December 1, 2022


Art and Entertainment

Litchfield Jazz Festival Performer Spotlight: Pasquale

The Italian-born guitarist Pasquale Grasso is established to execute together with vocalist Samara Joy with his Quartet: Ben Patterson on piano, Ari Rolland on bass, and Keith Balla on drums, opening the 27th once-a-year Litchfield Jazz Festival July29-30.

Like to his youthful colleague Joy, Grasso started off early in songs, but with a twist. When she hewed carefully to custom with gospel, he used aspects of piano general performance to taste his compositions on guitar.

Born in October 1988 in the lush hillside city of Ariano Irpino, Italy, Grasso was destined to prosper in new music. His dad and mom, when not expert musicians, built sure to instill their passion for tunes in their children by filling their house with jazz and classical melodies. The younger Grasso and his brother Luigi located them selves moved by reside jazz performed at the neighboring Umbria Jazz Competition, an yearly occasion considering that 1973. Pasquale Grasso would not turn out to be totally enamored with jazz right up until just one day when a guitar caught his desire although browsing a neighborhood music store in the vicinity of his home. His father produced him a deal in advance of getting the instrument, “If I get this for you,” he reported, “you have to guarantee me that you are going to practice”. Observe Grasso did and he quickly became a promising player on the instrument.

Grasso would get started building his very own technique under the tutelage of Agostino Di Giorgio, a New York-lifted guitarist who himself was a pupil of the famed guitarist Chuck Wayne. DiGiorgio passed on Wayne’s one of a kind ideas with scales and chords to Grasso, but Grasso would not certainly establish his very own guitar procedure right until he fulfilled Barry Harris. Harris, a environment-renowned jazz educator and bebop piano grasp, became an amazing influence on Grasso following he attended Harris’ jazz workshop in Switzerland in 1998.Less than Harris’ wing, Grasso would determine his approach and point of view on jazz so very well that he turned Harris’ training assistant at workshops in Italy, Switzerland, France, Spain, Holland, and Slovenia.

Nonetheless, Grasso’s strategy to the new music would modify radically after an “ah ha” minute influenced by hearing classical guitarist David Russell. “I was shocked since of the wonderful audio and touch and the way that he was enjoying,” he recalls. “I thought I ought to analyze classical guitar to really master the instrument. Jazz guitarists perform chords or perform melody, but the classical guys engage in chords and melody together—like a piano, like a tiny orchestra. I thought, ‘That’s specifically what I want to do with jazz.’ My strategy was ok, but there was anything missing” (

Impressed by and combining the approaches of Wayne and Harris, Grasso would rapidly make a identify for himself following going to New York in 2012. There Grasso turned a section of the Ari Roland Quartet and the Chris Byars Quartet likely on to be named a Jazz Ambassador in a application sponsored by the US State Department, likely on touring Europe from Lithuania to Cyprus. Likely forward, he would function with numerous major jazz musicians internationally such as Barry Harris, Charles Davis, Freddie Redd, Frank Wess, Leroy Williams, Ray Drummond, and a lot more. His spectacular get the job done even attained the endorsement of the legendary Pat Metheny. Requested by a author Classic Guitar magazine who to identify some youthful musicians who amazed him, Metheny reported, “The greatest guitar player I have listened to in probably my overall life is floating about now, Pasquale Grasso… He has somehow captured the essence of that language from piano onto guitar in a way that virtually nobody has at any time dealt with. He’s the most major new man I have read in numerous, quite a few several years.” Now, at 33, Pasquale Grasso can be found most usually teaching the future era of jazz musicians or undertaking around the globe.

Pay a visit to the Litchfield Jazz Festival’s internet site at to learn far more about the captivating performances in shop for the conclude of July. To acquire tickets to see Pasquale Grasso carry out together with Samara Joy on July 29 starting up at 5:45 pm at the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Local community Heart, be certain to click on: