Alex de Grassi
is considered one of the world's top fingerstyle, steel-string, acoustic guitarists.
Renowned for his techniques, innovation, and compelling compositions during
his two-decade recording career, De Grassi will be the new Recording Artist-In-Residence
for the spring 2001 semester at Mendocino College.
The Los Angeles
Times has described de Grassi as "...an acoustic guitarist of virtuosic
strength and ability..." During his career, de Grassi has played both solo
and in ensembles, has explored a variety of world music influences, and has
stretched his repertoire on occasion to include interpretations of jazz classics
and original children's music. Since 1978 he has recorded eleven successful
The Mendocino College
Recording Artist-in-Residence program brings in professional musicians who share
their knowledge and skills through class presentations, workshops and performances.
"This is a unique opportunity for students to hear and see first hand from
recording artists' real-life knowledge, which can help them succeeded in music,"
states Gaither Loewenstein, Dean of Instruction and the originator of the program.
Alex de Grassi
will give two classroom lecture/demonstrations per day February 26th through
February 28th. Students enrolled in various spring 2001 semester music classes
will have Alex de Grassi as a guest speaker. Those classes include Guitar -
Beginning I (MUS 222), Guitar - Beginning II (MUS 223), Music Appreciation (MUS
207), Music Theory/Harmony I (MUS 201), Recording Studio Techniques 1 (MUS 110),
and Performance Techniques for Studio Recording (MUS 55). Class registration
for enrolled students begins December 7, 2000. Open class registration begins
January 11, 2001. For more information please call 468-3101.
A free Alex de
Grassi Workshop will be held February 28, 2001, in the Digital Recording Studio,
Center for the Visual and Performing Arts. The Alex de Grassi Concert is scheduled
for March 1, 2001, 8:00 PM, in the Center Theatre, Center for the Visual and
Performing Arts, 1000 Hensley Creek Road, Ukiah. Tickets are $15. For more information,
please call 468-3016.
One of de Grassi's
trademarks is his ability to create a highly orchestrated sound using his solo
guitar. Without overdubs, his playing weaves together melody, counter-melody,
bass, harmony, rhythm, and cross-rhythms is such a way as to give the feeling
of carious instruments playing together. Using a broad palette of techniques
and timbre, and driven by a unique sense of composition, his intricate guitar
pieces begin to take the listener beyond the instrument into a complex tapestry
Born in Japan,
de Grassi was exposed from his earliest years to a variety of musical influences.
His Grandfather, who immigrated to California from Italy, led a string quartet
and was a violinist and ConcertMaster with the San Francisco Symphony. His father
was trained in classical piano, while his mother was a jazz fan. His first instrument
was the trumpet, but at age 13 he switched to the guitar. He played in garage
bands, and soaked up music of all genres at the legendary Winterland and Filmore
Auditoriums in San Francisco during the 1960s and 1970s. Though largely self-taught,
de Grassi briefly studied jazz guitar with noted teacher Bill Thrasher while
attending University of California at Santa Barbara, and took music classes
while pursuing a degree in Economic Geography at the University of California
Created: October 23, 2001 @ 12:00 AM
Last Modified: August 17, 2005 @ 06:36 PM