Tuesday, November 14, 2023
PASQUALE + KONRAD
Swingin' The Great American Songbook
Pasquale Grasso, Guitar
Konrad Paszkudzki, Piano
It’s a rare and exciting jazz interaction with “strings attached” when guitar sensation Pasquale Grasso and swinging pianist Konrad Paszkudzki combine their chops to play their favorite swinging classic jazz standards and bebop tunes.
ABOUT THE MUSICIANS
Although raised in Western Australia by Polish parents, Konrad Paszkudzki’s musical affinity and passion for swingin' American jazz revealed itself early on. He was accepted into university at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts in Perth at the tender age of 15, studying jazz piano and finishing his undergraduate degree a few weeks after turning 19. The precocious instrumentalist swiftly established a reputation as a leading jazzman in Australia, touring for the next two years and playing with his mentor, jazz trumpeter James Morrison.
After being offered a scholarship to the University of Miami, he relocated to the United States in 2009, receiving his master’s degree in 2011 at the age of 22. Upon graduation, he spent a year in Los Angeles playing piano with the likes of the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and the Jeff Hamilton Trio. Konrad returned to the East Coast in 2012 after being offered a position to lead the house trio at the coveted New York venue, 54 Below.
Following a yearlong residency and two self released trio recordings, he joined the John Pizzarelli Quartet in November of 2013, leading to over 1000 performances worldwide in the following four years.
In 2015 Konrad became a Yamaha artist, and in 2016 began working for Venus Records in Japan. Between 2016-2017 the Konrad Paszkudzki trio recorded seven albums for the label. Aside from touring and recording, Konrad also commenced his role as Artistic Director of Jazz at the Ballroom in 2017, a not for profit organization committed to delivering the highest caliber of swinging American jazz across the West Coast.
Pasquale Grasso, born in Ariano Irpino, Italy, began playing guitar at a very young age. Grasso’s principle instruction was with Chuck Wayne’s student and jazz guitar innovator, Agostino Di Giorgio. Grasso’s prodigious aptitude for the guitar only grew as he quickly became Di Giorgio’s closest pupil.
Another extraordinary influence in Grasso’s career has been bebop piano master and world-renowned jazz educator, Barry Harris. Pasquale has served as Harris’ guitar teaching assistant for the last ten years, conducting workshops in Italy, Switzerland, France, Spain, Holland, and Slovenia.
In 2008, Pasquale pursued classical guitar studies in the Music Conservatory of Bologna under Professor Walter Zanetti. During his time at the conservatory, Grasso developed a new approach to the guitar, combining classical tradition with Chuck Wayne’s modern technique.
In 2012, Grasso moved to New York City and quickly made a name for himself in the city’s vibrant 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 to tour extensively across Europe, Kuwait, Kazakstan, Cyprus, Lithuania, and Ukraine, among others.
Despite his young age, Grasso has performed with many leading musicians of the international jazz scene such as: Barry Harris, Charles Davis, Freddie Redd, Frank Wess, Leroy Wiliams, Ray Drummond, Murray Wall, Steve Grossman,Tardo Hammer, Jimmy Wormworth, John Mosca, Sacha Perry, Ari Roland, Luigi Grasso, Chris Byars, Zaid Nasser, Bucky Pizzarelli, China Moses, Harry Allen Quartet, Grant Stewart, Stepko Gut, Nicolas Dary, Dado Moroni, Agostino di Giorgio, Michel Pastre Big Band, Gianni Basso Big Band, Joe Cohn, Oscar Zenari, Luca Pisani.