GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - When Matt Griffith told his parents he wanted to switch majors in college from engineering to music, his wise parents said "follow your dream," and that's what he did.
Three years ago Griffith headed for Nashville, where the 26-year-old musician is making a living performing as a solo artist, recording demos of other songwriters' songs and playing guitar with the band Brookline.
Griffith also often performs as a session musician in Nashville.
A producer is in the process of pitching Griffith's new EP with four original tunes, in hopes of securing a record contract soon.
Before that happens, Griffith is returning to Colorado for a visit, and will perform at the Cavalcade in Fruita 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5.
Griffith calls himself a "singer-songwriter with a little pop country influence."
At the Cavalcade, listeners can expect to hear mostly original songs, with a few covers tossed in.
"I have quite a few new songs I haven't had time to record," Griffith said. "A lot of family and friends haven't heard the songs on the new EP."
From the time he was 9, Griffith grew up playing music with his father, Rick Griffith, who plays guitar, and mom Beverly Griffith, who sings in the Griffith Family Band. They played for weddings, at nursing homes and other events, such as the downtown Farmers Market.
"We started the family band when Matt got interested in keyboards," Beverly said. "My husband and Matt played music together since he was tiny.
"We have a lot of fun doing music together. It's just something that we do."
Griffith learned to play violin in middle school orchestra, and in high school, he picked up guitar from his dad. He also plays mandolin and sings, his mom said.
His dad credits the Grand Junction Children's Choir, calling its teachers among the "best in the valley."
"We started his music career in the Children's Choir when he was in the third grade," Rick said. "He showed such an aptitude that we kept with it."
Griffith graduated from Mesa State College in 2008 (now Colorado Mesa University) with a degree in music performance with a vocal concentration. There, he met his wife Stefanie, also a singer. They have two daughters, Michaela, 2 1/2, and Lucy, 4 months.
Beverly said her husband Rick may play a couple of songs with Matt when he performs in Fruita Tuesday. The last time the family visited, the grandparents taught Michaela how to play "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" on the kazoo, and they're hoping she'll join her father for a song.
The Griffith family continues to play music together, mostly at family events, with their younger daughter Mariah who plays guitar and sings.