September 10th, 2006 :: PRESS
Alex de Grassi to perform October 21
"Alex de Grassi brings a unique voice to the art of acoustic guitar with his evocative compositions and arrangements, a highly-orchestrated sound, and sheer virtuosity."
"The Arts Council of Greater Kingsport will present Alex de Grassi as part of the Art Nights/City Lights performing arts series on October 21, 2006. Alex de Grassis will conduct an educational outreach program at 2:00 PM on October 21, 2006.Artistic Excellence and MeritWhether performing Gershwin, Hendrix, folk songs, or his own compositions, Alex de Grassi brings a unique voice to the art of acoustic guitar with his evocative compositions and arrangements, a highly-orchestrated sound, and sheer virtuosity. Alex has toured extensively in the United States, Europe, Asia and South America including performances at Carnegie Hall, the Bath International Guitar Festival, the Belfast International Festival, the New York Guitar Festival, and the Montreux Jazz Festival. Alex has received two commissions for 2006 Ò from the New York Guitar Festival to compose a guitar score for their silent film festival at Flushing Town Hall, and from Stringletter Publishing to compose a piece for acoustic guitar, string quartet, and chamber orchestra as part of their 20th anniversary celebration at Herbst Theatre in San Francisco.In his 14 recordings from the landmark Turning: Turning Back (1978) to his latest, Now and Then: Folk songs for the 21st Century (2003), Alex has explored an astonishing variety of musical idioms including folk, jazz, and world. He has consistently gained high praise as a pioneer and innovator in the solo guitar genre.Alex has been a frequent guest teacher at the national Guitar Workshop, Interlochen School of the Arts, the Milwaukee Conservatory of Music, Swannanoa, and his own summer workshops in California. He regularly offers master classes and workshops in conjunction with concert appearances. His music has been published by Hal Lenard, Stropes Edition, and numerous guitar magazines.Born in Japan and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Alex was exposed to a variety of musical influences. His grandfather played violin with the San Francisco Symphony, his father was trained in classical piano, and his mother was a fan of jazz. AlexÌs first instrument was the trumpet, but he switched to guitar at age 13 and began playing folk, blues, and popular music. Though initially self-taught, Alex studied briefly with jazz guitar legend Bill Thrasher and took music courses while majoring in Geography at U.C. Berkeley. He recorded his first Album Turning: Turning Back (cited by Acoustic Guitar Magazine as a top ten essential fingerstyle recording) for Windham Hill Records in 1978. The overwhelming response to the album and its follow-up recording, Slow Circle, launched de GrassiÌs career as one of the most innovative fingerstyle guitarists and composers of guitar music.Educational Outreach At 2:00 PM on Saturday, October 21, 2006, Alex de Grassi will conduct a master class workshop for guitarists of all levels. The workshop will focus on performing, arranging, and composing for acoustic fingerstyle guitar. Alex will share his insights into the techniques and inspiration that have become an integral part of his unique style. Dynamics, phrasing, tone, polyrhythms, right/left hand technique, cross-string technique, extended techniques, and alternate tunings will be covered in a hands-on approach. This is an interactive workshop designed to improve participants playing and ability to arrange music for guitar."