Tommy Grasso is a true “Jersey Boy” musician through and through. Though his first professional club date at age 16 was at the iconic “Bitter End” in New York City’s west village, he spent most of his early 20’s on the jersey club circuit fronting and playing guitar in the band “Rockin’ the Box”. Tommy then moved on to projects that took him around the country, to Europe, Japan, South Africa, and Broadway.
With his latest Entity Records CD release “Which way is up?”, Tommy continues to surround himself with good company. The CD boasts a “Train” meets “Keith Urban” meets “Tom Petty” sound and features over a dozen of New York and New Jersey’s top musicians. (click here for a list of the players) “Which way is up?” is now available on itunes, CD Baby.com, Amazon.com, and here at tommygrasso.com
Tommy’s live show is high energy and always full of surprises. He most often fronts his original New Jersey based band known as "Tommy and The Spins” though it is not uncommon to see Tommy switch off to play bass, keys, or even sing a tune while playing drums.
With an active calendar, Tommy plays on a regular basis in the heart of New York City and throughout the tri-state area. The show has grown immensely in recent years. Fiddle and pedal steel have been added for the new CD and to the live show as well. This addition takes Tommy's well produced record from a "Jersey Rock" sound, to a "new country - crossover" feel at times. It’s catchy melodic tunes written about the every day stuff.
Recent credits include:
"Rock of Ages" on Broadway Tommy covered guitar 2, and also Bass guitar in the Broadway hit musical written by Chris D’arienzo. It featured the music of JOURNEY, FOREIGNER, STYX, NIGHT RANGER, POISON, PAT BENATAR, REO SPEEDWAGON, TWISTED SISTER, ASIA, WHITESNAKE and many more eighties mega-hit bands. The “Rock of Ages” band AKA “Arsenal” was right on stage and was featured throughout each performance. The six year Broadway run included stints at both the Brooks Atkinson and Helen Hayes theatres.
“Spring Awakening” Broadways' 2007 TONY award winning Rock Musical with music by Duncan Sheik. Tommy covered “guitar one” from September 2007 to January 2009 when the original Broadway company closed.
“Passing Strange” on Broadway. Tommy was the first “guitar/keyboard” chair cover. The new musical by STEW won the 2008 TONY award: "Best Book for a Musical". It ran from January 28th to July 21st 2008 and featured arrangements by Heidi Rodewall & Stew. "Passing Strange" was also filmed by director Spike Lee. The movie played in theatres, and was later released on DVD.
“Meniketti" Tommy played guitar and keys. Dave Meniketti of the California based Y&T spawned a solo band called “Meniketti". Playing shows mostly on the west coast as well as Japanese tour dates which produced the"Meniketti Live in Japan” record.
"Freddie Jackson" Tommy played guitar for Platinum R&B recording artist for both North American, and South African tour dates in 2007.
The South African dates included the Johannesburg jazz festival.
“The Stylistics” Tommy played guitar on select dates for The Platinum 70's Soul Band 2003
"TG3" (Tommy's 2005 release) was produced by Myron Dove (formerly of SANTANA) It features
Dennis Chambers, (SANTANA) on drums, Myron on bass, keyboardist extraordinaire Edward Roth, slide guitar wiz Tony Furtado, and of course
Tommy on vocals and guitars.
“Across the Universe” director Julie Taymor's feature film, which uses classic "Beatles" songs to tell its story.
Tommy appears playing bass in Sadie's band during the final rooftop concert scene of the film.
A Little Grasso History
Growing up, Tommy basically lived in his older brother Lenny's recording studio. The studio was built by the brothers and their father Lenny Sr. in a building that was once a spaghetti factory owned and operated by the Grasso family.
Observing and absorbing his surroundings, Tommy developed skills as a multi-instrumentalist. Both in the studio and live, he has worked as a front vocalist, guitarist, bass player, drummer, and keyboardist. If you check out the credits on all his releases, you will notice several cuts on each of which Tommy plays all the instruments.
Tommy's first album credit came at the age of twelve when he appeared playing saxophone on a Christian music mail order record.
It all began in 1953 when Tommy's parents, Lenny Sr. and Margaret, were cast to sing opposite each other in a church variety show. Five kids later, Tommy being the youngest, there were piano lessons, plays, recitals, band and orchestra concerts, marching band, and voice lessons all around.
The house of a musical family!