David Grisman

David Jay Grisman (born March 23, 1945) is an American mandolinist. His music combines bluegrass, folk, and jazz in a genre he calls “Dawg music”. He founded the record label Acoustic Disc, which issues his recordings and those of other acoustic musicians. He was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in 2023.

Grisman grew up in a Conservative Jewish household in Passaic, New Jersey. His father was a professional trombonist who gave him piano lessons when he was seven years old. As a teenager, he played piano, mandolin, and saxophone.

In the early 1960s, he attended New York University. He belonged to the Even Dozen Jug Band with Maria Muldaur and John Sebastian. He played in the bluegrass band the Kentuckians led by Red Allen, then in the psychedelic rock band Earth Opera with Peter Rowan. He moved to San Francisco, met Jerry Garcia, and appeared on the Grateful Dead album American Beauty. He played in Garcia’s bluegrass band Old & In the Way with Peter Rowan and Vassar Clements. When Grisman was 17 years old, he was invited on stage by Doc Watson to join him on mandolin for a rendition of “In the Pines”.

Share this post

Leave a Comment