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Clemens Grassmann

“Grassmann uses modern and clever textures to point the music into a creative direction.” – Jazz Weekly Recipient of the 2015 Armand Zildjian Percussion Award, Berlin-born drummer Clemens Grassmann has collaborated across the U.S. and internationally, releasing multiple recordings as a leader to critical acclaim and peer recognition. His genre-defiant aesthetic stretches across generations and unites listeners of every sonic prerogative. The Berlin-born drummer, composer and educator has toured throughout the Southern United States as a member of the high-octane backbeat-driven project Swanky Tiger, whose recent EP Mechanical Nightmares received critical acclaim throughout the music blogosphere. Leading his own projects in NYC, Grassmann has headlined many noted clubs for emerging artists, including downtown venues Rockwood Music Hall, Gramercy Theater, Bowery Electric, Red Room and Pianos; Shapeshifter Lab and Williamsburg Music Center in Brooklyn; and Silvana and The Shrine in Harlem. He has appeared at legendary venues Minton’s Playhouse, Zinc Bar and Smalls Jazz Club, and has been featured at Olympiapark in Munich as an internationally recognized artist. From meticulous tuning to loose, responsive phrasing, the 2017 Pueblo FX Featured Artist has spent the past decade developing every facet of his sound. Though he has lived in Brooklyn for nearly four years, Grassmann considers his time in Boston “life changing.” While studying at the prestigious Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber in Germany, he received a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music in the fall of 2013. There, his opportunities multiplied and he channeled explosive curiosity into output. Pursuing his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drum Set Performance, Grassmann explored a range of sound at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute from fall, 2014 through spring, 2016. Working cooperatively with Joe Lovano, John Patitucci, Danilo Perez, Ben Street, Terri Lyne Carrington, Dave Liebman and George Garzone, Grassmann became drawn to a dualism within the music – and himself. Fundamentals handed down from instructors and world-renowned artists Ron Savage, Kenwood Dennard, Neal Smith, Billy Kilson and Ralph Peterson, among others, resonate across Grassmann’s expression. Sensitivity and a receptive, inclusive aesthetic allow him to take on diverse situations. He feels fortunate to have shared the bandstand with some of the music’s most inspiring voices, including John Patitucci, Victor Wooten, Lee Sklar, Steve Bailey, John Clayton, Dennis Montgomery III, Simon Shaheen, Vasilis Kostas and Ester Wiesnerova and to have recorded with such like-minded and distinctive artists as James Labrosse, Antonio Serrano, Clay Lyons, David Milazzo, Nick Dunston, Eitan Kenner, Yoav Eshed, Jernej Bervar, Leandro Pellegrino, Alex Madeline, Cosimo Boni, Xito Lovell, Daniele Germani, Giulia Malaspina, Olivia Perez-Collellmir, Negah Santos and Enrico Bergamini whose release Out of Place, that features Grassmann on drums, received a four-star review from All About Jazz.

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“My kind of guy for the future of jazz.” – Jazz Weekly “Grassmann uses modern and clever textures to point the music into a creative direction.” – Jazz Weekly “Grassmann performs accomplished and open-ended tracks which blur the lines between fusion, jazz, and pretty much everything in between.” – JazzCorner

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