Luigi Grasso born in 1986, has emerged as one of Italy’s most exciting jazz stars. Since his 12 years old he was invited around the world as guest in different type of bands, from duo to Big Band.
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 as a cure for asthma, 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’s one of the most talented young musicians I’ve heard in last 20 years. »
Wynton Marsalis, 2000 Perugia Teatro Morlacchi
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 CMA9, CMA11, CRR, PSPBB.
In 2013, 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” and toured extensively throughout Europe, receiving wide spread critical acclaim. In the same year, he was a featured soloist on “Crazy Blues” (Universal), an important release by China Moses and Raphael Lemmonier. With Luigi as principle soloist, the ensemble has performed in twenty-two countries worldwide in the last two years.
« No one wonders what time it is or what age we are in, but we just let ourselves be nailed to our seats as if lightning were falling at his feet. To live in concert absolutely! »
– Franck Bergerot, Jazz Magazine
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) giving birth to The Greenwich Session.
In the same year he also co-write the Radio spot of ENI with the Italian soul artist Luca Sapio.
« A moment of grace in a welcome simplicity. »
Jacques Aboucaya – Jazz Magazine
« Luigi Grasso is undoubtedly the musician to follow … »
Yves Sportis – Jazzhot.net
From 2015 to 2018 he is the musical director for China Moses‘s new project “ Nightintales”.
In 2016 Luigi is also the director of the project POP-UP THE JAM! by Buffet-Crampon with the goal to create a new meeting point for all musicians; with ten appointments of concerts/jams, this project gives a big opportunity to students to share the scene with professional musicians in the wish to transmit jazz music as a performing art and generate with years, a strong musical scene.
In between 2014 and 2017 Luigi gave more than 600 concerts with different projects and recorded more than fifteen albums with international jazz artists and bands such China Moses, NDR Big Band, Joan Chamorro & Sant Andreu Jazz Band, Alain Jean-Marie, Pierre Boussaguet, Ignazi Terasa, Rossano Sportiello, Géraud Portal, Michel Pastre Big Band, Pasquale Grasso trio…
In 2018 the ensemble « The Greenwich Session » releases its first album « Invitation au Voyage » (Camille Production) with a repertoire of original compositions and with an unique orchestration: french horn, english horn, basset horn and bass clarinet mets trumpets, saxophones, double bass and drums.