Alex de Grassi (born February 13, 1952 in Yokosuka, Japan) is an American Grammy Award-nominated fingerstyle guitarist. Though born in Yokosuka, Japan, de Grassi grew up in San Francisco, California, where his grandfather played violin for the San Francisco Symphony and his father was a classical pianist. At age thirteen he learned to play the trumpet but soon taught himself the guitar, the instrument for which he is now famous. De Grassi has since learned jazz piano with Mark Levine and also studied music under W. A. Mathieu and Bill Thrasher.
De Grassi performed as a street musician in London before learning the carpentry trade from his cousin Will Ackerman who later founded the innovative instrumental record label Windham Hill. De Grassi’s first album, Turning: Turning Back, was released by Windham Hill Records in 1978. De Grassi also recorded under RCA/Novus, EarthBeat!, and 33rd Street recordings. In addition, de Grassi started his own label, Tropo Records, which he now records under.
He performs solo concerts worldwide, holds various guitar workshops and master classes throughout the year, and performs with the de Mania Trio, alongside bassist Michael Manring and percussionist Christopher Garcia. Fellow guitar players consider de Grassi to be among the most virtuosic living guitarists. Tom Wheeler wrote in Guitar Player magazine that his technique is “the kind that shoves fellow pickers to the cliff of decision: should I practice like a madman or chuck it altogether?
One of my personal favorites is his “Turning“.
If you’re a fan of Spotify, here’s a couple tunes to get you started:
- “The World’s Getting Loud”: https://open.spotify.com/track/40l4Rxr1xy7nj7RrQEVhL6
- “Children’s Dance”: https://open.spotify.com/track/7tFFb8D948GK0bYi7T2MeP
Albums: View List
- Lowden de Grassi signature model F-35 [Sitka spruce top and quilted maple back and sides]. Check price on Ebay >>
- Jeff Traugott R model [German spruce top and Brazilian rosewood back and sides.]. Check price on Ebay >>
- Elixir Phosphor Bronze Nanowebs. Check price on Amazon >>
- A-Frame Adjustable Guitar Support. Check price on Amazon >>
- De Grassi Traugott Low Tuning. Check price on Stringsbymail.com >>