PHOTO BY PATRICIA PASCAL
MARIA GRAPSA BIO
Athens born-London based Maria Grapsa leads a sextet of young exciting players from the thriving UK scene and is set to release her debut album in autumn 2022. Her music is influenced by cinematic themes; pushing the limits of improvisation within the jazz idiom and beyond. Maria’s classical music background, Greek origins and folk, middle-East, Latin influences, all meet the jazz tradition in a unique way.
She has been spotted in numerous projects of the London scene including NU Civilisation Orchestra, Tomorrow’s Warriors Female Frontline, Suede Jazz Collective, Grand Union Youth Orchestra and with hip-hop artist Shunaji, while she has co-founded the ongoing electronic duo project Supermodels. She won Alternative Act for Lukas Awards 2019, with her bandmates at the time, while they released her composition Under The with Movimientos Record Label. She has performed in prestigious venues and festivals such as Southbank Centre, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Jazz Café, Pizza Express Live Soho, Jazz at the Crypt, Wilderness, Torstrassen, Norwich, Cheltenham and Marsden Jazz Festivals. She has shared the stage with Gary Crosby OBE, Daniel Rollins and Tim Berne.
Maria is a Scholarship Jazz Masters alumna of Royal Conservatoire of Birmingham and a recipient of the Help Musicians Transmission Fund 2021.
In 2019 Maria created the ongoing project ‘Dialogue in’, a series of live studio recordings full of improvisation, spontaneity and musical dialogues. With the cross-disciplinary project, she opens a dialogue in between artists, musicians of all genres and audience. Her live videos and audio recordings are available across all online platforms.
Maria’s past and present mentors are: Liam Noble, Ross Stanley, Ed Puddick, Mike Williams, John O’ Gallagher, Percy Pursglove, Tim Berne, Gary Crosby, Peter Edwards, George Kontrafouris, Cecilia Stalin and Sara Colman. She has been participating in workshops of Tomorrow’s Warriors, Barry Harris and Grand Union Youth Orchestra.
Maria was clearly won over by her love for music over the past years but her academic journey also includes an Environmental Engineering masters degree.
Alongside a vibrant career as pianist and bandleader, Maria has been successfully teaching piano and improvisation to young people since 2016, offering music lessons and workshops.