Composers and Authors /

Grasis, Kristaps (1970)

Biography   Works  

Kristaps was born in Uppsala – near Stockholm – as the son of Latvian parents from Canada and Germany. His father is a clarinettist and folk musician/ethnographer. In Stockholm, Kristaps studied classical and jazz guitar at the Royal College of Music, and composition at the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. He performed with the 8-Guitars-String-Orchestra and with the Petter Lindblom Sextet. With bass player Andris Lukins, he recorded the album “Bohemian Breakfast”. Together with poet Juris Kronbegrs he has released two albums “Varg Enögd” in 2004 and ” Hötorghallen” in 2008.

He first visited Riga with the Ludvigs dzird and Guzma bands in the 1980s, while still in high school.

He started collaboration with composer Juris Kulakovs and the Sejans brothers, Leons and Juris, from the extremely popular Menuets and Perkons bands, and formed the Kristaps Grasis Band, which later became the Germany-based Grasis. In the 1990s, they toured Germany, Latvia and France.

In 1994, Kristaps released his solo debut album “Nangilima”. In 1996, the Kristaps Grasis Band released “Naktis/Nights”. Kristaps, poet Juris Kronbergs, and members of the Kulakovs and Sejans clans (including Liene) perform together as the One-Eyed Wolf Band (Kronbergs’ poem to the music of K. Grasis).

The Modern Music Studio works together with the Audio-Video studio SEJA in Latvia on many projects.The most current is the new Sejane & Grasis DVD. Kristaps endorses VIOLET microphones.

He graduated from MLG (the Münster Latvian Gymnasium). After having played classical guitar for several years, while still in high school Kristaps started to study jazz guitar with D. Papenburg and formed the all-Latvian bands Ludvigs dzird and Guzma. He was a member of conductor Marks Opeskins’ chamber choir Dudas, which toured the USA, Canada, Latvia and recorded the album “Dievs, Tava Zeme Deg! [Lord, Thine Earth is Burning!]“. With Guzma, he recorded a self-titled album, which was one of the first albums of a Latvian underground band outside Latvia.

In Bonn, he recorded his first solo album “Nangilima” and, later, the albums “Naktis/Nights” and “Hard Earned Pay” with the Kristaps Grasis Band and Grasis. Touring took them to the USA, Latvia, Germany.

Kristaps produced singer/songwriter Uldis Grasis’ album “Uz zala zara” in 2000, and was producer/performer with the folk band Lokal Heroes. They have recorded four albums: “Live” in 1999, “Sailing Damages Health” in 2001, “Hurrah” in 2004 and “Smash The Windows” in 2006.

With poet Juris Kronbergs, he recorded the “one-Eyed Wolf” which was released in different languages in different countries.

Kristaps Grasis composes chamber music. His three-part work, “Trois reves d’un clown”, took second place at the 16th International Composers’ Competition in Siegburg in 2004.

Kristaps works as a producer in the Modern Music Studio. He has recorded and/or produced about 70 albums worldwide.

Kristaps is a member of the Association of German Composers
He plays also with the Jean Faure Orchestre.

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