Chris Grasso | Jazz Pianist
Chris Grasso is a Washington, D.C.-based jazz pianist who specializes in working with vocalists. Check out performance videos of Chris with Sharón Clark, Lena Seikaly, Bucky Pizzarelli/Chuck Redd/Nicki Parrott, Tommy Cecil/Marshall Keys, Lyle Link, Denise King and Janine Gilbert-Carter.
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.
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 the Ken Peplowski/Chuck Redd Quartet, guitar legend Bucky Pizzarelli, and with New Orleans' historic jazz family, the Jordans. Chris joined Denise Thimes, Matt Wilson, Avery Sharpe and Albert Rivera to close the show after Dave Brubeck’s performance at the 2010 Litchfield Jazz Festival. In addition, Chris has appeared at the East Coast, Mid-Atlantic, Cape May and Clark Terry jazz festivals and 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.
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.