Chris Grasso is a Washington, D.C.-based jazz pianist who specializes in working with vocalists. He has performed with Gene Bertoncini, Keter Betts, Carmen Bradford, Lea DeLaria, Kenny Garrett, Allan Harris, Nicole Henry, Buck Hill, Marlon and Stephanie Jordan, Lewis Nash, Nicki Parrott, Ken Peplowski, Houston Person, Bucky Pizzarelli, Chuck Redd, Joshua Redman, Avery Sharpe, Janis Siegel, Suede, Denise Thimes, Frank Vignola, Bobby Watson, Cassandra Wilson, Matt Wilson and more. Chris has appeared at leading venues including Jazz at Lincoln Center, Birdland, the Kennedy Center, Blues Alley, Bohemian Caverns, the Iridium, and the Music Center at Strathmore, as well as festivals in the U.S. and overseas.
Chris serves as Music Director for D.C.'s most in-demand jazz singer, the incomparable Sharón Clark. They have appeared together on many stages, from the National Mall to the Kennedy Center, and have received rave reviews from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and JazzTimes. 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. For booking information, visit www.chrisgrassomusic.com.
"He’s both a consummate musician and a consummate professional—sensitive and tasteful on one hand, pragmatic and take-charge on the other. It’s made him a figure of respect and outright adoration among his colleagues in the D.C. jazz community." - Michael J. West (Best of DC, Washington City Paper)
On Sharón Clark’s Metropolitan Room show: "an absolute triumph . . . with musical director Chris Grasso replicating the licks Brother Ray played on The Three Bells." - Will Friedwald, Wall Street Journal
"It takes a special pianist with a high degree of selflessness to serve effectively as an expert vocal accompanist. In the DC area there is none finer at this exacting craft than Chris Grasso." - Willard Jenkins/Open Sky Jazz