© 2023 by Grant Ferris

Grant Ferris, a Nashville-based guitarist, composer, and songwriter, holds a master’s degree in Classical Guitar Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he received a scholarship to study under David Tanenbaum. He also earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Denver, studying with Ricardo Iznaola and Masakazu Ito. While in Denver, Grant and was the first recipient of the Helen M. Garrett Award for Outstanding Graduating Classical Guitarist. 

In the fall of 2008, Mr. Ferris studied guitar, composition, and chamber music with composer and conductor Simone Fontanelli of the Salzburg Mozarteum while in Milan, Italy. Also while in Italy, Mr. Ferris premiered the new work for guitar trio "Los Tres Espiritos" by composer Michael Blankenship at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. He has played in master classes taught by the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Fabio Zanon, Adam Holzman, Eduardo Fernández, and the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet.

A recipient of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award, Ferris has been praised for his versatility as a guitarist playing in many styles from classical, bluegrass, jazz, and rock. In addition to guitar, Grant plays dobro, lap steel, banjo, bouzouki, trumpet, and can fake his way through on a piano.

As a composer, Grant has been commissioned to write for professional groups such as Duo Tandem, Duo Boheme, Nashville Composers Collective, and the San Francisco Guitar Quartet. His most recent commission is for the Patterson/Sutton Duo. His compositions have been performed in Chicago, New York, Nashville, London, San Francisco, and Cyprus. As a songwriter, in addition to his own efforts, Grant has worked extensively with his sister, recording artist Ferris, Firebreath Records, and avant-garde puppet troupe Sailors and Maidens. In 2014, he released Ten and Six, his first CD comprised of all new solo guitar compositions. March 2018 marked the release of his EP No, Seriously, a full-band recording of new music featuring a nylon string banjitar custom made for him by the Deering Banjo Company.

 

As strong advocate of new music he has commissioned and premiered works from composers Reggie Berg, Anne Goldberg, Kyle Hovatter, Clayton Moser, David Gottlieb, John Darnall, and Michael Blankenship.

In 2017 he played the famous Concerto de Aranjuez with the Nashville Concerto Orchestra.

 

When not doing music, Grant is an avid home cook and baker.

Biography

“On No, Seriously, Grant reveals the banjitar’s unique colors as he leads an ace acoustic ensemble through a set of his original instrumental compositions. His music draws on gut-bucket blues, bluegrass, Celtic and Appalachian fiddle tunes, Gypsy jazz, and even New Orleans ragtime, and his superb fingerpicking chops—honed through years of playing concert guitar—is at once intimate and virtuosic. Vibrant tones from a monster talent.”—Andy Ellis, veteran guitar journalist