Pasquale Grasso, the winner of the West Montgomery International Jazz Guitar Competition, will perform on Friday, May 26, at 7 pm in the Henry W. Coil, Sr. and Alice Edna Coil School for the Arts concert hall, located at 3980 University Ave., in downtown Riverside.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and senior citizens. Parking is free in the parking structure, which is located next to the hall.
Grasso’s guitar playing has changed jazz guitar.
Pat Metheny, a jazz guitarist and composer with 20 Grammy Awards and three Gold Records, calls Grasso “the best guitar player I’ve heard in maybe my entire life…”
Born in Ariano Irpino in 1988, Grasso began playing guitar at a very young age. By the summer of 1997, his parents, who recognized the depth of their young son’s talent, sought out the instruction of jazz innovator, Agostino Di Giorgio. Di Giorgio immediately took interest in Pasquale. Barry Harris, the world-renowned jazz educator and bebop piano master, also took an interest in Grasso and his brother, Luigi.
After studying classical guitar at the Music Conservatory of Bologna under Professor Walter Zanetti, Grasso moved to New York City and quickly made his mark on the jazz scene. Grasso became part of the Ari Roland Quartet and the Chris Byars Quartet, performing in clubs, music festivals, and recording in the studio regularly. Later that year, Pasquale was named a Jazz Ambassador with the US Embassy, going on tour extensively across Europe, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Cyprus, Lithuania, and Ukraine, among others. He has performed with music legends across the globe.
“For jazz lovers and guitarists this is a must see,” said Peter Curtis, professor, Music.