Saxes, piano, composer, arranger, educator.
Born in Ariano Irpino, Italy, on 28 September 1986, has emerged as one of Italy’s most exciting jazz stars.
Thanks to the exposure provided by his parents, he discovered jazz and classical music at a very early age. He began saxophone studies at age 5, and was almost entirely self-taught until the age of 11 when he started to attend clinics held by the Berklee College of Music at the Umbria Jazz Festival (Perugia, Italy). He was subsequently offered a full tuition scholarship to travel to Boston for the Berklee summer program.
In 1997, he won the international young talent competition “Bravo Bravissimo”, which launched his professional jazz career, resulting in performances at the most prestigious festivals, clubs, theaters and TV shows throughout Europe.
In 1999, at the age of 13, his debut recording “A Love Supreme” (Java records), was released.
He continued his studies in Italy with the American guitarist Agostino Di Giorgio, in addition to his close apprenticeship with NEA Jazz Master Barry Harris as a participant and educational assistant in Dr. Harris’ European master classes from 2001-2009.
In 2004, Luigi began studies in classical composition, harmony and counterpoint at the “Giovanni Martini Conservatory” in Bologna, under the instruction of Chiara Benati and Francesco Carluccio.
In 2010, he moved to Paris where he currently teaches saxophone at the Conservatories of the 9th and 17th arrondissements and CRR of Paris. Since 2014 he also teaches at “Pole Superieur de Paris et Boulogne Billancourt”(PSPBB).
In 2011, he formed the “Luigi Grasso Quartet”, featuring his brother Pasquale Grasso on guitar, bassist Mathias Allamane, and American drummer Keith Balla. The Quartet released “Ça Marche” for the Parisian Label Echopolite, and toured extensively throughout France and Italy, receiving wide spread critical acclaim.
In the same year, he was a featured soloist on “Crazy Blues” (Sony-Universal), an important release by China Moses and Raphael Lemmonier.
The touring band, in quintet program with Luigi as soloist, has strongly performed in more than ten countries worldwide in the last two years.
In 2014, he recorded his Octet in New York City featuring Pasquale Grasso (guitar), Ari Roland (bass), John Mosca (trombone), Chris Byars (tenor sax), Stefano Doglioni (bass clarinet), Fabien Mary (trumpet) and Keith Balla (drums).
Also in 2014, he recorded his second “Luigi Grasso Quartet” album with Pasquale Grasso (guitar), Ari Roland (bass) and Keith Balla (drums). Additionally, a new septet that interweaves classical and jazz esthetics was recorded.
LUIGI GRASSO’s tracks