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December 17, 2021 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Grant Gritzmacher got his first guitar at age twelve and taught himself to play old-time country songs and classic rock. Drawing on a diverse array of influences including alternative and outlaw country, punk rock, southern rock, and folk music, Grant began writing songs in high school, recording an album as a capstone project during his senior year. Grant attended the University of Texas and was electrified by Austin’s live music scene. He continued to write and perform over the years, even dipping his toe in the rap genre with some humorous compositions including “Gettin’ Dizzy,” “The Lettuce Rap,” and “Good To Grow.” Grant’s gravelly, rhythmic lyrical style and personal anecdotes are full of clever takes and commentary on relationships, culture, and history.
Michael Cervas began studying the piano at the age of seven, working his way through W. S. B. Mathews Graded Course of Studies for the Pianoforte, until practicing daily clashed with Little League and he quit at the age of twelve. Much to his mother’s dismay. Over the next thirty years, he dabbled in pop, folk, and rock piano, even playing briefly in a band in college. In graduate school, he went through a Ragtime phase. As an English teacher, he would sometimes play at school functions and in class. He began to play again seriously in his 40s when he joined a jazz band, the Dan Aber Quartet, where he honed his improvisational skills over the next three decades. Since joining Firetown Road, he has also begun writing songs, several of which the band performs.
Dan A. Aber started with the clarinet in fourth grade, and picked up the saxophone in high school. He attended the Mannes College of Music to study the clarinet, but left after one year, much to the dismay of his parents (and possibly Michael’s mom). For twelve years, he played saxophone with the Valley Swing Shift, a Simsbury-based big band specializing in the swing tunes of the 40s, followed by a longer stint with an eponymous jazz quartet. More recently, he’s been studying clarinet with Curt Blood, principal clarinetist with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.