"He’s both a consummate musician and a consummate professional—sensitive and tasteful on one hand, pragmatic and take-charge on the other. It’s made him a figure of respect and outright adoration among his colleagues in the D.C. jazz community." - Michael J. West (Best of DC, Washington City Paper)
On Sharón Clark’s Metropolitan Room show: "an absolute triumph . . . with musical director Chris Grasso replicating the licks Brother Ray played on The Three Bells." - Will Friedwald, Wall Street Journal
"It takes a special pianist with a high degree of selflessness to serve effectively as an expert vocal accompanist. In the DC area there is none finer at this exacting craft than Chris Grasso." - Willard Jenkins/Open Sky Jazz
On Lena Seikaly's latest release:
"Grasso here proves himself perhaps the scene’s best vocal accompanist, dotting Seikaly with scattered chords and a moody solo that reflects her oaky contralto." - Michael J. West, City Paper
On Sharón Clark's latest release, a tribute to singer-pianist Shirley Horn: "a combo led by pianist Chris Grasso conjures the intimate sound of Horn's trio."
– The Washington Post
"Pianist Chris Grasso can lay the blues on, having certainly listened to Red Garland . . . Grasso's bouncing intro and deftly light touch disguises the virility of his solo, single notes ringing like a cross between Horace Silver and Gene Harris."
– www.allaboutjazz.com on Janine Gilbert-Carter's latest release
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.
For booking information or to join Chris' e-mail list, contact
or call 202.387.2675.