Griffith's best friend. It also has songs addressing world issues such as "Torch," and songs about accomplishing goals like "Find A Way." "All the songs on the album are songs people can relate to," Griffith said. "The all send some sort of message."
But the actual formats and styles of the songs are what make them unique—Griffith's sound is one which blends the traditional sound of classical piano with heavy guitar chords.
Griffith's music has been described thus: "delicate and introspective, her piano playing interacts with a razor rock guitar edge. These elements beautifully contrast and consummate with the fire of (Griffith's) impassioned vocals. The final product breaks new ground and creates an unexpected new genre of music."
"I write songs in various ways," Griffith said. "Sometimes I'll just be driving, and I'll get an idea for a lyric," Griffith said. "Other times, songs just come when I'm playing the piano. I'll come up with chords and I'll say to myself, 'Now where is this song going?'"
It took a lot of hard work, time, and moving around for Griffith to get where she is now. "I've been singing since I was about eight," she said. "I started playing violin at the age of 10, and then at 14, I started playing piano. Over the years, I kind of got into songwriting by developing my craft."
After attending the Berklee School of Music, Griffith packed up and decided to head to California to market the songs she had been writing over the years. "I really didn't trust anyone out there," Griffith said. "I always got the feeling I was going to get ripped off."
A short while after she moved to California, she decided she would rather record her material in New York, and so she went back east to do so. That was two years ago. "I thought it would be cheaper to record the songs I had in New York." Griffith said. And I felt the studios in New York were more equipped to handle my songs."
It didn't take Griffith long to record her whole album. But after she finished it she decided that Massachusetts would be a better place to market the album. So once again, Griffith returned to Massachusetts and settled herself in Weymouth. Right now, Griffith is in the process of trying to find a new bass player to work with, and then she hopes to set some concert dates around the area.
"I want to get out there as soon as possible," she said. Griffith wants to continue to play and write music, because she said for her, it's not a complicated process. She said part of the music business is about writing simple songs with excellent lyrics. "The Beatles weren't really monster musicians but they wrote the hell out of their songs," Griffith said. "A good song is based on the way lyrics are and the way the chords are formed. For me, I like artists who write weird sorts of things—things that make you think. ###