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Alex De Grassi

Music has long been a family affair for Alex de Grassi. Though he's primarily self-taught as a guitarist, his grandfather played violin with the San Francisco Symphony and his father was a classical pianist. Even more significant are de Grassi's ties to one of contemporary instrumental music's most influential labels, Windham Hill. In addition to his status as one of the company's finest and most consistently intriguing artists, de Grassi is literally a member of the Windham Hill clan. After earning a degree in urban geography from U.C. Berkeley and performing as a street musician in London, he made ends meet by learning the carpentry trade from his cousin Will Ackerman, who was just starting a small instrumental record label. De Grassi was encouraged to record his first album, Turning: Turning Back, for the fledgling Windham Hill company. As it turns out, he had more going for him than good connections. Over the years, de Grassi has proven to be an innovative guitarist and composer whose mastery of acoustic finger-picking styles has grown to include a variety of other techniques and ethnic influences. Though he left briefly to record with RCA Novus, de Grassi has since returned to the Windham Hill fold. In the mid-'80s, his travels to Bolivia became a major inspiration. He made numerous field recordings during his visits and first incorporated indigenous influences from the culture on his 1987 RCA Novus release Altiplano. His contacts with Bolivia's Contemporary Orchestra of Native Instruments also set in motion the ensemble's first American release, Arawl, on the New Albion label. De Grassi continued experimenting with different genres and sounds that included guitar lullabies (1996's Beyond the Night Sky), his 1999 album of James Taylor interpretations, and 2000's collaboration with world music artist Quique Cruz, Tata Monk. Moving back to solo guitar work, his exploration of American folk music can be heard on 2003's Now and Then: Folk Songs for the 21st Century. ~ Linda Kohanov, Rovi
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Comments

one of my most favorite players. brings me to the times of UNR with my friends.
Saw Alex live in college, he's really an amazing musician
Just listen, things get good(when going bad soon).
A very tasty rendition. Just the right mood I needed.
one of my favorite song of all time - brilliant on all harmonic levels
billba1leveq u e
I always thought Alex & Michael Hedges glowed like the sun with a stringed instrument in there hands.
info772637
I saw Alex early on at the Kennedy Center in DC. I mean early. He appeared very nervous, and opened for Shadowfax as I remember. He played real fast and didn't seem to enjoy where he was. In addition, and another indicator, was that he wore sneakers onstage. Oh how alternative! We laughed at that. Still bought his records though.....j o f o . . . . P S just discovered Pandora via my son. You go guys!
I have always been a fan of ALEX'S music.. Just rediscovered it this month, as in whatever happened to Alex's music & there it was,yeah. It makes me happy.
I have been fond of Alex's work ever since my summer days in our new New York apt., in 1982, missing the comfort of my the San Francisco Bay Area. There it was--in his music---ahhh what relief; what escape for a misplaced Californian.
I love this man's music and the way he expresses his music. Will Ackerman is fantastic also.

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