"Grasso’s music seems to activate the space just in front of the canvas, animating the intricate layers and texture within its frame. Just as the music activates the space, the tonal relationships and layered intricacies begin to shift acting more like a symphony elapsing in time rather than canvases set in space."
- Cathy Denning, Art Historian, Oregon State University
For his composition The Odyssey of These Days and Dréos's collaboration with artist Wesley Hurd, Grasso was awarded an Artist Fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission for upholding excellence in the arts in the state of Oregon.
Dréos is an ensemble of performing composers who invent and arrange new and old music using a traditional vocabulary. The word “Dréos” comes from Scottish Gaelic, and translates into the English word “blaze.” The group was founded by Eliot Grasso (uilleann pipes & flute), Brandon Vance (fiddle & voice), and Glen Waddell (guitar & bouzouki). Dréos website.
Grasso’s recording is Volume I of what will be a continuous series of recorded piping masters entitled “The Ace and Deuce of Piping.” Up Against the Flatirons was recorded in 2007 at the University of Limerick.
Celebrate World Music (2013), a Seattle-produced CD featuring original works by eight composers and 11 solo artists, was a winner in the 13th Independent Music Awards Vox Pop poll, the fan-determined portion of the prestigious international award program for independent artists. The music was presented at a world premiere concert at Benaroya Hall in Seattle, WA, in 2013. Celebrate World Music was a winner in the Contemporary Classical category. A second IMA Vox Pop winner was Nan Avant, whose composition “Tributum,” recorded by Eliot Grasso, is part of the Celebrate World Music CD. “Tributum” was selected by popular vote as best Instrumental Song.
Standing Room Only (illen odyssey records, 2004) is Eliot Grasso's first solo recording project. The album is comprised of 11 tracks of originally arranged traditional Irish instrumentals and calls upon the talents of Jim Eagan, Patrick Mangan, Zan McLeod, and Andy Thurston. Recorded in 2002 at age 18,Standing Room Only was launched in February 2004 at J. Patrick's Pub at Locust Point in downtown Baltimore, MD.
A live concert recording from 2009 featuring master Irish traditional musicians Eliot Grasso, Liz Kane, Yvonne Kane, and Dáithí Sproule. All proceeds benefit the Center for Irish Music, a non-profit music school dedicated to handing down traditional music and song in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The year 2001 has brought the latest in John’s releases CELTIC FIRE. This work centers on John’s passion to mentor young artists and carry the traditional roots of his music into the 21st Century. With CELTIC FIRE John has stoked the flames of this passion with an ensemble of some of the best young instrumentalists in Irish traditional music today – all from the United States. Ranging in age from 16 to 29, percussionist Paddy League, uilleann pipes, tin whistle and low whistled player Elliott Grasso, fiddlers Patrick Mangan and Jim Eagan, flute and tin whistle player Aran Alwell and guitarist Flynn Cohen certainly catch fire with John’s encouragement on this latest Whelan masterpiece.
First Song is a fascinating voyage to the highlands of Scotland, the Breton lands and the islands of the Mediterranean. A beautifully crafted and mature selection of songs and tunes, which glide effortlessly from the Isles of Scotland to Crete and Turkey. It makes unexpected connections, and finds a common beauty in varied traditions.
A New Dawn (Na Píobairí Uilleann, 1998) This compilation is a recording of six pipers aged between 15 and 17 years, who, despite their youth, have a deep understanding of the art of uilleann piping. They are representative of a wealth, which currently exists, of talented young pipers. Their piping skills, combined with excellent musical taste, displayed throughout the recordings, give great hope for the future of uilleann piping through to the middle of the next century and beyond. Eliot Grasso appears on this album not only as the youngest, but also as the only uilleann piper from North America.