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Lou Grassi is internationally known for his work in both the traditional and the avant-garde jazz worlds. He has literally played from Ragtime to No-Time: He toured with Ragtime pianist Max Morath and for over a decade starting in 1995 was the leader of the Lou Grassi PoBand ("some of the best freestyle improvisers on the scene at the end of the 20th century . . ." All Music Guide to Jazz).
 

Since the release of his CD PoGressions in 1996 Lou's star has been on the rise. He has subsequently appeared on more than 100 new recordings. His nine CDs as a leader, including six by the PoBand, established him as one of the most versatile, original, and creative drummers working in this idiom.

In 1999 Lou and trumpeter Roy Campbell started The Nu Band as a cooperative project along with Mark Whitecage and Joe Fonda.

The Nu Band has evolved and continues since the passing of Roy in 2014 and Mark in 2021

and is now in its 25th year with 10 recordings and 10 European tours under its belt. The Nu Band has also done several U.S. tours including one in 2022 thanks to a "Jazz Roads" grant funded by the Doris Duke Foundation through South Arts.

 Lou Grassi has performed and/or recorded with a wide range of outstanding artists, including Marshall Allen, Billy Bang, Karl Berger, Borah Bergman, Rob Brown, Roy Campbell, The Copascetics, Marco Eneidi, Jimmy Garrison, Charles Gayle, Mack Goldsbury, Burton Greene, Urbie Green, Gunter Hampel, Johnny Hartman, Guenter Heinz, Fred van Hove, Joseph Jarman,  Sheila Jordan, William Parker, Perry Robinson, Roswell Rudd, John Tchicai, Steve Tintweiss and Kenny Wessel among others.

Lou has toured extensively, performing throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Central America  and Russia. He has been a featured artist at numerous international festivals, including The Vision Festival, NYC, The Texaco New York Jazz Festival, NYC, The Rochester Jazz Festival, Rochester, NY, The Rive de Gier International Jazz Festival, France, Festas Lisboa, Portugal, CAMP 99, Germany, The Guelph Jazz Festival, Canada, Festival Frei Improvisierter Music, Germany, The Hurta Cordel International Festival of Improvised Music, Madrid, Spain, the Ad hoc Music Offen Ohren Festival, Munich, Germany, Jazz ao Centro Festival, Coimbra, Portugal, The Klappstuhlfest, der Ort, Wuppertal, Germany, Edgefest, Ann Arbor, MI, and the WIM Festival of Improvised Music in Antwerp, Belgium. Lou has also performed at Banlieues Bleues Festival, Paris, France; Lueneburg Jazz Nights, Germany; The Bell Atlantic Jazz Festival, NYC, Edgefest, Ann Arbor, MI, and The International Dixieland Festival of Dresden, Germany, among others.


Music For Dance
Lou Grassi has created original music for more than 15 dance pieces by choreographers including Richard Bull, Carolyn Dorfman, Bill T. Jones, Lois Welk, and Arnie Zane. Lou received funding from Meet the Composer for more than half of these collaborations. He has also been the recipient of grants from The National Endowment of the Arts (1974) and The American Music Center (2002) and he has written on the subject of dance accompaniment for Modern Drummer magazine (August 1984).

 Lou was on the staff of New Jersey City University as a dance accompanist f
rom 1978 until 2010 and he was a teaching artist for New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) from 2001 until 2010. He has been dance accompanist at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, NYC since 2009. He continues to teach privately and is available for workshops and clinics.   

 


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