This week Matthew Grasso will join us with his extended play 7-string guitar. Matthew will be joined by his son Miyan Grasso, who plays extended 7-string guitar, along with Mathew’s wife Aya Ueda--a soprano, keyboardist, and choral conductor. They will perform duos and trios for the show.
Matthew Grasso is classical guitarist, composer, arranger, musical instrument innovator, and improviser who began playing guitar at 12. He attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and complemented this training by studying the classical music of North India at the Ali Akbar College of Music with the late sarod master Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.
Matthew performs on an extended 7-string guitar, 15-stringed tantrakari guitar, and an 18-note octave just intonation guitar. The extended 7-string has an additional bass string and 22 frets on the first string.
In his quest for new guitar literature, Matthew has contributed to the classical guitar repertory by transcribing numerous works for solo extended 7-string guitar, including Barber's Adagio for Strings; Ravel's Mother Goose Suite; Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2; Bach's Chaconne; and other works in the pop/jazz vocal genre.
As a composer, Matthew has contributed works for solo guitar, guitar ensemble, chamber works for guitar and strings, women's choir, music in just intonation tuning, and a guitar concerto. His music has been set to dance and film, and receives commissions from many artists.
Through his understanding of musical systems of the east and west, he has created a flexible and creative voice in improvisation and has developed a unique style of rendering classical ragas. This music can be heard on his tantrakari guitar.
Matthew performs and lectures throughout Northern California. He was a featured soloist with many symphonies, most notably the Auburn Symphony Chamber Players under the baton of the late Maestro Michael Goodwin. His recordings include seven CDs, which include his own compositions, transcriptions and improvisational works. In addition to recordings, Matthew has published a few articles in the area of multi-string and microtonal guitars through various online publications.
Currently Matthew is on the faculty at Sacramento City College, American River College, California College of the Arts, and Yuba College, and he teaches privately. He has designed college courses in the area of North Indian and western music, and resides in Davis.
Matthew will host and perform in Davis at the Davis Arts Center for the 12th annual celebration concert of the 7 string guitar. This show will be streamed live on KDRT.ORG