My music bio - brian Grace

For as long as he can remember, Brian Grace’s life has been heavily immersed in the world of all things music.  “I might have been singing songs in the crib that I pulled out of my head spontaneously - I honestly just can’t remember…” Grace reflects. 

Brian Grace has played hundreds of live gigs since becoming a professional musician at 19 years old.  Early on in his musical career, Grace spent a total of seven years in various Army Bands playing saxophone and electric bass at military posts including Fort Dix, NJ, Fort Gordon, GA and the 6th Army Band at the Presidio of San Francisco, CA (where it turns out, trumpeter Herb Alpert also spent some time serving).  During his military service, he played for Presidents George H.W. Bush and William J. Clinton as well as Mikhail Gorbachev and a wide host of other politicians and dignitaries.  While in the midst of his regular Army Band duties, he also auditioned for and was selected for the “Army Soldier Show,” a musical theatrical group made up of talented Army soldiers from different posts around world.  Grace spent a total of four months on the road, traveling and performing at various Army establishments around the U.S. and Far East for thousands of soldiers, playing sax & guitar, singing, and performing his original rock song, “The Inside Looking Out” (link for the studio version of The Inside Looking Out at the bottom of this webpage).  Grace states, “We were all our own roadies…so in addition to a full-on theatrical performance, we had the continuous huge task of setting up a full stage show, and then tearing the whole thing down after each performance.  So, performing was the easy part.”  After the Army Band gig was over, Grace attended Berklee College of Music in Boston on a Professional Music Scholarship, but eventually ended up heading west to San Diego, CA then to Los Angeles to get earn his bachelor’s degree at UCLA.  Since then, Brian has resided in Long Beach, CA – a place he’s called home for many years now. 

Grace is a saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist and jazz composer/arranger who ROCKS.  He engineers and plays music professionally and continues playing for the utter enjoyment music allows him.  “It’s all about the creative, mental & emotional release/healing, and for any existential experience that music gives me in any particular situation,” Grace says.  He adds,“ If we’re putting music into little boxes, I suppose my current musical inclinations would be considered ‘jazz fusion with a side of rock,’ but it’s really a mix of sub-genres of jazz and rock, sometimes embedded within the same song.” Grace has played with many musicians and all kinds of gigs, but one of his biggest musical highlights was playing sax live onstage in Las Vegas with his favorite rock star, Todd Rundgren!  

At this writing, Brian Grace has over 10 CD's worth of all original material, many songs on which he plays most of the instruments.  Grace feels right at home writing music with complex harmonies in mixed time signatures, but also loves the power of a strong melody.  His latest release is a 5-song ‘Prog-Jazz’ (a term he has coined..."a box that most of my music fits in...")/rock EP entitled "Long Beach," featuring Chad Wackerman (Frank Zappa, Allan Holdsworth) on drums, Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets, Jeff Lorber Fusion) on bass, and Mike Miller (Chick Corea, Boz Scaggs) on guitars: (https://briangrace.hearnow.com/long-beach).  Prior to this work was a companion EP to Long Beach, 2017's "Stratosphere," sporting a similar group of all-star musicians, including Grammy-winning trumpet player John Daversa, and L.A. guitar whiz Jeff Richman:  (https://briangracemusic.hearnow.com/stratosphere).   In 2015, Grace released what he considers his Magnum Opus, an 11-song Jazz Fusion CD entitled "The Streets of San Francisco" – his heartfelt tribute to the “City by the Bay” (https://briangrace.hearnow.com/the-streets-of-san-francisco).  The Streets of San Francisco marks a 20-year anniversary of his time stationed in the Army Band at the Presidio of San Francisco from 1992-1995.  Grace continues, “Here, my distinct mission was to have each song represent a different San Francisco street that held some sort of meaning for me…composing distinctive music which centered around that individual street name, or vice versa.”  This album also marked the genesis of Brian’s working relationship with drummer Chad Wackerman, a studio A-Lister who has worked on nearly all his musical projects since 2013. 

More music is always on the horizon for Grace, as he is continuously composing music on his computer and recording his music at his home studio in Long Beach, as well as performing studio work recording sax and arranging horns for other artists.  His original music has also received some radio/TV airplay and he states, “my musical dream day-job would be to compose for TV and movies.  I could certainly envision myself looking at any given scene on a screen and coming up with music for it, no problemo.”  In addition to recording sax, engineering, and writing jazz arrangements at home, Grace is also busy playing private solo saxophone engagements around the So Cal area.  His next musical goal is to form a quintet and play some live gigs, especially after being sequestered so long from the Covid pandemic. “I'm still enjoying my long musical life ride - and taking it wherever it goes. I truly feel the best is yet to come!” 

Grace’s latest musical accomplishments have revolved around working with guitarist/composer/producer Fernando Perdomo on an array of studio projects.  This includes playing sax on Perdomo’s 50th anniversary tribute to Todd Rundgren’s 1972 album Something/Anything entitled "Someone/Anyone? " He is also playing on several other projects with Perdomo producing and engineering. 

Brian Grace is a busy studio musician and solo saxophone performer for private parties and corporate gigs.  To book a performance or have him play sax/arrange horns in the studio for your next recording, click the “Contact Me” link on the home page of website: www.briangracemusic.com or email at: briangracemusic@gmail.com.   

BG already chilling, drinking and thinking about music at six months old

Rehearsing my original tune "The Dark Horse," at Berklee College of Music practice room with a rowdy band of Swedes - Boston, MA - 1990

Grace playing a sax solo in Santa Cruz, CA with the Presidio of San Francisco 6th Army stage band - 1994

Brian Grace playing sax in Las Vegas, NV with Todd Rundgren - 2008

"The Inside Looking Out" by Brian Grace

The Inside Looking Out

Brian Grace

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The Inside Looking Out

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One of my first rock songs ever written - as a teen in 1987. "The Inside Looking Out" was a homage to "life beyond these walls" - about life in the Army barracks I lived in at Fort Dix, NJ. I spent all of my Army salary in those days on the on-post recording studio! Playing all instruments/voices sans drums.

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