Biography: Chris Grasso Jazz
Chris Grasso is a Washington, D.C.-based jazz pianist who specializes in working with vocalists. Chris has performed live on WPFW, Washington, D.C.'s jazz station, with jazz greats Keter Betts and Buck Hill. He also has appeared with Ken Peplowski and the Chuck Redd Quartet, and with New Orleans' historic jazz family, the Jordans (Marlon, Stephanie and Rachel).
Chris appeared with vocalist Sharón Clark on the National Mall as part of the 2007 Duke Ellington Jazz Festival. The band also was featured in 2006 and 2007 at the Cape May Jazz Festival. In addition, Chris has made multiple appearances at the East Coast Jazz Festival. He also has performed at all the major venues in the Washington, D.C. area, including the One Step Down, Blues Alley, Twins Jazz, Bohemian Caverns, the Smithsonian Jazz Cafe, the Kennedy Center, and the Music Center at Strathmore. Chris serves as Music Director for Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C. He also appears regularly with Amaretto, the D.C. area's top dance band. Check out performance videos of Chris with vocalists Sharón Clark, Felicia Carter and Ronald Douglas. Chris also teaches a workshop for aspiring jazz vocalists as part of the educational offerings of guitarist and jazz educator Paul Pieper.
Prior to pursuing a career in jazz, Chris studied classical piano at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he earned a Bachelor of Musical Arts degree and won the university's concerto competition. He also placed third in the National Chopin Competition and has appeared as a concerto soloist with the University of Michigan Philharmonic and the Syracuse Symphony. After college, he took an eight-year break from music, working as a journalist, earning a law degree from the University of California-Berkeley and practicing law in Washington D.C.
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