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Lou Grassi

Since the release of his CD PoGressions in 1996 Lou's star has been on the rise. He has subsequently appeared on more than 60 new recordings. His nine CDs as a leader, including six by the PoBand, have established him as one of the most versatile, original, and creative drummers working in this idiom.

Lou Grassi has performed and/or recorded with a wide range of outstanding artists, including Marshall Allen, Billy Bang, Borah Bergman, Rob Brown, Roy Campbell, The Copascetics, Jimmy Garrison, Charles Gayle, Burton Greene, Urbie Green, Gunter Hampel, Johnny Hartman, Guenter Heinz, Fred van Hove, Joseph Jarman, Karl Berger, Sheila Jordan, William Parker, Perry Robinson, Roswell Rudd, John Tchicai and Kenny Wessel among others.

He has toured extensively, performing throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Central America and Russia. He has been a featured artist at numerous international festivals, including The Vision Festival, NYC, The Texaco New York Jazz Festival, NYC, The Rochester Jazz Festival, Rochester, NY, The Rive de Gier International Jazz Festival, France, Festas Lisboa, Portugal, CAMP 99, Germany, The Guelph Jazz Festival, Canada, Festival Frei Improvisierter Music, Germany, The Hurta Cordel International Festival of Improvised Music, Madrid, Spain, the Ad hoc Music Offen Ohren Festival, Munich, Germany, Jazz ao Centro Festival, Coimbra, Portugal, The Klappstuhlfest, der Ort, Wuppertal, Germany and the WIM Festival of Improvised Music in Antwerp, Belgium. Lou has also performed at Banlieues Bleues Festival, Paris, France; Lueneburg Jazz Nights, Germany; The Bell Atlantic Jazz Festival, NYC, and The International Dixieland Festival of Dresden, Germany, among others.

Lou Grassi has created original music for more than 15 dance pieces by choreographers including Richard Bull, Carolyn Dorfman, Bill T. Jones, Lois Welk, and Arnie Zane. Lou received funding from Meet the Composer for more than half of these collaborations. He has also been the recipient of grants from The National Endowment of the Arts (1974) and The American Music Center (2002) and he has written on the subject of dance accompaniment for Modern Drummer magazine (August 1984).

Lou Grassi continues to keep one foot firmly planted in traditional and mainstream jazz with the Lou Grassi Jazz Quartet and Quintet, the Dixie Peppers, and as a freelance drummer in New York City.

Lou first accompanied modern dance in 1971 with the Daniel Nagrin Workgroup. In 1973, he worked as resident percussionist for the Dance Department at Brockport State University. Since 1978, He has been on the staff of New Jersey City University as a dance accompanist, and he has been a teaching artist for New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) since 2001.Lou has created original music for more than 15 original dance pieces by choreographers including Richard Bull, Bill T.Jones, Lois Welk, Paul Wilson, and Arnie Zane. Lou received funding from Meet the Composer for these collaborations in 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, and 1985, and he has written on the subject of dance accompaniment for Modern Drummer magazine (August 1984). Lountinues to teach privately and is available for workshops and clinics.

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Lou Grassi

Press Quotes

"Grassi, always skilled at incorporating the nuances of his entire kit, turns the fire up and down as needed." Mike Shanley Jazz Times

"Grassi really demonstrates the breadth of his timbral and rhythmic language. Expanding on the innovations of Sunny Murray and Rashied Ali." Marc Medwin All About Jazz New York

"Drummer Lou Grassi's work on the CIMP and Cadence labels has proven to be consistently intriguing - he shows a penchant for setting up collective situations with non-traditional instrumentation that effortlessly ignore boundaries between freedom, composition, and spontaneous collective arrangements. Grassi is careful not to overwhelm the others. His loose drumming delivers a potent, simmering flow that constantly shapes the momentum of the improvisations ." Michael Rosenstein Cadence

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Primary Instrument

Drums

Willing to teach

Beginner to advanced

Photos

Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

In Memory of Mark...

Not Two Records
2021

buy

Port Of Call

NoBusiness Records
2017

buy

Live At The Knitting...

Porter Records
2011

buy

The Dope And The Ghost

Not Two Records
2007

buy

Live At The Guelph...

Cadence Jazz Records
2007

buy

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