Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Alexiev, Grisha , drummer, composer, arranger; b. Dobbs Ferry, NY, 12 August 1954.
Grew up in Vermont: South Dorset '56-62, Bennington, '62-75. His father was Andrei Stephan Vassilyvitch Alexiev, born Uman, Russia ca. October 30, 1889 (calendar change makes things vague); served British and American Merchant Marine, arrived USA in New York on May 3, 1919 on crew on the M.V. Western Star. He died August 24, 1981 in Bennington, VT. His mother was Joyce Wade Harris born July 13, 1918, New York City, died December 9, 1996 in Cleveland, OH (attended Juilliard, was a singer, not a prof. musician). He has one brother, Andrei Alexiev, born August 17th, 1952 in Dobbs Ferry. Grisha married Diana Herold, vibraphonist/percussionist (born March 27th, 1958 in Cincinnati, OH) on August 31, 1986. They have no children.
Grisha largely self-taught, but a few lessons with George Marsh, dumbeq player Vince Delgado, Scottish Drummer Alex Duthart, drummers Alan Dawson, Gary Chaffee, Fred Buda, Jim Blackley, Mrdangam and South Indian music with Ramnad Raghavan, timpani with Cloyd Duff (formerly Cleveland Orchestra), composition with Robert Morton, J.D. Bain Murray. Also African Drummers Kwaku Ladzekpo and Abraham Adzenyah. He performed at the Banff Festival 1988, and the Sandpoint Festival 1989
Grisha graduated New England Conservatory of Music with Artist Diploma 1991. Presser Award 1990. NEA performance grant, 1994 (deferred until 1995 due to injury). Several Meet the Composer Awards. Bachelor's of Music at City College of New York, February 2003, numerous small awards and scholarships. Grisha was awarded BFA from City College 2002 (Cum Laude).
He's taught (adjunct faculty) at: Cuyahoga Community College West, Houston Community College, Fairfield University, Lehigh University. He has coached and given Master Classes here and there. He taught briefly at the Cleveland Music School Settlement. He taught for three years with the Midori Foundation (and played school concerts with them for six years). He has taught several hundred young (and old) drummers; only perhaps twenty-five for any length of time. One student (that he knows of), Robert Roses, has become a professional.
Alexiev has toured with: Lindsey Horner, Marty Ehrlich, Michael Ray and the Cosmic Krewe, Joe Gallant and Illuminatti, Susan McKeown and Chanting House, Voltaire, Brad Detrick, and others. He has played with: Archie Bell (of the Drells), Sam Rivers, Buddy DeFranco, Randy Brecker, Tim Hagens, Derek Smith, Randy Weston, John Cage, Julius Hemphill, Muhal Richard Abrams, Ellen Christi, Mark Ribot, Herb Pomeroy, Joanne Brakeen, Stan Strickland, Diane Moser (and her big band), E.J. Allen (and big-band), the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Chico O'Farrill Latin Big Band, Wynton Marsalis and others; also various freelance work in theatrical shows etc.
The first recording of Grisha's original composition "Widow's Walk" is on Erwin Vann: "Some Sounds" (1990). On Michael Rabinowiz's "Ocean Eyes" (2003), two Grisha originals are performed, "True & False," and "Oneirology." He is also a published (small-time) poet. He recorded his first CD of his own compositions in 2004.
Michael Rabinowitz: Bassoon in Orbit; Tony Trischka: Bend; Tim Harrison Quintet; Bill Warfield: Hard Bop, Songs of Storyville, Led Zeppelin project (2000); Jazz Composers Alliance: Flux (1992); Darrel Katz: Dreamland Orchestra (1992); Dave Stryker/Bill Warfield: Nomads (1995); Mystic Pilgrims (Brad Detrick) (1996); Brian Torff: Working on a Bass Line (1997); Joe Fonda: From the Source (1997); Bob Dee Band: Double Talk (1997); The Protruders: A Recipe for the Body and Soul (1997); Paul Nash: The Soul of Grace (1999); Bob Dee's Cosmosis (2000); Roman Tam: Shanghai-New York (2000); Feed The Meter: Violation (2000); recorded with Jason Kao Huang (2004); recorded with Brian Torff Nine piece band (2004); recorded with Paul Nash (2004)
Chet Baker (Houston, TX., 1985 or 86).
Bill Warfield/Dave Liebman, Le Jazz Hot (w/arrangement by G of Sidney Bechet's Le Petit Fleur) 1999
At least two more Bill Warfield big-band albums (1994 and 1997).
Small group recordings with Alex Harding and Arnold Hammerschlag.
Small group recording with Sam Bardfeld
Big-band recording(s) with the Discovery Orchestra, a group that G co-leads with pianist Neal Kirkwood (some compositions by Grisha (also arrangements), others by Neal Kirkwood, Jack Walrath, Muhal Richard Abrams, Tom Hubbard, Bob Rodriguez, Dale Wilson).
Recordings by The Atomic Strings, a string improvising group (13 strings in "choir," plus a three-piece rhythm section), (many compositions by Grish).
Trio recordings with Neal Kirkwood and Scott Lee.
Two unreleased recordings with Tom Hubbard (trio [w/bass clarinet] and quintet ["classic"]).
An upcoming Feed The Meter Album.
Unreleased Quartet album for Brian Torff
An older Tim Harrison Quartet album with a song ("Dark Horse") by Grisha, unreleased.
About 200 hours more of unreleased recordings, live, radio and studio.
At least three or four singer's recordings.
Unreleased recording with Miki Navazio's group, the Fantods (also live radio shows).
Another unreleased recording with Miki or a group called "YaYo."
A short voice and dumbeq recording with Fatima El-Shibli.
Also, many hours of recordings for the National Dance Institute.
Grisha's eleven-piece group "No Western Shirts" made a recording in Boston in the fall of 1990, which included many of Grisha's compositions and arrangements. Unreleased.