Gillian Grassie (say: Jillian Grass-y) is a contemporary harpist/singer-songwriter whose music blends jazz, folk, rock, and Latin influences under smart, accessible lyricism and a smokey soprano.
Her clever songwriting is supported by extensive classical training in both harp and voice. Gillian''s interpretations of traditional Scottish harp repertoire earned her first place prizes in five competitions and an invitation to perform at the Edinburgh International Harp Festival in 2001. In her youth, she sang with both national and regional ACDA honors choirs in such prestigious venues as Heinz Hall, Symphony Hall, and The National Cathedral.
Gillian''s debut, independent EP "To An Unwitting Muse", released in June 2005, sold out of its original pressing and helped her cross over onto radio territory, getting airplay on WXPN and making the top ten in Q102''s "Have a Great Gig" contest. Her first full-length effort, "Serpentine", is due for release in October 2007.
Gillian Grassie was born on May 30th, 1986 and is a Philadelphia native.
"...the harp in this context is simply exciting."
"...lyrical imagery is sophisticated yet relatable, music combines a lot of stylistic elements, and does so in a way that sounds edgy and contemporary."
"...incredibly distinctive vocal approach."
"...flaunts harp convention with a sassy assuredness."
"Her music deftly blends jazz, pop, folk and rock with mesmerizing effectiveness, with forays into techno and even bossa nova further blurring the boundaries of tradition."
"That she flirts with subjects seemingly incongruous with the harp''s refined stereotype a one-night stand, for instance, in the Latin-inflected "Hi," and older men who hit on young women on the unreleased but frequently performed "Rewriting the Alphabet" displays a boldness that she is happily cultivating."
Philadelphia Citypaper says:
"For pop fans with a craving for something a little different, Serpentine is a treat."
"Her wordy, imaginative tunes are all about growing up, whether confronting destructive behavior (the trip-hop-tinged "Tell Me") or accepting a lover''s silence ("No Answer")."
"Subtly evoking the government''s shameful responses to Iraq and Katrina, the folky "Sweet Metallic" casts America as a teenager who makes you proud and exasperates you at the same time."
Ticket Magazine calls Gillian:
"...the type of musician you can only dare to dream exists"
"...a driven professional, a tough negotiator, an independent spirit, an intellectual calculator, and an innovator par excellence. She is a harpist/singer/songwriter who is brining the harp into the 21st century with honest songs of delight, hardship, vulnerability, and good times"
"...the 19-year-old multicultural, multifaceted, multitalented, beautiful young woman is real."
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