Skip Grasso is a guitarist, composer, and educator based in Baltimore, Maryland. He has performed in a wide variety of musical settings from solo guitar to big bands throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
His 2021 release Jagged Spaces with the Grasso-Ravita Jazz Ensemble reached #31 on the JazzWeek chart. This recording of all original music featured four of his compositions including the title track.
Following the success of Jagged Spaces, Skip was awarded the 2022 Pathways to Jazz Grant. In 2023, Skip released his debut recording as a leader Becoming which showcases him as both a guitarist and composer. The critically acclaimed recording introduced eight diverse originals in collaboration with Anthony Pocetti on piano, organ and electric piano, bassist Harvie S, and drummer Billy Drummond.
Reaching #42 on JazzWeek chart, Becoming spent sixteen weeks in the top 100. As a sideman, Skip recorded The Don Junker Big Band’s Junkyard Dog, and The Hank Levy Alumni Band’s An Odd-Time Was Had By All.
He has performed with such artists as Randy Brecker and The Lakewood Jazz Ensemble Big Band, singer Ethel Ennis, and saxophonists Chris Vadala, and Claire Daley.
In 1986, Skip was awarded a B.S. in Jazz/ Commercial Music from Towson State University, and then received a Master of Music from the University of North Texas in 1997. He studied privately with guitarist Paul Bolleback as well as theory and ear training with Dr. Asher Zlotnik whose teaching incorporated Joseph Schillinger’s compositional method.
In 1996 at the suggestion of guitarist Mike Stern, Skip began studying with renowned jazz educator Charlie Banacos until his death in 2008. He has continued studying with pianist Garry Dial, the authorized teacher of the Banacos method.
Skip taught guitar as an adjunct professor at Mount Saint Mary’s University. He currently teaches privately. Skip has also worked as a jazz clinician including with the Jazz Education Network, Baltimore Jazz Education Project, and the Baltimore Jazz Alliance.
Skip had two books of guitar transcriptions published, Vital Blues Guitar: Freddie King (2003) and Vital Blues Guitar: Gatemouth Brown (2000).